After what seemed like an interminable offseason, we now have one weekend of baseball in the books on the 2022 season. As I’m normally the one preaching to fans to not overreact or take too much (if anything) from small sample sizes, I don’t need to be reminded that it’s only three games thank you – that said, it was a good start to the season for the Yankees. Let’s take a quick look back to review some key points before looking forward.
One of the biggest positives from the first weekend was the performance of the Yankees bullpen as a whole. Over the three games Ron Marinaccio, Miguel Castro, Lucas Luetge, Chad Green, Clay Holmes, Aroldis Chapman, Clarke Schmidt, Jonathan Loáisiga, and Wandy Peralta combined to throw 16.2* innings and allowed only two runs. It wasn’t as if the Gods of baseball randomness were on their side or they were the beneficiaries of luck (or good defense) either, as the group combined for 16 strikeouts while allowing only five hits over the weekend. Although the Yankees’ rotation projects to be pretty good in 2022, it does have its share of question marks so a deep bullpen is likely to go a long way toward determining the team’s success this season.
(*Not counting the extra innings on Opening Day that started with ghost runners.)
As I said, I know it’s very early, but Aaron Hicks is on the clock. I say this as someone who’s higher on Hicks than most Yankee fans, but we need to acknowledge that 2018 was a long time ago and it’s time for the centerfielder to start producing again. Hicks went two for eight with two singles and a walk over the weekend, which isn’t horrible but isn’t good either. Given his importance to the team (remember, he’s the only true centerfielder on the roster) eyes need to be focused on Hicks’ performance closely, even if it is very early. I think we can agree that either Aaron Judge or Tim Locastro playing center field every day is a situation to be assiduously avoided.
From the Big Picture perspective, all’s good. The Yanks took two of three from a good team and division rival, with both wins coming in come from behind fashion (thanks again bullpen!). Now it’s four games at home against Toronto, obviously another good team and division rival. A split would be good as it would give the Yankees a 4-3 record against good divisional competition, and obviously, three out of four would be phenomenal.
As far as the rest of the competition goes, we’re just going to have to ignore Tampa Bay for now as they swept the AA Orioles over the weekend and have a four-game series against the white towels from Oakland this week. At some point, they’ll have seven in a row against Boston and Toronto as well which will bring them back to reality a little. Meanwhile, the Sawx go to Detroit for three against an improved Tigers team who can hopefully help the Yankees out a little bit with a couple of wins.
Until then, it’s on to tonight’s game in the boogie down with Jameson Taillon on the hill. First pitch is at 7:05 pm, YES has the TV broadcast and WFAN has the radio call
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