By Rich Bauer
Unfortunately, the news surrounding the Yankees this past few days sounds like something from the military, “Next man up.” Thanks to a foot injury to Greg Bird, big Chris Carter steps in at 1st base and Austin Romine replaces Gary Sanchez behind the plate due to a bicep injury that will keep Sanchez on the DL for 10 days and out of the lineup till late in the month.
On top of that, the bullpen, which was supposed to be a team strength, has not come through, blowing leads in two games. But let’s stay positive and look at the start of Matt Holliday. Granted it’s only six games into the season but Holliday, a free agent signing this winter, has come to play.
Holliday’s rigorous five days a week off-season gym workouts have prepared him physically to perform at the high standards he has set throughout his career even at 37 years of age. He is so committed to excellence that he moved his family to Florida from the suburbs of St. Louis so that he could intensify his baseball activities outside in good weather from November through February.
Being able to play outfield, 1st Base and DH he will contribute on a regular basis. He is off to a good start hitting for power, average, getting on base (five walks Sunday), and congrats are due him for becoming just the seventh active player to reach 2,000 career hits.
What does have me concerned is something nobody can do anything about which is the schedule for the rest of April. The Yankees play at home for the next two weeks. The Tampa Rays are in and we know they are always tough followed by the new look St. Louis Cardinals for a four game series and then the much improved Chicago White Sox. Then it’s on the road to Pittsburgh and Boston for the Bombers.
No team in the history of the game has won anything in April but plenty have buried themselves in a hole out of which it’s tough to climb. The Yankees that are called upon over the next couple of weeks need to step up.
photos: mlb.com (Holliday); nj.com (Romine)