New York Yankees Update for Week 2: Fantasy Baseball News and Analysis
We’ve just about completed two weeks in this young season and the Bronx is abuzz with fantasy news that you can use.
Jacoby Ellsbury, who was a late first round to early second round fantasy pick overall, has really adjusted to life as a New York Yankee. As expected, he is hitting for a high average and is stealing bases. It remains to be seen if the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium will help him come close to the career high 32 homeruns that he hit in 2011.
Speaking of players who were supposed to benefit from the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium, catcher Brian McCann hit his first two homeruns at the stadium on Saturday vs. John Lackey. He seemed to have been pressing in his first few games in the Bronx, but it looks like his bat is starting to coming around. He is currently owned in 99% of CBS fantasy baseball leagues.
Yankee first baseman Mark Teixeira, who according to CBS Sports was owned in 91% of their leagues, was placed on the 15 day DL with a pulled hamstring after playing in only four games this season. The injury is not considered serious and according to Tex if it had occurred in the middle of the season when the weather was warmer he would have been able to avoid being placed on the DL. Fantasy Baseball Owners who drafted Tex were already anxious to see if he could regain his power stroke after missing most of last season with a wrist injury will have to wait a bit longer to get him back in their lineup.
There is an old saying that when one door closes another door opens. Due to Tex’s absence regular third baseman Kelly Johnson became the Yankee’s first baseman and that left the door open for journeyman minor leaguer Yangervis Solarte to get some regular at bats at third base and he has made the most of his playing time. He has cooled off a bit but is still hitting well over .300. He is potentially a very valuable fantasy asset who is eligible in the outfield as well as at third base and he could eventually see time at second base. He is currently owned in 46% of CBS Sports leagues. Keep your eye on him. He has definite sleeper potential.
The much ballyhooed Masahiro Tanaka has gotten off to a very good start. With the eyes of the world focused on his every pitch he has maintained his poise and proven to be just about everything the Yankees had hoped he’d be. He’s had a few hiccups along the way but has weathered every mini storm on his way to pitching to a 1-0 record with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. Most importantly his control has been excellent. He has struck out 18 batters and walked only one in 14 innings pitched. Tanaka is currently owned in 97% of CBS Sports fantasy leagues.
After not being able to pitch in the major leagues for the past two years due to arm troubles, the Yankees are finally getting to see the Michael Pineda that they thought they were trading for. Other than a bit of controversy regarding some pine tar on the palm of his hand Pineda has had an incredible year. In two starts Pineda has pitched to a 1.50 ERA and compiled a 0.91 WHIP while striking out 12 batters and walking only two in 12 innings pitched. He is currently owned in 91% of all CBS sports fantasy leagues.
Former Yankee ace ( did I really write that ) C C Sabathia has had a tough time dealing with changing his pitching philosophy now that he can no longer throw a fastball in the mid to low 90’s. He has struck out 21 while walking just 3 in 19 innings this season but is pitching to a mammoth 6.63 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. If you are one of the 95% of fantasy players who currently own him in your fantasy league you can only hope that the coming warm summer months will help CC regain the form that once firmly entrenched him as the Yankee’s ace.
There has been a great deal of focus on Derek Jeter as he plays his final season in the major leagues. Although he is showing no lingering effects from last season’s injured ankle and he is swinging the bat well, unfortunately it seems that his days as a relevant fantasy league player are long gone. I may pick him up off of the waiver wire towards the end of the season so that he can officially end his fantasy baseball career as a member of my personal fantasy baseball team.
Lastly, as is apropos, we end with the unfortunate injury to Yankee closer David Robertson who was placed on the 15 day DL with a groin injury. Robertson, as well all know, inherited the role as Yankee closer when the great Mariano Rivera retired at the end of last season. Many have pointed out that in 2012, the last time he had to fill in for Rivera as the Yankee closer, Robertson suffered a strained oblique muscle, and the job of closer went to Rafael Soriano instead. Is Robertson afraid of being the Yankee closer? I don’t think so but for now the Yankees and the 93% of fantasy players who own Robertson need to scramble to find a replacement. Although the Yanks have publicly stated that they will use the “closer by committee” approach, it seems that Shawn Kelley will get most of the save opportunities in Robertson’s absence.