After a very short sample of the season so far, with all that has gone on, could you make the arguement that Bartolo Colon is this year's MVP - 2 great relief appearances early for Hughes and now two outstanding starts. He could be the "round mound on the rebound..."
That gave me the idea to make a Yankee MVP list. I'm still plagued by the end-of-year school stuff, so this will be a little hasty. That said, lessgooo!
1. Alex Rodriguez - Unquestionably one of the 10 best players in baseball. If he stays healthy, he'll compete for a League MVP.
2. Bartolo Colon - The Yankee starting pitching was highly questionable coming into the season, and that was assuming Hughes would be effective. When he went down, we basically needed a miracle. So far, Bart has been a bit of a miracle man. He started as long relief for Hughes, giving us a chance to win after Hughes put is in a hole for in three straight appearances (on the third, the Yanks beat Baltimore in extra innings). He earned a spot in the rotation, and he's won his first two starts with excellent command. Last night, he went 8 innings and held down the White Sox to end a 2-game slide.
3. Russell Martin - Unbelievable production from a huge question mark. He's been a huge boon for the offense, and it also lets the Yanks be patient with Montero in AAA.
4. Curtis Granderson - He's been bashing for the past two weeks, and it's a big reason why the Yanks got on their roll. After a rough start, he's now a top-25 offensive threat in the majors.
5. CC Sabathia - He's been tremendously unlucky so far. He could easily have 5 wins under his belt, but his 2.73 ERA speaks to his effectiveness.
6. Mark Teixeira - A very nice start by any standard, but especially wonderful when you consider his previous April slumps. With the assumption that he'll improve as the season wears on, a .409 wOBA to start is great.
7. Mariano Rivera - He technically has two blown saves, but at least one was quite unlucky. From the look of how he's pitching, it seems like he's the same reliable closer we've known for three decades. Not worried about Mo.
8. David Robertson - Make him the 8th inning guy, please. He hasn't allowed a run in 8 innings, his strikeout rate is insane at 10.8 per nine innings, and he seems to deal well with stress.
9. A.J. Burnett - Pretty okay start with a solid 3.52 ERA. Lots of swinging strikes, some moments of dominance, and a lot of question marks.
10. Robinson Cano - Great power numbers, decent average. Here's a trivia question you'll hate, though: between Cano and Jeter, who has a higher OBP? Obviously, the answer is Jeter, and by a fair margin. Cano's average is .299, his OBP is .303. Last season, he seemed to be taking more walks and getting on base (.319/.381). This year, he's back to old habits in the early going; swing at everything, get a lot of hits, never walk.
11. Andruw Jones/Eric Chavez - I'm grouping these guys together because they've both given the Yanks great production as replacements. To the point that benching Jorge and Brett in their favor is starting to seem tempting.
12. Freddy Garcia - So far, so good Freddy. It almost seems like too much to ask for he and Colon to contribute, but I'll ask it anyway.
13. Ivan Nova - He's still learning. I don't love his ERA, but I do love some of the excellent starts he's made, including Tuesday's. He's only going to get better.
14. Jorge Posada - He's got 6 home runs to his name, but his average is a terrible .138. You have to wonder if he likes the DH spot. If not, the hope is that he'll come through the transition and adjust.
15. Derek Jeter - Only two doubles on the year. No triples, no home runs. Most of the singles I've seen have been grounders up the middle. He seems to have no range and no bat.
16. Nick Swisher - Looks utterly lost at the plate. What happened to everything he learned from Long last season?
17. Joba - His stuff looks amazing at times, but he'll absolutely kill you every time he enters a game under any kind of pressure.
18. Rafael Soriano - Uh-oh.
19. Phil Hughes - Crap.
20. Brett Gardner - If Carl Crawford died tomorrow, Brett would be the worst player in baseball.
There's the list. What do you think?