2004_06_syankees.jpgBack in March, Gothamist wrote that, “(this edition) of the Yankees should be an improvement over last year’s, especially when you consider the starting pitching.” Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. High-priced imports, Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright have combined for a 15-14 record with an ERA well over 4.50. Wright has not pitched since April and will probably not do so again until August. If you want to find a reason the Yankees are only 46-40, look no further.

Yes, the offense has been inconsistent, but it has been good enough to lead the majors in runs scored with 478. Gary Sheffield, Alex Rodriguez and Hideki Matsui form a dynamic trio in the middle of the order, combining for 54 HR’s and 210 RBI’s. Jason Giambi is hitting again and Derek Jeter is getting on base at close to a .400OBP clip.

The biggest surprise of the Yankee season has been the sudden reliance on youth to supplement their aging roster. When Tony Womack bombed out of the gate, the Yankees brought up Robinson Cano who has hit .288 while playing solid defense. Injuries to the starting pitching necessitated the call up of Chien-Ming Wang who has gone 6-3 with a 3.89ERA. Most recently, Melky Cabrera was called up from AAA to improve the outfield defense.

So, where will the Yankees go from here? Fans will probably not have to wait long for an answer as the Yankees start their post All-Star break schedule with an eleven game road trip to Boston, Texas and Anaheim before returning home for six games against the Twins and Angels. Those seventeen games should answer once and for all whether or not the Yankees can contend for a playoff spot in 2005.