Thursday Afternoon Thoughts

To the top, I say!!

Well yesterday was the first day in HTP history in which I did not write a single blog entry. Sorry about that. The all-star coverage was a bit exhausting, but we’re back at it today. Here are some thoughts I have heading into the second half:

1. The Yanks are in darn good shape. They have an absolutely elite starting rotation that features some second-half guys. Baseball comes down to starting pitching, and you can’t help but be amazed that not one of these guys has missed a start because of an injury. We certainly can’t count on that to continue, but the way things are going, it’s hard not to be psyched about it.

2. The Red Sox are in pretty bad shape. Five games out is not awful, but they have a significant group of underperforming players, and the injury list just continues to grow. Putting together a good team is one thing. Staying healthy is an entirely different thing. The Sox can’t really afford to fall any further back in a division with the Rays and Yanks already ahead of them. While it’s not the 11th hour for the Sox, they’ve got to go on a nice streak out of the gate in the second half.

3. Trade Deadline. It’s a-comin’, whether you like it or not. The Yanks missed out on Cliff Lee, which I have mixed feelings about (though mostly good ones). What the Yanks need at the deadline is bullpen and bench help. Someone who can platoon with Thames at DH would go a long way, and an extra arm in the bullpen that can truly be trusted would go an even longer way. While I don’t think Cashman will make some huge move, I trust him. He knows what he’s doing, and I’m sure he has things up his sleeve.

4. The contenders. Every division leader is separated by fewer than five games from the second-place team. That’s good for baseball and baseball fans. Should make an exciting second half of the season.

5. Let’s say the season were to end today. Who do you start in the postseason? You definitely don’t need a 5-man rotation, and it doesn’t make sense to use five guys, because you want to hand the ball to CC as many times as you can. So what do you do? Can’t send Vazquez to the pen: he’s been damn effective. You could send Hughes to limit his innings and use him in the eighth, but who wants to lose Hughes as a starter now? Send Burnett to the pen? Is that crazy? I’m sure this problem will sort itself out in the form of injuries/ineffectiveness by October, but it’s a problem every team would love to have.

Okay, that’s all for now. First game back is tomorrow, and there will be plenty of coverage right here at HTP. Enjoy, and GO YANKS!

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