Johnny Damon- Yes he is hitting, but his play in the field has been atrocious. If he goes into a slump what will he be good for?
Joba Chamberlain- As I said earlier this year, a month ago, last week, and yesterday, JobaWalkie needs to go to the bullpen. But, is there any guarantee he throws strikes there?
Chien Ming Wang- His health/ pitching ability will be critical down the stretch. The Yankees need another horse in the rotation because Andy Pettitte has proved that he can’t pitch deep into games anymore.
Jorge Posada- Right now I give his defense a C-. Teams are running all over him and I can’t ever remember seeing this many passed balls given up by our backstop. Good teams (like the Angels, Rays, Red Sox) will run all over him and take advantage of his poor arm. He could cost us some games.
Brett Gardner/ Melky Cabrera- I hope our centerfield duo doesn’t get overexposed at the dish. Gardner doesn’t have the experience of a full season and Melky has shown in the past that his average has a tendency to drop. Hopefully Girardi can keep mixing and matching them well.
Alfredo Aceves- Can he continue to be the second-coming of Ramiro Mendoza?
Red Sox and Rays- Neither team is goin away anytime soon so the Yanks will have to avoid long losing streaks. They just have to keep up what they did in the first half which was winning series. They don’t have to win 12 games in a row, but if they continue to win 2 out of 3 (or 3 out of 4) games in each series they play, they will cruise into the playoffs.
There are still a lot of games to be played. The Yankees need to prove that they can beat playoff caliber teams, but the biggest thing for them is to stay healthy.
Check back sometime during this All-Star break for second half predictions.