Still way too early to worry about lifeless offense

Report: Astros, Mariners among teams interested in Eduardo Nunez
Yankees rank 13th in Baseball America's farm system rankings
(AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
(AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

The start of the season has a way of magnifying things. We can’t help it. We’ve been baseball starved for months and while Spring Training is fun in its own way, it can’t compare to meaningful games. Once the season starts and we see new faces in new uniforms, we get excited and look at things a little too deeply. I did it just this morning. If that CC Sabathia start happens any other day of the year, I probably wouldn’t think twice about it.

That same idea applies to the offense. The Yankees haven’t hit a lick these last two days, especially against Astros starters Scott Feldman and Jarred Cosart (combined 11.2 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K). New York’s offense went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position last night and 2-for-8 in those spots on Opening Day. Few things are are frustrating as stranding runners. The much-hyped outfield is hitting a combined .103 with a .212 OBP while the oft-criticized infield has hit .278 with a .350 OBP. Up is down, black is white, nothing makes sense anymore.

That’s because the season is two games old. The Yankees as a team have had 73 plate appearances so far. That’s a small amount for a single player, nevermind an entire team. If these last two games happened in the middle of June — and trust me, they’ll stop hitting for a few games several times this year, that’s baseball — we’d notice but not think much about it. Because it’s the start of the season, it’s a Really Big Deal.

“We’re going to be fine, man. We haven’t been able to put anything together offensively, but we have what it takes to play better and win ballgames. We don’t need to worry about it,” said Carlos Beltran to Mark Feinsand after last night’s game. “That’s part of when a team is cold. Sometimes you put a few guys in scoring position and you have difficulties getting those guys in. It’s just the second game of the season. It’s important to win and every win counts, but we’ve had good pitching from them, so you have to give credit for what they’ve been doing.”

I mean, of course there’s a chance the Yankees really do stink offensively despite all the new additions. That’s always possibility but I find it very hard to believe. Jacoby Ellsbury (calf) and Alfonso Soriano (flu, shoulder) were behind the other position players in camp because of injuries, Mark Teixeira (wrist) and Derek Jeter (legs) are coming back from lost seasons, so it’s no surprise they look rusty. The offense has positively stunk these last two games, but it has been just that, two games. It’s annoying but hardly a cause for concern at this point.

Report: Astros, Mariners among teams interested in Eduardo Nunez
Yankees rank 13th in Baseball America's farm system rankings
  • Jimmy

    Roberts kinda looks like Bobby Abreu in that pic.

  • RetroRob

    Two games at the start of the season will lead to overreactions either direction. It’s two games. Glad I missed last night’s game, though, and I’ll miss tonight’s, too. Hope I return home to a win, though, because Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, these are the f’ing Astros!

  • Masahiro Dinero

    Quick, someone get this team a chicken salad sandwich on rye.. untoasted, with a side of potato salad, and a cup of tea!

    • gageagainstthemachine

      …and make them abstain from sex for better job performance! That worked for George too!

      • Kenny

        Worked for Joe Louis too, they say. Anyway, he didn’t have sex while at camp.

  • Joe C

    0-2 to the astros does sux. the thing i cannot stand though is listening to well you have to give scott feldmen credit really a .500 pitcher with junk stuff ok next you have to give cozart credit a 23 year old kid. I get sick of hearing just like last year giving all these pitchers credit.

    why cant we simple say jeter not there yet he really wasnt all spring, tex still coming back from wrist injury if he ever comes back, ellsbury who knows with him is it is his legs? soriano missed must of training camp. facts are we are an old team that looks that way a lot of days, and when one struggles most of them do.

    If we start out 0-3 to the AA astros all is ask is for giradi, jack curry and bob lorenz for love of god not say you have to give Brett F ing Oberholtzer credit for the way he pitched tonight pitched them inside kept them off stride enough with that!!!!

    • Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew) RIP Egon

      They are on the YES Network, it would behoove them to make a positive spin on almost everything.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Why can’t we just say those two pitchers were better than our hitters those two games?

      Go look at a list of the pitchers who sometimes shut out any team in baseball on any given day.

  • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

    Weren’t satisfied posting this in the other thread?

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      Reply fail to Joe C.

      Hypocrisy, thy name is peckerhead.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Nothing to see here, folks.

  • Ken

    As far as I am concerned, the Yankees should have been fired up right out of the box. It’s only two games? Tell us that when we finish out of the playoffs by, say, two games- games against the worst team in baseball we can’t afford to give away.

    • Mr. Roth

      So you’re saying that all a team has to do to win baseball games is be “fired up”?

