The All-Star Game is the unofficial halfway point of the MLB season. While the Yankees have already played 86 games, just over halfway, the Yankees still have much of the second half to reinforce the club en route to the playoffs.
Let’s take a look at the club so far, while looking ahead to the trade deadline and a possible playoff berth.
And exactly two years ago today, Didi Gregorius was still in his infancy as the Yankees’ first shortstop post-Derek Jeter. And the marked improvement that he has made since then is apparent as soon as one watches Gregorius on the diamond today.
Despite narrowly missing out on an All-Star spot, Didi Gregorius has been precisely that for the Yankees since the second half of his first year in New York. The development of Didi from a shy .220 hitter into an affable team leader that hits .300 and bats in the middle of the order has been a big storyline for the Yankees over the past 3 years, and it’s one that is still being written.
The New York Yankees have definitely hit a rough patch of late: they have gone just 6-16 in their last 22 games, have fallen out of first place in the AL East, and have had to deal with several key players going on the disabled list in rapid succession.
But all hope is not lost! While veteran starters like Matt Holliday, Starlin Castro, Aaron Hicks, Greg Bird, and Tyler Austin recover from their injuries, the Yankees have been forced to recall some of their top prospects to fill the void.
While the results have been predictably inconsistent, there have been some serious flashes of brilliance from the young players that have been recalled, including Tyler Wade, Miguel Andujar, Dustin Fowler, and Clint Frazier. Each of these players still has a long way to go in their prospect growth curve, but the early returns have been encouraging enough to where Yankee fans can’t wait to see more of their vaunted prospect core.
The MLB All-Star Game rosters were announced this past Sunday, and the New York Yankees will be well-represented in Miami for the Midsummer Classic. Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Starlin Castro, Dellin Betances, and Luis Severino will make the esteemed squad, which will be managed by Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona.
This is the first All-Star appearance for Judge, Sanchez, and Severino, the first as a Yankee for Castro (his fourth overall), and the fourth in a row for Betances. Judge will be the starter in right field, the first AL rookie to start in the All-Star Game since Hideki Matsui in 2003. Additionally, both Judge and Sanchez will participate in the Home Run Derby.
Each of these Yankees was more than deserving of the honor; let’s take a look at each Yankee All-Star’s season so far.
Following a disappointing 2016-17 season, the Philadelphia Flyers entered the offseason looking to try and retool the squad into a playoff team while also attempting to get younger, shed salary, and build for the future.
And on the eve of Free Agency, the Flyers have done all of the above. Through a couple of trades, a smart draft, and a few free agency rumors, the Philadelphia Flyers look like they’re in good shape as we head into Phase 2 of the NHL offseason: the Free Agent Frenzy.
The 2017 New York Yankees have had a lot of storylines pop up this year: their surprising return to contention has been fueled by the heroics of Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, Matt Holliday, Aaron Hicks, and Brett Gardner, among others. Just about everyone on the Yankee roster (except Chris Carter, that is) has done something great this year for the Bombers.
However, one Yankee has been one of the club’s top players for two seasons now, and few outside of New York have noticed. Starlin Castro, the Yankee second baseman, has quietly become one of the Yankees’ best players, and a truly deserving MLB All-Star.
The last 5 years have not been too kind to Philadelphia 76ers fans. As the team lost pieces of its core left and right and suffered one agonizing loss after the next, team ownership tried to tell diehard fans that this losing all had a greater purpose, nicknamed “The Process” by ex-General Manager Sam Hinkie.
“The Process” was simple in practice: by tanking for many years and trading any pieces of value the Sixers had, Philadelphia would acquire copious amounts of high draft picks that would be both used on top prospects or eventually traded in an effort to get a big star and end “The Process”.
And over the past 3 years or so, the first part of this logic shined, as the Sixers got high draft pick after high draft pick. But the final part of Hinkie’s Process remained unfulfilled until last week, when the Sixers made a deal with the Boston Celtics for the first overall draft pick. With the ability to choose any player they wanted, the Sixers chose to select Markelle Fultz, a freshman point guard out of Washington.
Sixers fans, “The Process” is finally over. Welcome to the Moment.
There’s no doubt about it: the 2017 New York Yankees have hit a wall. The club has lost 8 out of 9 games, has lost its division lead (they are now tied with the Boston Red Sox for first place), and the club is having trouble in all facets of the game.
However, all is not lost for the Yankees. As tempting as it is to go out and shake up the roster, the Yankees are probably better served riding this out and remaining patient, rather than doing something rash that the club will regret down the road. Continue reading →
The rotation was supposed to be the weak link of the 2017 New York Yankees team. Sure, Masahiro Tanaka was the unquestioned ace of the staff, but every other starter was a major wild card. CC Sabathia was good in 2016, but was another year older. The only thing consistent about Michael Pineda and Luis Severino had been their inconsistency to date, and the fifth starter’s spot wasn’t even confirmed until after the first week of the season (the spot went to unproven southpaw Jordan Montgomery).
But as the Yankees sit in first place on the morning of June 8, 2017, it’s fair to say that the team’s rotation has not gone according to plan at all. However, this is a good thing. Even though Tanaka has struggled mightily this year, the performance of his fellow starters has made up for his poor play. Sabathia, Pineda, Montgomery, and especially Severino are no longer question marks on the 2017 Yankees, but rather exclamation points: something special that the Yankees can brag about.
The 2016-17 NHL Season is now entering its final chapter: the Stanley Cup Final. After a long, arduous regular season and a grueling first three rounds of the postseason, the moment hockey fans wait for all year long is finally upon us.
In this year’s rendition of the Stanley Cup Final, the defending champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins, will return to the Finals to attempt to win their second straight championship. Standing in their way are the upstart Nashville Predators, who roared all the way to the NHL’s grandest stage despite entering the playoffs with the weakest record of the field.
The stage is set for yet another great final round, and the festivities will kick off on Memorial Day at 8:00 in Pittsburgh on NBC. Here’s Overtime’s comprehensive Stanley Cup Final preview.