Red Sox, AL East Roundup: April to May 2015

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May 2, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees manager

Joe Girardi

(28) conducts an interview prior to the game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees (16-9, .640)

Overall Record & Last 10 games:

The Bronx Bombers looked to be in for a tough season. With elderly men, for the modern game, playing many key positions and a pitching staff that was suspect, it looked like Yankees manager Joe Girardi would have to use some more magic that he had when he kept his team in the hunt, last season. The Yankees only have four men under 26, and the majority of the starting lineup is in their 30s. Instead, his team sits atop of the division, with a relatively comfortable lead. Two games, this season, is a bit of comfort, as the lead has been switched repeatedly throughout April.

The Yankees showed their toughness by earning a 10-3 record on the road. Their home record was more surprising at only 6-6, so far. That grit came from their much-maligned starting rotation. They sit at third in all of the American League with a 3.13 team ERA, with only the Kansas City Royals (2.96) and Houston Astros (3.08) ahead of them.

With a two-game winning streak over their arch-rivals the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees have an 8-2 record in the last ten games. They are one of the hottest teams in baseball, right now, due to that pitching. With their lack of hitting, they will need to count on that pitching staff to continue doing the job. Yet, how long can that last?

Key Injuries:

  • Pitcher Chris Capuano is on the 15-day DL, with a Grade 2 right quadriceps strain. He was sent, yesterday, to a Class A Advanced rehab assignment, and is possibly back for May. With the pitching staff already doing well, beyond expectations, Capuano can provide much relief to the bullpen or starting rotation, if needed.
  • A huge blow was when Masahiro Tanaka went down with what is reported as wrist tendinitis and forearm strain. He has been placed on the 15-day DL, but the likelihood of his return is June. Even with his performances lasting past the fifth inning, his velocity and overall comfort on the mound were down to the point where this injury status seemed inevitable. Keep your eye on this injury when he gets back. If the off-season could not heal his ligament tear in 2014, with plenty of rest, sitting him for 15 days seems very unlikely to heal him to the point that he won’t need surgery.
  • Don’t expect Ivan Nova to jump back into the starting rotation to fix the problem, either. His recovery from last season’s Tommy John surgery has him out till at least June. His earliest time pitching against live bats in the minors is May.


  • Starting Rotation – Masahiro Tanaka (DL), Michael Pineda, C.C. Sabathia, Nathan Eovaldi, Adam Warren, Chase Whitley
  • Don’t expect many home runs slaying this team, late in games. The Yankees have given up the second fewest (18) in the American League, one more than the Royals.
  • Surprisingly enough, the Yankees are leading the league in terms of strikeouts, with 221 batters cast back down into the dugout to sulk.
  • The bullpen is doing its job, as well, especially their closer, lefty Andrew Miller, a former Red Sox pitcher, who has 9 saves in 9 opportunities. With the state of the Red Sox bullpen, they probably wish that Miller had that form in a Boston uniform, this season.

Position Players:

  • The team’s lineup hit just .240 in April. Even in the last two victories against the Red Sox, the Yankee batters mustered up only a .261 average. They are also getting outscored, overall, by three division rivals, with 109 runs and 101 RBIs. If it wasn’t for their pitching keeping them in ballgames, giving them situations to get at least a hit to win the game, the Yankees would not have their lead, at the moment.
  • As a team, considering the ages of some of the veterans, it has been impressive seeing how aggressive they are on the base paths. The Yankees lead the division in stolen bases (16) and times caught stealing (7).
  • With 18 errors, already, you would think the Yankees have been booting the ball around the field. Yet, they are double-playing teams to death (26), giving them a .693 defensive efficiency ratio that keeps them in the middle of the pack.

Keep Your Eyes On:

  • Chris Young – He’s hitting .317, with 6 home runs and 12 RBIs, this season. Every time Young goes to the plate, he is dangerous, making highlight-reel long balls or other crucial hits. Even last night, Young hit a solo blast to help the Yankees defeat the Red Sox. With the start of his first full season in New York, expect Young to be making a name for himself in the Bronx, quickly.