    • Kenny

      “Fired up” don’t mean much in baseball. The whole damn roster can be “fired up,” but if the fingers of the opposing pitcher (who was drunk last night) are alive and he has all his stuff, he’ll put the fire out pretty damned quick. “Fired up” is for ND vs USC.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      But it won’t be the other two games they’ll lose at another point in the season to another shitty team, or even a non-shitty team. Right.

      Where do you people get this stuff?

  • gageagainstthemachine

    Tonight has got to be different. I honestly will have a hard time accepting an opening series sweep to the Astros as “just a rough start to the season” if that’s what happens tonight. If all of the Yankees were on crutches and wearing blindfolds, they should still be able to win 2 of 3 against a team like the Astros any day of the week. Granted, they could win 10 in a row after getting swept to open the season, but I would still find it a tough pill to swallow. It’s the Astros! C’mon Bombers! You’re way better than this crap.

  • Mr. Roth

    After 2 games (which statistically means pretty much nothing) Brian Roberts is looking like an ideal candidate for the 2 spot in the lineup. He’s been putting together some really nice long at bats, and making great contact. Add in that he’s looked more than competent in the field, and so far he’s been looking like a really smart signing.

    Hopefully I’ll be able to say all this again in 2 months, and then again in 4.

    • I’m One

      As long as you’re just saying that he looks like a #2 hitter and not that the team needs one. ‘Cause that would mean that Jeter is sucking and that wouldn’t be a good thing for this team. :-)

      • Mr. Roth

        I’m not knocking Jeter at all. It’s all just praise for Roberts. He’s really looked great at the plate so far.

  • LarryM Fl

    I have no problem with this team offensively,pitching either rotation or bullpen, running with speed and game smarts. But I believe we will see defensively a tale of two teams. Strong in the outfield and soft in the infield. Will it curtail this team making the playoffs. It could. It depends on how many bounces go our way.

  • TWTR

    I mentioned this on the game thread. Cervelli may be their best reserve hitter. Until that is rebutted by performance, and if the current options underperform, a third catcher on the roster would enable Cervy to PH.

    • Wheels

      Yeah, get his bat in there.

  • jim

    Really? 2 games in and it’s still to early to be worried? That’s one of the most shocking things I’ve ever heard!!

  • soxhata

    Enough with our veterans with their excuses.CC was ” too amped up”.Soriano is “too aggressive”.Tex says his wrist will”never be the same”.I broke my wrist and did light duty at work,for 3 wks,and to tell you the truth,my wrist feels stronger.Meanwhile,the Astros look loose,and playing good ball.Veterans are babied in spring training,and need more road trips to get at bats in game settings.So far,it has been f’in brutal.

  • Baked McBride

    One thing that is reassuring is that Phil Hughes still sux ash

  • Andy_C_23

    Is it a prerequisite that you end sentences with “man” if you’re the primary right fielder at YS3 and not named Ichiro (or Xavier Nady)?

    • Betty Lizard


      I think you’re on to something.

      (I miss you, Nick.)

  • CA Dave

    Being too early in the season is not the issue, the justified worry is that this is a group of old men trying to compete against youth. In sports, youth wins. Even McCann looked very old during the last 2 months of last season. Ellsbury and Gardner are getting to the age where they are not going to run as much, which takes away the best part of their game. Really to me, Nunez, Almonte, and Sanchez seemed to be the core of the young players that might help might help and they are not on the team. I think what we are seeing will be the norm for my favorite team, the Yanks. I’d like to see Jeter, Posada, and Pettitte take over the coaching duties. I have no faith that Joe Girardi can bring out the best in young players.

    • Kenny

      I have some sympathy for this view. Much better to have Almonte than Ichiro. A little too early, though, for Sanchez.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      In sports, youth wins.

      With this internet thingy, it’s harder to just make shit up without appearing to be a moron.

      • Havok9120

        Bu-bu-but St. Louis!!

    • Mr. Roth

      “In sports, youth wins.”

      Which is exactly why the Astros and Marlins were two of the best teams in baseball last ye…wait, what?

  • Darren

    We’d all be feeling a lot better about being 0-2 if in one of those games we lost 12-10 because Phelps, Warren and Nuno gave up 8 runs.

    Or would we?

    • Lukaszek

      Honestly yeah, I dont know why but watching a team with really bad pitching is much more swallowable than watching a team with really bad hitting. Really bad pitching at least allows for some great games (‘member the Marcus Thames walk-off game)

      • Lukaszek

        Besides if I wanna see low-scoring games I could just watch football especially with the World Cup right around the corner

        Go Team USA/Russia, will be rooting for both!!!

