Fourteen games into the regular season, 22 Yankees have played fairly significant roles as everyday players, starting pitchers, crucial relievers or reserves with legitimate playing time.
Most of those 22 have gotten off to well-defined starts. They’re either playing well or they’re not.
Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, Russell Martin, Eric Chavez, Andruw Jones, CC Sabathia, Mariano Rivera, Bartolo Colon, Dave Robertson and Freddy Garcia are undeniably playing well at this point. Sabathia deserves a better record, Robertson had one wild inning and some of these guys have been only part-time players, but this group has done it part.
Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter, Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova have struggled. Nova showed some promise in his first start but hasn’t pitched out of the fifth since, and Jeter hit .300 during the most recent home stand, but his overall production has looked a lot like last year.
That leaves eight Yankees having somewhat uneven starts to the season.
Mark Teixeira — Overall Teixeira’s raw production has been good. He leads the team in runs, home runs and RBI. He’s certainly not off to a bad start, but he did go through one seven-game stretch with only three hits and one RBI. That’s half the season to this point.
Joba Chamberlain — Before last night I might have included Chamberlain among the players off to strong starts. Last night’s outing, though, gives him three shaky outings in nine appearances. Like Teixeira, Chamberlain hasn’t been bad by any means — and I have to think the Yankees are encouraged by Chamberlain’s overall performance — but he’s been prone to blowups here and there. Nothing especially bad, just occasionally uneven.
Jorge Posada — Is this the strangest start for any of the Yankees? Posada has just seven hits in 43 at-bats, but five of those hits have been home runs and he’s drawn seven walks. Clearly this is not the best start on record, but it might be the best .163 batting average on record.
A.J. Burnett — Three starts. Three wins. Absolutely no one is going to complain about Burnett at this point, but it’s worth acknowledging two things: 1. Burnett was also terrific last April, and we all know how that worked out; 2. Burnett has a 4.67 ERA that proves he hasn’t been quite perfect.
Curtis Granderson — The good: Granderson is hitting .333/.333/.933 against lefties. The bad: He’s hitting .194/.286/.387 against right-handers. Granderson’s history suggests he’ll turn things around against the right-handers. Can he keep this success going against the lefties?
Nick Swisher — He has yet to hit a home run this season, and he has just two extra-base hits. During the most recent home stand, though, Swisher hit .333 with a .389 on-base percentage. He also has eight RBI, the same number as five-homer Posada. The bat is starting to show some life, and with Swisher the home runs will surely come, but he didn’t do much through the first week and a half.
Boone Logan — Logan is probably guy I was closest to including in the list of struggling Yankees, but he’s redeemed himself a little bit in his past two outings. He’s had three pretty bad outings and two pretty good outings.
Rafael Soriano — You might remember a couple of unthinkably bad outings from Soriano. He’s pitched seven times this season, and he pitched a scoreless inning in five of them. In the other two, he allowed four hits, four walks and been charged with six runs. That’s as uneven as it gets.
Associated Press photos