By Brad Carroll
It's only four games into the 2017 New York Yankees season, but with only one win on the docket, it's hard to see any positives for the team so far. It's especially tough to see anything positive when the world fans were ready to embrace, the Baby Bombers Era, has brought little to nothing to cheer for in the first week.
Everyone was more than ready for the young stars to make their mark in the early going this season, but instead, it's the old guard that has attempted to carry the team. And who would have guessed the best hitters on the team heading into Saturday were Chase Headley, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Starlin Castro and Matt Holliday?
The ones dragging the team down? Try Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Ronald Torreyes and Greg Bird.
It's a topsy-turvy world for Yankees fans.
But when looking for a positive for the team so far and going forward, look no further than those veterans. No one thought Headley, Ellsbury or Gardner would have much of an impact, Holliday was a bit of a unknown after switching leagues, and as good as Castro was last season, he's been on the trade block since last season. But if those vets an continue to play as well as they have so far, or even come close for some, the Yankees will be in great shape offensively in their quest for the postseason. That is, of course, if the Baby Bombers do their part as well.
Everyone, including myself, was ready to run Headley out of town prior to this season, but the third baseman has been on a mission. He's even taken the opportunity to beat the shift, outsmarting the smarts by going down the third base line when nobody's there. Headley leads the team with a .467 average over 15 at bats. He's scored three times has a double and home run to go along with a pair of RBI. He even has a stolen base. He's done the complete opposite of what he did last year.
Ellsbury, who has been a giant disappointment since signing his mega deal in free agency, is hitting .400 with a pair of runs scored, a double and home run.
Gardner, who regressed last season, is batting .375 with a team-high in runs (4), doubles (2) and stolen bases (2). If Gardner is stealing bases you know it's a positive start for the outfielder.
Castro, who could be considered part of the young crew but is still a veteran at the same time, is hitting .313 with a run scored.
Holliday has brought stability to the lineup the Yankees were hoping for when they brought him in as a free agent. He hit his first home run as a Yankee Friday night and is hitting .308 with a double, home run and a team-high four RBI.
If the young players start to pick up their own games and realize their potential, the Yankees will be in great shape going forward. So far, Sanchez is hitting .167, Judge .133, Torreyes .091 and Bird .063 this season. If the youngsters do better than that, and there's no reason to believe they won't do much better, and the veterans continue to hit, the Yankees will have an offense everyone thought could carry the team to the postseason, despite a rocky starting rotation.
And if Friday is any indication, Sanchez is ready to take off again, as he went 2-for-4 with a walk and two-run home run.
Having one win over the first week of the season isn't something any Yankees fan was hoping for coming into a year with high, but reasonable, expectations. But with the way the veterans have been hitting, the season isn't completely bare of positives.