The Yankees opening series against the Astros was “concerning”. The good news is the fact that it is only the first three games of a 162-game season. The bad news is the fact that the Yankees looked very sluggish in their first series.
Derek Jeter‘s farewell tour began this series. Just like Mariano Rivera last season, the Captain received some nice parting gifts. The gift that stood out the most was the custom made No 2 cowboy boots. He also received a cowboy hat and a set of golf clubs. As for the games, Jeter went 2-for-9, driving in a run. But the series was not too kind to the Captain because in his first at-bat of his final season, he was hit in the hand. Jeter admitted he was nervous since this would be his final opening day, but his play did not show he was nervous.
One of the players who has had a rough start to the new season is Alfonso Soriano. He went 0-for-12 with four strikeouts as he failed to reach base in the three game set in Houston. The Yankees hope the 38-year-old outfielder can shake off the rust and regain the form he had last year during the middle part of the season when he went on a absolute tear.
A pleasant surprise for the Bronx Bombers this series was the play of young infielder Yangervis Solarte. The 26-year-old Venezuelan barely made the roster out of spring training and is now playing to keep that spot. In the series finale, Solarte went 3-for-3, with a RBI that helped the Yankees put the game away for their first win on the young season. Solarte’s primary position is shortstop, so hopefully he can spill the captain when needed.
Something I noticed from the Yankees this series was a lack of power in the lineup. The Yankees are one of two teams in the Majors without a home run along with the Kansas City Royals. With middle-of-the order hitters such as Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran, Alfonso Soriano, and Brian McCann, the power should be produced. Let’s just hope this is just early season rust.