Jul 7, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) and left fielder Brett Gardner (center) celebrate a 5-3 win over the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. (Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees Remain Optimistic Heading Into Second Half

Jul 3, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Carlos Beltran (36) celebrates with catcher Brian McCann (34) after hitting a three run home run in the fifth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees had a different vision of what their first half of the season would look like as they were wrapping up spring training. Everyone who was coming off of their injuries from last year looked healthy, and it looked like they were going to turn things around after how they ended last year. Unfortunately, the nightmare continued in the first half of the season, with key players having been absent due to injuries and players not producing like they should.

It all started in late April, when three important starters went down in the course of three weeks. Ivan Nova landed on the disabled list with a torn UCL, and had to have season-ending Tommy John surgery. Michael Pineda has been dealing with a muscle strain, and has been having major setbacks. CC Sabathia has a severe knee injury, something that could potentially end his career. The biggest blow of them all was the recent injury news on Masahiro Tanaka, who will be lucky if he is only out for six weeks.

The offense hasn’t been living up to its expectations either. Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran haven’t been hitting like they should. Alfonso Soriano was swinging at pitches that no one would ever consider swinging at. There are just a great number of people in the lineup that aren’t hitting with consistency, and many games have been given away because of that.

Despite all the negatives that have been surrounding the Yankees in this first half, there are some positives to come from this. Somehow, the team is only 5 games out of first place, and only 3 1/2 games out of the wild card.

They also have done some significant moving around in the roster. Brandon McCarthy was a quality trade for the club, due to the fact that they finally got rid of Vidal Nuno. Soriano was finally released, opening up a spot for another trade to come through. Even Shane Greene with his two starts in the major leagues has been a pleasant surprise, and could really help that rotation.

The Yankees have the pieces to make a good run in the second half, but only time will tell.

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