3. They are the Bronx Bombers again
Consider the Yankees’ offensive output in 2015: they are second in the American League in runs (551), SLG (.429), OPS (.752), total bases (1719), and third in homers (156). By many standards, the Yankees boast a lineup (+63 in run differential) that is arguably the second best in the AL behind their rivals, the Toronto Blue Jays.[su_youtube_advanced url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOGKCvFpgXo”]
The Yankees have a resurgence in Mark Teixeira and a rejuvenated Alex Rodriguez to thank for this production, with the tandem responsible for 55 home runs, 142 RBI, 121 runs, and a collective .894 OPS. Additionally, Teixeira alone has a .915 OPS and A-Rod has eclipsed a great many milestones in his humbling and redemptive campaign. The Yankees have speed and pop in Gardner and Ellsbury (with 30 steals and 17 homers), a nice catching tandem in Brian McCann (20 homers and 69 RBI) and John Ryan Murphy (hitting .282), better-than-expected output from shortstop Didi Gregorious, a young man expected to complete the tall task of replacing the legendary Derek Jeter, and consistency from third baseman Chase Headley.
Carlos Beltran, hitting .268 with 13 homers in only 349 at-bats, his biggest, a monster three-run shot to solidify a Yankee win on Friday, is beginning to show signs of his former self, evidenced by his having hit three homers in the last four games, his latest, a game-tying, two-run shot to eventually force extras in a 8-7 Yankee win on Monday night.
When the roster expands to 40 men in September, the Yankees will call on future first baseman Gregory Bird, forced to spell Teixeira on Monday night after he fouled a pitch off his leg, and leading off the tenth inning with a double, his first at Yankee Stadium, and second baseman Rob Refsynder, a young man who already showed promise in striking his first major league home run in Fenway earlier in the season.
While not Murderers’ Row, the Yankee lineup is back to support its strong rotation and extraordinary relief corps.