August Preliminary Report: Yankees

New York Yankees
• The Yankees are still the team to beat in the AL East, and if it weren’t for the surprising Rangers in the West, New York would be the dominant force in the American League. Currently, they’re #1 in the AL with a 64-39 won-lost mark.

• If someone were to ask you which Yankee starting pitcher—between Ron Guidry and Ed Figueroa—was 5-0 with five complete games in July, and which was 2-2 with just two complete games, how would you choose? Well, the obvious answer is not the correct one; Guidry, with a PB of 2-9 and a record of 16-1 through June, somehow went just 2-2 in July, though his ERA was 2.65, which hints to a lack of hitting support. Still, for Bob Lemon and his first-place squad, it’s nice to know someone has Guidry’s back when he stumbles.

• Burdened with an abundance of starting pitching, the Yankees shipped underachieving rookie Jim Beattie and injury-plagued veteran Andy Messersmith to their minor league affiliate in Tacoma, and brought up right-handed reliever Bob Kammeyer to help fill out an understaffed bullpen. In addition, NY recalled utility infielder Brian Doyle, who will supply manager Lemon with some much-needed bench support after the loss of both Mickey Rivers and Paul Blair to injuries in late July.

• Rivers will return from his stint on the disabled list on August 7th, but Blair suffered more involved injuries during their collision on July 16th, which required a 60-day DL stay. Blair will not be eligible to return until September 15th, the furthest into the SP78 season that any currently-injured SP78 player will be out of action.

• After Rivers’ recovery, outfielder Lou Piniella will vacate his temporary center field position and platoon with Roy White in left, allowing Rivers to return to his customary spot in center. Also, Cliff Johnson and Jim Spencer will share designated hitter duties during that time.

• As mentioned, New York is stocked with starting pitching, and will go with a 5-man rotation for August: Guidry, Figueroa, Catfish Hunter, Dick Tidrow, and Don Gullett.

• The 32nd Annual Yankees Old-Timers Game, scheduled for July 29th at Yankee Stadium, was canceled due to lack of player commitment and fan interest.

2 responses to “August Preliminary Report: Yankees

  1. The Yankees shallow bullpen will become their Achilles’ heel – as the starting pitching that carries them into the playoffs (maybe) will tire down the stretch, opening a window for the Rangers’ first WS appearance.

    • Well, the bullpen does have Rich Gossage and Sparky Lyle, who between them had a 0.80 ERA in July, but the rest of the relief staff could be considered shaky, so if Guidry and Figueroa and Gullett and Gossage and Lyle all collapse in the final two months, then perhaps the Brewers and Tigers have a chance. Or, if the Yanks advance to the playoffs, then maybe the Rangers or A’s will have one.

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