Saturday Morning Perspectives
by Paul Semendinger
May 21, 2022
I don't like rainouts. It always feels like being invited to a birthday party only to get to the place and have someone say, "Oh you're not invited. Go home." I don't like rainouts when I'm playing and I don't like them when I'm excited to watch a Yankees game and then there is no game to see.
Of course, double headers are fun, so there's always that...
And I don't ever know what channel the Yankees are on on any given night so I assume last night was again on HuluNetFlixAmazon+ or whatever they do now so I wouldn't have seen it anyway.
Without a game to discuss, here are some Yankees thoughts and perspectives:
The Yankees are at 28-10. This is an amazing start. It's great. It's been so much fun. For a while, it seemed almost record-setting good, but it's not close now. The 1984 Tigers went 35-5 through 40 games. The 1928 and 1939 Yankees went 33-7. Two clubs went 32-8 and seven other clubs went 32-9. The 2022 Yankees are doing great, but they are playing at a rate far from legendary - at least to begin a season.
As counterintuitive as this seems, I'm thinking that playing this well, but not at a historic level is actually a good thing. The 2022 Yankees are good, very good, but what they're doing isn't altogether crazy or separated from reality. There is the sense that they can actually be this good, or close to this good all year. I don't have the sense that they're playing so great that it would be impossible for them to keep playing at or near this level. When a team goes 35-3, there's the sense that it can't possibly continue. Can the Yankees keep playing the high quality ball they've played thus far? I think so.
I hope so.
On the other hand, the Yankees are on pace to win 119 games in the regular season. So, if they keep up their current pace, that would be historic. 119 wins would be crazy. That's never happened before and I don't see it happening this year.
What is impressive about this start is that the Yankees are giving themselves some distance, a cushion, at least. They're 5.5 games up on the Rays. 7.5 games over the Blue Jays. That's impressive to me.
The Yankees are playing at a .737 clip. Here are the top teams in the MLB this year:
So, this might not be a historic start, but it's a very very very good start. We're almost 40 games in. 25% of the season. Pennants an be won or lost in April and May. The Yankees are doing their part early. I'm looking forward to the next 75% of the season with hope and excitement.
Some other thoughts:
I have to wonder how long the Yankees will stick with Aaron Hicks. He's under .200 with over 100 plate appearances. He does walk a lot, but he's not hitting. Of his 19 hits this year, only two (1 double and 1 homer) have been for extra bases. But, if not Hicks... who?
Bryan Reynolds, who so many wanted over the winter, is at .223/4/7. His On Base percentage (.318) is lower than Aaron Hicks' (.331).
There's talk that the Nationals are ready to listen to trades for Juan Soto. If I were the Yankees, I'd be all-in. All-in. I'd say, "What do want?" Would I give the Yankees top three prospects for him? I think I would. Soto is only 23-years-old. He is what you hope any top 3 prospects become - together. Soto isn't a great player in his prime, he's a great player about to reach his prime. The sky is the limit for Soto. And he's left-handed. Oh my! Yeah, I'd be willing to give whatever the Nationals want.
Might the Yankees be able to get Soto cheaper if they took Stephen Strasburg or Patrick Corbin off the Nationals' hands? I'd be all in favor of that as well.
I am always "all-in" when it comes to the Yankees getting the best players in the game. Who needs Bryce Harper? He's old now. Give me Juan Soto!
Let's Go Yankees!!!