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Yankees Hot Corner – What a long, strange road trip it’s been

The New York Yankees are off to a torrid start, having the best record in baseball at 31-13.  However, the way they got there was extremely unorthodox, and quite frankly one of the weirdest road trips I’ve ever seen a team go through.

The Yankees went down to Washington to play the Nationals in a two game series.  They got through five innings and were supposed to play a double-header after their first game was rained out in the 5th inning, but that series never got started.  They’ll continue that series in mid-June when it hopefully won’t rain for five days straight.

Next was Kansas City, where the Yankees wound up sleeping in Dulles Airport in Washington overnight before heading up to face the Royals.  They were most definitely jet-lagged in their first game back, losing 5-2 to the Royals thanks to Gleyber Torres’ two errors and C.C. Sabathia’s poor start.  Of course, in typical Yankee fans they mashed the ball and won their eight straight series.  The Yankees wound up hitting the cover off the ball, to the tune of nine home runs in their two finals games in Kansas City.

Gary Sanchez has been on a tear, hitting two home runs on Saturday and shaping back into the best hitter on this deep Yankees squad.  Gleyber Torres continued to produce, picking up some RBI along the way and becoming the youngest Yankee with 15 RBI this early in the season since Mickey Mantle in 1951.  Not bad company to be associated with, eh?

Miguel Andujar on Sunday was a double short of a cycle and was masterful at the plate once again.  It’s going to be very tough to take him out of the lineup if and when Brandon Drury ever comes back.  It’s almost impossible to take Andujar out at this point and Drury should be used as an insurance policy if Andujar ever gets hurt on goes into a deep slump.

Sonny Gray was magnificent in his start on Sunday against the Royals.  The Kansas City lineup isn’t exactly made up of world beaters, but Gray carved through them for eight innings, only giving up one run and attacking hitters in a way he hasn’t since early last season.  He’s seemed to get his mojo back and hopefully can build on this fantastic start.

In some negative news, Didi Gregorius is the coldest player in baseball right now.  He’s hitting just .027 in his last ten games and looks completely lost at the plate.  These kinds of things happen for any good player, but Didi has been historically bad lately.  It was good on Aaron Boone to sit him down for two games and help him recoup and hopefully gain some confidence back.  Didi will be just fine, but it’s definitely a big step down from what he was doing previously.  Hopefully Didi can regain his MVP form in the coming weeks.

Unfortunately for Clint Frazier, he was sent back down to AAA after just one start.  It’s not his fault, as he is still one of the highest touted prospects in baseball, but it’s a numbers game.  With Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner, and Aaron Hicks, it’s a very crowded outfield and there’s just no way to get him in there unless one of those four guys gets hurt.  You can’t expect Aaron Boone to take out the NL MVP and AL MVP runner up just to play the young kid.

All is well in Yankee land once again, as they drilled five home runs on their way to a victory over the Texas Rangers on Monday.  This is the first of three games for the Yankees before they head back home to face a red-hot Los Angeles Angels team. As long as the Yankees win the series they’ll be on track to head into June atop the AL East.  It’s a very long season, but having the best record in baseball at this point can’t hurt.  What a far cry from the team that was struggling to stay above .500 early in the season.

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