Deja vu all over again: Yankees at .500
So is this glass half full or half empty? It depends on who you ask, but for the 12th time this season (not counting Opening Day), the Yankees will take the field exactly at the break-even mark. They’re 46-46, 7 1/2 games behind the division-leading Orioles, and manager Joe Girardi has seen just about enough of .500.
“It’s been frustrating this year because we’ve been here so many times and we haven’t been able to break through, for a number of different reasons,” Girardi said. “Sometimes it’s been offense. Sometimes it’s been pitching.
“It hasn’t been just one reason, but it’s been frustrating because I feel if we can get over that mark, we can build on it. I think we’ve gotten to one game over, two maybe – I’m talking about since we got way below – so it has been frustrating, and I think it’s frustrating for the guys in the room.”
Indeed, this is a team that has not been two games over .500 since April 12, when they were 4-2. Until they can leave that milestone in the dust, it’s impossible to think of them as serious contenders. They can try to get one over .500 tonight, as Nathan Eovaldi and Vance Worley comprise the pitching matchup.
Chapman throws 105.1 mph during 19th save
Bullpen trio slams door on Yanks’ win vs. O’s
A-Rod goes deep for first time in a month
Tex still out; Refsnyder filling in at 1st, not A-Rod
Eovaldi returns to rotation to take on O’s
“NOW BATTING FOR THE YANKEES”
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 19, 2016
Let’s talk trades! It has been speculated that several current Yankees may be wearing different uniforms in the next two weeks, but that uncertainty doesn’t seem to have affected the vibe in the clubhouse, where the latest trade rumors have been regularly greeted with shrugs.
“That’s something I don’t worry about,” Aroldis Chapman said through an interpreter. “I try just to concentrate on doing my job on the game and helping the team win. It’s really something I have no control over.”
Chapman would make sense for several contenders looking to bolster their chances of winning a World Series by adding a bonafide closer. The Cubs, Indians, Nationals and Rangers are among the teams that could be interested in Chapman, left-hander Andrew Miller, or potentially both.
Chapman is a free agent after the season and, conceivably, the Yankees could look to re-sign him without having to surrender Draft pick compensation. Miller is signed through 2018 at $9 million per year.
Yahoo! Sports reported this week that the Yankees have shown interest in Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber, who is out for the season after sustaining a torn ACL in an April outfield collision. The Bombers are also said to be heavily scouting the Indians’ Minor League organization, including 20-year-old left-hander Justus Sheffield, the nephew of former Yankee Gary Sheffield.
The Yankees have also taken note of the high asking prices for starting pitching; the Padres forced the Red Sox to part with touted prospect Anderson Espinoza in last week’s Drew Pomeranz trade, and the Athletics reportedly demanded Espinoza when Boston asked about left-hander Rich Hill.
As such, the Yankees would be willing to listen to offers on Nathan Eovaldi, Ivan Nova or Michael Pineda. MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reported that the Marlins have shown interest in Pineda, but the Yankees have said that they are not ready to deal him at this time. Eovaldi’s name has been connected to both the Pirates and Rangers.
Carlos Beltran also might draw interest from a contender like the Indians or Royals, enjoying an All-Star campaign at age 39 that has already seen the switch-hitter match last year’s home run total (19). Beltran, who is in the final year of a three-year, $45 million deal, said that blocking out the questions has not been an issue.
THEY SAID IT
“Not difficult at all. I have a responsibility to the New York Yankees, so my job is to come here and get ready to play the game. What’s going to happen is going to happen. I cannot worry about that. I’ve just got enough with the game itself.” – Carlos Beltran, on trade rumors.
Neither of these teams has been scoring runs lately. Since the All-Star break, the O’s have scored just nine runs (4, 2, 2, 1) while the Yankees have scored just 10 (3, 2, 3, 2).
ON THIS DATE
July 19, 1959: Enos Slaughter became the oldest Yankee to hit a home run, at 43 years, 83 days, in a 6-2 win over the White Sox in Game 1 of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. That’s one year and 83 days older than Hideki Matsui was when he did this in the most recent Old-Timers’ Day game: