Let’s begin with the Red Sox. Wow. What a start. Two things I’ve been watching. First, Betts and Bogearts. Second, David Price. After a lackluster second half in 17, Betts is doing fine. His bat is alive but lacking in power, though he’s not a 35 homer guy, so that’s OK. Bogearts was on fire before he hurt his ankle. Fortunately, it shouldn’t derail his season. I expect him to emerge as a force this season. His grand slam the other day was a clinic on working the count, getting your pitch and crushing it. A beautiful thing to watch.
David Price. I thought Price was one of the most important players to watch this April. His talent is top 5. But after getting 35 starts (plus 1 in the playoffs), 230 innings and, for him, a wretched 3.99 ERA in 2016, then an injury year in 2017 where he made 11 starts and a 3.38 ERA, expectations were muddled. At 32 years old we are left to wonder whether Price could recapture has younger form, or would age and injury reduce him to mediocracy. Well if his hot start is any indication, the Yankees are in for a fight this year for the AL East crown. Price: Two 7 inning starts. 7 hits total and ZERO runs. I watched one of these games. His location was decent and his fastball is 94-95, so his velocity is where it should be. If he can keep it up and stay away from injury, he’s good enough to fight for a Cy Young this year. It would be his second. Combined with Chris Sale at the top of the rotation, they may have the best 1-2 punch. The Red Sox will easily win more than 90 games this year. How much more? We’ll see.
Oh the Yankees. I could do this in one word. Relax. Their fine. It’s been a week. It’s been cold and their bullpen has let them down. Their bullpen is great and will be great and will hold on to many of the 7 and 8 run leads handed to them this year. They will have their slumps. They will disappoint at times, but in the end it will be OK. The part I was a little concerned with is doing great. Their starters. They are 4-1 with a 3.08 ERA. (the bull pen is 1-4 with a 4.89 ERA.) If they can hold the former, tighten up the latter, they will win more than 90 games.
I am so impressed with Aaron Judge. He is looking more and more like a good hitter. Not just his prodigious power, but his command of the strikezone and putting up good at bats. This is a guy that may be able to put up seasons with a 300+ average and a 600+ slugging several times in his career. That’s Hall of Fame stuff. Like I said, I am impressed. Stanton on the other hand is just Giancarlo being Giancarlo. Get used to it Yankee fans. He has timing issues and he goes into slumps. They can last for weeks. But when he’s on, and he will be, look out. Balls will be flying all over Yankee Stadium and landing in places where you’ve never seen balls go before. Then the rest of the lineup will be fine. Neil Walker was a great late pickup. A perfect fit for the Yankees this year. Solid professional hitter at second base to fill a lineup slot and allow the youngsters time to grow without putting the pressure of a starting job in New York on their shoulders. 776 lifetime OPS. Didi is 737. Not an insignificant difference. So yeah. Relax Yankee fans. It’s early and this is a very good team. Everything will be fine. (Unless of course everybody gets injured and the whole thing falls apart. But that can happen to anybody. So, yeah. It’s fine.)