If the Yankees want any shot of clinching a playoff spot, they need to play better baseball in the second half. In fact, there are a few players that really need to have a strong half to carry this team.
Hiroki Kuroda is one of those players. Now being the only starting pitcher from this year’s original rotation, it is important for him to give the Yankees a chance to win each time he takes the mound. Kuroda has been pitching well in his last eight starts, and even has started to receive run support in his last two starts.
Brian McCann has been another name thrown into the mix. McCann had an inconsistent first half, as he never got into a hitting groove. After a big signing of a five year, $85 million contract this past off season, it is time for him to find his niche, and put up some big numbers in the second half.
As unbelievable as he performed in the first half of the season, the Yankees desperately need to get Masahiro Tanaka back. The team did receive some good news, as three doctors noted that the tear in his elbow ligament could possibly be fixed through rehab. Therefore, he can avoid Tommy John Surgery, and get back on the mound in six weeks. That would be the best case scenario, and would really be a huge lift for the pitching staff.
Lastly, David Robertson needs to continue closing out games. He currently has 24 saves, which is the third best in the American League. With the Yankees’ offense struggling to score runs, it is essential that Robertson picks up the save in each opportunity that he has.