The Yankees are in a dog fight for first place in the AL East Division and leading a wild card spot as we go to September.
10 Questions Going into the Final Month
1. Can Michael Pineda return to earlier season form ?
Personally I don't see why not. Pineda has great stuff and looked really good tonight in Boston. He has to get some innings under his belt since the injury but I trust him to get it right.
2. Can Alex Rodriguez bounce back from the awful August ?
Rodriguez has talked about the highs and lows this season. Obviously August was a real low. However A-Rod had the big grand slam and had two home runs late in the month. Hopefully the days off in Atlanta help.
3. How good can Luis Severino be ?
Through five starts Severino has a 2.17 era and despite being 21 he looks extremely polished. Severino can be an ace for years to come and can be a dominant arm for the Yankees the rest of the season.
4. Can the Yankees survive the Mark Teixeira injury ?
I think the Tex injury is a huge blow to the lineup but if A-Rod , Beltran , and McCann can produce
in the middle of the lineup they will survive the two weeks. The defensive loss is the bigger blow.
Offensively Greg Bird will produce. He is not the defensive player Tex is.
5. What happens with CC Sabathia ?
Ultimately if CC comes back the Yankees may use him in the rotation because of Brian Cashman. I think Cashman is dead wrong here. I don't like his thoughts on this. It's not about who is making the most money. CC should be in the pen during the regular season. Come playoffs I would be shocked if he was in the rotation.
6. Who should start the Wild Card Game ?
This is of course if the Yankees do not win the division. If they make it to the Wild Card game many would pick Masahiro Tanaka but I would ride the hot hand and start Nathan Eovaldi.
7. Can the Yankees ride the bullpen to a World Series appearance ?
I think the Yankees rotation is under rated but make no mistake about it Chasen Shreve , Dellin Bettances , and Andrew Miller have been possibly baseballs best bullpen trio. So yes they can take them to a World Series.
8. Which September call up can help the most ?
Andrew Bailey is a former stud closer and I think he can be the guy. Perhaps I go with him because I am a Bailey fan and I am rooting for him.
9. Can the Yanks win the division ?
If Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda pitch like they can , absolutely yes. Overall this team is just as good as the Bluejays
10. If the Yankees are in the Wild Card who will they face ?
I think the Texas Rangers. They have a big time lineup and the rotation has been excellent. I expect Josh Hamilton to comeback and the veteran lineup to perform. Of the second wild card teams they have the best true ace in Cole Hamels. They have veteran bats like Prince Fielder , Mike Napoli , Adrian Beltre , and others.
By Peter Vitella