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MLB Today: New York Yankees Showing Signs of Life

July 21, 2021 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Franmil Reyes is supplying power for the Cleveland Indians.
Franmil Reyes has been scorching since coming off the IL. (Sports Illustrated)

The New York Yankees have underachieved for a good chunk of the season, and much panic has ensued among its fan base as a result.

Recently, however, the team has shown signs that things are turning around. With three straight wins and a 7-3 record over the last 10 games, the Bronx Bombers have managed to move into a tie with Toronto (Buffalo) for third place in the AL East. The Yanks are now just four games back in the Wild Card race, so there’s certainly plenty of hope.

However, one area that’s really hurt this team in 2021 is some awful baserunning. As per Pinstripealley.com, the Yanks are dead last in the bigs in extra bases taken percentage (how often runners advance two bases on a single or three on a double). Despite such a lack of aggressive running, they are somehow also second worst in terms of most outs made on the bases. What?!

The good news is the Yanks’ bullpen has been really strong, ranking seventh in MLB with a 3.54 and third in WHIP at 1.16.

This despite the struggles of Aroldis Chapman. Last season, he was striken with Covid, and saw his ERA rise despite a nice bounce back with his command.

This year, Chapman has endured the worst ERA and WHIP of his career. He’s tied his career high with five wins, but when your closer is earning victories, it usually means he’s vulturing them because he’s blowing leads. Not good.

On Tuesday, Chapman earned his first save in exactly a month, blowing a pair of chances and suffering a loss in the interim. We’re not suggesting his job is in jeopardy, but he hasn’t looked like the same pitcher since the beginning of June.

Quick Hits

  • Franmil Reyes, who just returned from an oblique strain a couple of weeks ago, is having a real fine season. Despite an 0-for-4 showing on Tuesday, he’s slugging .625 since coming off the IL and he’s taken his extra-base pop to a new level this season. Whatever Reyes has lost in BA and OBP this season, he’s more than made up for with power (and we’re not talking about cheap dingers either… see the video below).

  • Shohei Ohtani‘s pace has slowed a bit this month as he’s been having some contact issues, whiffing 23 times over the last 12 games. Given how historic a season he’s having power-wise, Fantasy owners are unlikely to complain that his K rate has risen for the second straight season and is now perilously close to 30 per cent. Regardless of whether this worries you or not, with the numbers he’s putting up both at the plate and on the mound, Ohtani could be just what the game needs — a feel good story to help baseball win its way back into our hearts, and perhaps give fans something other than StickyGate to focus on.
  • Boston has been scuffling a bit lately and its AL East lead is down to a single game over the Rays, but some good news may be on the horizon. Ace Chris Sale looked fantastic on Tuesday in his second rehab start, twirling 3 2/3 hitless frames while punching out six. He’ll probably need another rehab start or two, but he’s damn close to returning to the BoSox rotation and could be a great asset down the stretch, even if his outings may be shorter than what we’re accustomed to.

RotoRob Tune of the Day

Canadian instrumental band Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet actually won a Juno award in 1992 as Instrumental Artist of the Year. In 1987, they released Schlagers!, a seven-inch EP featuring “Good Cop Bad Cop,” which is among their more iconic songs.

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