One of my all-time favorite quotes comes from the great football coach Bill Parcells. When referring to a team’s performance Parcells said, “You are what your won-loss record says you are.” Well as of June 24, 2013 the Yankees’ record is 41-34 and they are 2.5 games out of first place. According to Coach Parcells’ quote they are having a good season so far. However, the Yankee DL is filled with over 100 million dollars of Yankee players. As of this writing, Youkilis is out for the season, Teixeira will probably need season ending surgery, Jeter has not played a game and at 38 is a question mark, Rodriguez also has not played a game this year because of two hip surgeries and has a possible suspension hanging over him and Granderson is back on the DL. Cervelli and Nunez are still three weeks away from returning. Their replacements are Nix a utility player, David Adams an unproven rookie who has stopped hitting, Wells, Hafner and Overbay after a hot start are now showing their age and their productivity has spiraled downward. With so many of their key players out of the lineup and their replacements struggling, how were they able to generate such a winning record? One answer is for the first six weeks of the season their replacement veterans were spectacular. This along with the fact that the pitching has been great all year-long allowed the Yankees to build close to a .600 winning record for the first six weeks. Since the middle of May because of the weakness of their offense the Yankees’ winning percentage has shrunk to .547.
The table below compares the batting, pitching and fielding statistics for the 2013 Yankees to two other Yankee teams. The Yankees of 2009 had a record of 103-59 and won the World Series. The 1990 Yankees had a record of 67-95, the worst Yankee record since 1950. With still 87 games left in 2013 can we Yankee fans even dream of making the playoffs no less winning a World Series? The fact that this year there are two wild card selections will help. The statistics RS/G and RA/G are the runs scored per game and the runs allowed per game. The WHIP is the number of walks plus hits per inning.
In summarizing the table it is fair to say that the 2013 Yankee batting statistics are very similar to the 1990 Yankee batting statistics (not good). The pitching and fielding statistics for the 2013 teams are better than both the 1990 and 2009 teams. What makes the batting statistics even worse is that since the second week in May the offense has really dropped off. Even if Jeter and Rodriguez can return, without a spring training to get back into shape, I expect very little production from these aged veterans. With the trade deadline approaching, GM Cashman has big decisions to make. If he believes his All-Star players cannot return he must seek out skilled replacement players. However, this becomes difficult since management wants to get below the salary cap next year. This means no new long-term contracts. Right now 5-games separate the five AL East teams in the standings. Clearly, the pitching and fielding have been responsible for the Yankees’ 2013 current record. The pitching staff is solid and Michael Pineda is expected to return after the All-Star game. Gardner and Cano are the only two hitters that other teams fear. Left-handed pitchers dominate the Yankee batters because of a lack of any reliable right-handed batters. In the last few games the first six batters were all left-handed batters. Unless the veteran positional players drink from the “Fountain of Youth” and the youthful Yankee players overachieve, sadly I must predict that the 2013 Yankees will not play in the post-season this year.