Thoughts following the 2017 home opener

We are now seven games into the season, and the Yanks are coming off their third win. They’ve looked so much better these past two days than they did the other five games, which is a plus. There is no game tomorrow however, so I thought I would share some of my thoughts heading into the third off day of the season.
Photo Credit: John Munson

Aaron Judge looks so much better at the plate than he did in 2016
Aaron Judge homered off of Alex Cobb today in the fourth inning, a long fly ball into the left field seats. It was his second home run of the season, and second in as many days. I don’t know about you, but I think he looks much more focused at the plate this year. He’s laying off of more pitches and working good at-bats. He looked like he was trying to do way too much at the plate last year, and this year he knows what he’s doing, even if he’s not hitting everything. Obviously, he’s going to strike out. It’s hard not to when you’re 6’7”. But as long as he keeps this up, his strikeout numbers won't nearly be as gaudy as they were last year.
Photo Credit: John Munson
Brett Gardner is being much more aggressive on the basepaths
Brett Gardner has five stolen bases this year. He stole his fifth base on May 6th last year. This is a very good sign. One knock on Gardner last year was that he wasn’t attempting to steal many bases last year (he stole 16 in total) but his aggression so far this year has been a nice change. Hopefully we will get to see more of it as the season progresses.
Photo Credit: John Munson
I have no idea what to think of Michael Pineda
Michael Pineda has two starts this year. In one of them, he gave up four runs and didn’t make it out of the fourth inning. In the other (today) he went 7.2 innings, gave up just two hits and one run, struck out eleven, and carried a perfect game into the seventh inning. So, uh…. what? We’ve known for a while that Big Mike possesses this type of potential, but to actually see it in action is something else. The only other time he was this dominant was his 16 strikeout performance on Mother’s Day in 2015. Hopefully he starts looking like this Pineda, and not the one we saw for most of last year, and last week.
Photo Credit: John Munson
Jacoby Ellsbury and Chase Headley are actually hitting…?
Chase Headley seems to have forgotten about his non-April success from last year and is on fire at the plate this year this year, which I’m happy about. Naturally, everyone will always hate him for…reasons... but it’s good to see him living up to his contract somewhat. Ellsbury is much of the same. If both of these guys can keep up their success to an extent, the Yankees will have a much better offense this year. A lot of the performance of the younger guys depends on the performance of the veterans. If the vets are hitting, the Baby Bombers have less pressure on them to perform. Let’s hope we see more of this.

Article by: Alex Weir


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