Following a horrific month of April in which they went 8-14, the New York Yankees unleashed a 16-13 record in the month of May.
Thus far, the 2016 New York Yankees campaign can be described as one of obstacles, inconsistency, and true underperformance. With all that has gone wrong, the organization has to be smiling at their 24-28 record as they start progression in June.
None of it would be possible without a stellar month of May for the most part.
The Yankees saw a 45-run increase when comparing this past month to April. The team’s ERA dropped nearly a full run (-0.87) and they whiffed 42 more opposing batters.
The month saw the emergence of the inevitable three-headed monster of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman. The trio lived up to every expectation, sealing six wins sequentially. Chapman, the latter end, has been as good as advertised, going 7-7 on saves since being activated from suspension.
How about that questioned starting staff? A miserable 4-10, 4.94 ERA in April turned into a 12-11, 4.11 ERA May. Everyone has chipped in with the exception of Michael Pineda, who continues to get rocked, and Luis Severino, whose subpar performance and injury has him in Scranton.
Masahiro Tanaka has continued to be an ace, CC Sabathia’s unreal transformation resulted in a brilliant 1.04 ERA for the month, Nathan Eovaldi has looked like a future ace, and Ivan Nova possesses a stellar 3.41 ERA since stepping into the rotation.
So, yes, April showers did bring May flowers for the New York Yankees. However, those flowers have not completely bloomed into June contention as of yet.
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Clear problems remain up and down this team that simply cannot be hidden.
Organizational faith in both Alex Rodriguez, .174/.240/.413 slash, and Mark Teixeira, .185/.279/.272 slash, is evidently dwindling. Brett Gardner’s 2015 all-star season is a thing of the past with his brutal .211 average out the two-hole. Right there are three pivotal pieces that have not even produced a fragment of what they are capable of.
In addition, Michael Pineda, as mentioned before, still holds a rotation spot with his dreadful 6.92 ERA that ranks last among qualified major league starting pitchers.
With so many critical statures on the roster underperforming, a 16-13 May record and only a four-game sub-.500 overall record should be a thrill. It leaves them right in the mix.
With that being said, if the Yankees truly want to be an American League force in the month of June and so forth, the current formula just cannot get it done.
The offense simply cannot be averaging five runs one week and be M.I.A. the next. The starting rotation cannot be superb one time through and falter immensely the next time through.
The Yankees need to find an even mix, and if that mix is mediocre at best then that will be what fans are dealing with. However, the full potential of this team has not come close to surfacing in 2016.
May saw the first substantial winning streak for the club, the first clean sweep, and three more series wins than they had the entire month prior.
To get to .500 entering the heat of the summer, relevancy in the eyes of many, the Yankees must go 15-12 in the month of June. The result would be nearly identical to their May output and put them at 39-39.
Is that what June will equate to?
That very question will be answered by a handful of aging players that were enormous to the team’s 2015 playoff berth. They have ground to makeup, divisional games to be played, and mojo to be regained.
The one factor working for them: time is still their friend.