  • nycsportzfan

    No kidding, its not worry time about the offense yet. Like I said in the game thread last night, one win tonight where we score 4-7runs , and boom, we’ve had only one less game of bad offense then good offense. Its just simply to early.

    To many new pieces, have to give them a chance to gel alittle, before being dissapointed in them.

  • fred robbins

    its not the two games— it’s the feeble excuses.

    I don’t think Tex should be batting in a pressure position in the lineup. He should trade spots with Gardner. Tex has already told us why he will fail and that is an unacceptable attitude. Don’t you think?
    How can a manager trust a player who continues to say his wrist will never be the same. He is one of the biggest free agent busts and now we have Jacoby for 155 million while Boston signed Grady Sizemore for a million and change…
    Where were the Yankees on taking a chance on Kazmir instead of Scott Sizemore? Who does not take a chance on a left who showed great promise last season with Cleveland.

    It’s not the two games. It is the continuing lack of baseball smarts by this whole organization.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      It is simply amazing that such an incompetent organization has made the playoffs 17 of the past 19 years while winning 5 WS during that span.

    • Mr. Roth

      It takes two to tango.

      Force free agent to sign contract:

      [x] ON
      [_] OFF

      There we go, now it should be working.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    This just in: All the old Yankees died today of giving so little a shit that they forgot to have their hearts continue to beat.

    Carmen Angelini starting at short tonight as a result.

    This just in: Carmen Angelini dropped dead too. Cito Culver starting at short.

    Someone keep an eye on Cito.

    • Lukaszek

      You know your team’s doctors are terrible when five of your finest shortstops die in less than a year

    • Truther

      You’re lost again. Over here bud:

      • Havok9120

        Always nice to hear from you.

        See you next week.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          I’m actually shocked they even have an SBNation blog.

  • Randy Keisler

    Two games into the season and people are already jumping off bridges worrying about the offense. No shit you don’t worry after two games.

    • pft2

      Yeah, have to give it at least 3 games.

      The offense was worrisome to begin with, specifically Tex and Jeter.

      In ST the opening day lineup batted 220 with 6 HR in almost 400 AB. They have simply carried forward their poor hitting. Obviously, they should be better than this and probably are, but until they show it you have to worry. Not to the extent you jump off bridges.

      I expect an explosion tonight as I think they may be a better offensive team against LHP’ers and the guy they are facing was awful in ST and had a 4.5 ERA in the minors last year (better numbers in MLB but these could be a fluke). If he shuts them down head for the bridges.

  • will

    Looks like montgomery and burawa got the job done today. Banuelos is staying in tampa right?

  • fred robbins

    sweet willie– the Yankees have one 1 world series since 2000– the one in 2009- and that was the result of 400 million spent on free agents.. those free agents are since then in the tank— so in reality– they have ONE title in 13 years and have showed no willingness to really develop talent and pitching — see cardinals, rays, giants, Oakland, etc… the titles are nice- but it is also nice to see a team worth rooting for that has young hungry players, not satisfied complacent players who are both over-paid and under-performing. but yes– look at the team that won those titles from 1996-2000— there is no resemblance to that kind of character and George was around at that time to make a difference- not an over-tactical manager who plays an infield in in the first inning of game one of a 162 game season.

    • Mr. Roth

      “but it is also nice to see a team worth rooting for that has young hungry players”

      So go root for a different team. I hear the Marlins and Astros are looking for some fans.

  • rogue

    This isn’t based on just two games. It’s based on recent seasons. If it was, I would have been all over Ellsbury too. Rather, I liked the FA signing and believe that pitching, defense, and speed trumps HRs.

    When was the last time Tex had a good year at the plate? Soriano?

    Soriano is 38, and we all now how great he is not getting on base and at whiffing. Is SLG hasn’t been higher than .500 since 2008. Is it any wonder that he’s 0/12 with 4Ks in 2014?

    Tex is still uncomfortable with his wrist. His OBP has dropped every year from 2008 – 2012. At least he’s 2/7 with a BB in 2014.

    Beltran and his big 3 year contract scares me. His OBP has dropped every season from 2011 – 2013.

    McCann? Does he really belong in the middle of the lineup? His last 2 years, his OPS has been under .800. I like him, but only within bottom half of the lineup.

    Maybe the Yankees should think outside the box. Bench Soriano and put Ichiro in the MIDDLE of the order. He’s still got speed and can hit for contact. At this point what do they have to lose? In 2013, his LD% was over 20% for the second straight season, and his BABIP of .285 was an outlier.

    In the bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded, 2 outs, down by 2, who would you rather see at the plate, Ichiro or Soriano? You know my answer.