Check out the “Winners and Losers” from the Yankees weekend series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Yankees took two out of the three and received some nice performances from their lineup and bullpen. The Angels showcased two top young talents in Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo. Check out all you missed and which players outperformed the rest.
Mike Trout – He showed the Yankees, and anyone else watching, why he is the future of baseball. Trout went 7 for 14 with 5 doubles, 4 stolen bases, 3 runs, 1 RBI, and 1 walk in the three-game series. He put on a display of power and speed that will be feared at the plate and on the base paths. Couple his abilities on offense with his defense and Trout will undoubtedly be one of, if not the, top two-way center fielder in the game. His speed alone, 30 SB in 67 games played, already makes him elite in that category.
Rafael Soriano – Soriano continued to help Yankee fans cope with the loss of the great Mariano Rivera by starting the second-half strong and converting his first two save opportunities since the All-Star break. Soriano picked up three strike outs on the way to his 21st and 22nd save of the season, while only allowing one hit. The pressure will be on Soriano to build on his strong start to the year, and he has some mighty big shoes to fill. This award would have gone to the whole bullpen if not for Chad Qualls melt down in the series finale; before today the bullpen had been lights out perfect in 5 and 2/3 innings pitched.
The Yankee Rotation – Heading into the second half there were already concerns with the rotation: Can Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes continue to produce? Will C.C. Sabathia and Andy Pettitte come back healthy and effective? In their first series since the break the Yankee starters (Hiroki Kuroda, Freddy Garcia, Nova) failed to record a quality start. Garcia had the best effort out the three when he held the Halos to three runs across five innings on five hits and five walks while striking out four. Garcia received the win despite his shaky performance. If the Yankees are going to stick to their guns of not making a desperate trade deadline move for a starting pitcher, than they are going to need better production out of the guys they have.
Yankee Left Fielders – The Yankees left field combined for just 1 hit in 9 at-bats. With rumors already swirling about Brett Gardner’s return date being pushed back the Yankees need some type of production out of that spot. Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones need to show they still have the legs to put together a strong second-half because if Gardner does not return both Jones and Ibanez will continue to see significant playing time.