It’s time to choose the second New York Yankees Player of the Month. Remember, we are going by games, not calendar months. In the last thirty games, the Yankees have not enjoyed the same success at the plate that they had in the first thirty. So the finalists come predominantly from the pitching staff. Only Brennan Boesch and Alberto Gonzalez hit over .300 in that period, and they totaled only 23 at-bats combined.
On the mound, the results were the opposite. Nine pitchers enjoyed an earned run average less than 3.00 and another, David Phelps, had an ERA of 3.21. So the pitching staff has actually carried more of the load in putting the Yankees where they are. The finalists are as follows:
Preston Claiborne. Claiborne appeared in ten games. He allowed 12 hits in 14.1 innings while striking out 13 batters and giving up only one run. A big part of his success was that he did not walk a batter. He had a sparkling ERA of 0.63.
Mariano Rivera. Last month’s winner continued his dominance with the exception of an outing against the New York Mets. He gave up two runs, one earned, in 10 innings with 8 strike outs. He posted an earned run average of 0.90.
David Robertson. Robertson surrendered only two runs in 13 innings. He has regained his form as the best set-up man in baseball. He posted an ERA of 1.38. Perhaps most impressive, were his 17 strike outs.
Brennan Boesch. In terms of numbers, it is difficult not to include Boesch when selecting from the last 30 games. Alright, he only had 14 at-bats, but he made the most of his opportunities. He batted .500, with a slugging percentage (power measure) of .786. Both were team-highs. He had a home run and four RBI in his limited plate appearances.
The selection is Preston Claiborne. Congratulations, Preston! The Yankees have found a gem in this right-hander. Others who deserve recognition include Boone Logan, with an ERA of 0.00 in 7.1 innings pitched, Hiroki Kuroda at 2.92 and David Phelps with his 3.21.
“See ya” in another thirty games.