By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)
New York Yankees First Half Awards
The All-Star break is upon us across baseball, and for the New York Yankees an injury ridded first half has left them at (47-47) at the break, with a not so bright looking second half coming. Despite what in Yankees standards is a disappointing first half, they are just five games back in the AL East behind the Baltimore Orioles, but with missing four starters from the Opening Day roster will likely spell doom for the Yankees in the second half.
Most Valuable Player: Brett Gardner
For the Yankees this season there has been a lot of disappointment throughout the lineup, but Brett Gardner has been the Yankees best and most consistent hitter. In 2014, Gardner is hitting .279 with already a career-high nine homeruns in the first half of the season. He is still also doing well stealing bases, despite the power surge this season, as he has 15 steals so far. Considering he has been batting lead-off a majority of the season, Gardner also has 37 RBIs, which is fourth on the team. Gardner is currently leading all position players on the team with a WAR of 2.9, which is 1.1 points better than the next best Yankee, Jacoby Ellsbury.
Least Valuable Player: Carlos Beltran
With a lot of disappointment in the Yankees lineup, Carlos Beltran is leading that charge. Beltran was handed a three-year $45 million dollar contract in the off-season, but with a lot of injuries, his production on the field has suffered. This season, Beltran has played in only 61 games, while batting a dreadful .216, with an OBP at just .271, which are both on pace to be career-lows by a large margin. Beltran is currently on the seven-say concussion DL, after taking a ball to the face that broke his nose in the batting cages. Alfonso Soriano also has to be mentioned as a huge disappointment for the 2014 Yankees, as after a monster second half of 2013 with the team, Soriano was struggled so much he was designated for assignment. As expected Soriano cleared waivers, and is now a free agent.
CY Young: Masahiro Tanaka
Easily the Yankees best pitcher thus far this season has been rookie, Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka leads the Yankees and all the major leagues with 12 wins this season, and has transitioned very smoothly coming over from Japan. Tanaka is currently (12-4) with an ERA of 2.51, which landed him a well-deserved spot on the American League All-Star team. Sadly for the Yankees and Tanaka, he felt discomfort in his throwing elbow after a start against the Cleveland Indians. It was found that he has a partially torn UCL ligament, and instead of undergoing surgery, he will try to rehab the injury, but will be out for at least six weeks, a crushing blow to the Yankees playoff hopes.
Not CY Young: C.C. Sabathia
A disappointing 2013 season for C.C. Sabathia, didn’t get off to a much better start in 2014 before it was announced that Sabathia would be missing the rest of the season with a knee injury that may require a micro fracture surgery. Before his season came to an end, Sabathia was (3-4), with an ERA of 5.28. The Yankees were really counting on Sabathia to have a bounce back season, but it turned out to be the polar opposite, as now Sabathia’s career seems to be in jeopardy.