Well hello there everybody. Welcome to This Week In Yankees Baseball. As the Yankees struggle to stay above .500, the talk of MLB is about the surging Cleveland Indians.
According to Yahoo Sports and CBSSports.com, the reasons for the first- place Indians success are found in three areas. They rank third in MLB in steals, third in defensive efficiency, and sixth best in starter’s ERA.
Let’s take a look at how the Yankees compare. The Indians are averaging .78 steals per game to the Yankees .47. The Indians are attempting .97 steals per game to the Yankees .62. Yet there is a negligible difference in caught stealing per game. So in order to follow the Indians formula, the Yankees need to run more often. Now of course the Yankees don’t have the same personnel. And there are some slow runners like Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann. But Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner can not be expected to shoulder the entire load.
Next, The Indians are third in defensive efficiency. Do you think the Yankees are in good shape here? Well, the Yankees .681 percentage leaves them out of the top 20. This is despite an overall fielding percentage that is at the same level as the Indians. So the Yankees are either not getting to enough balls, not catching enough of the ones they are getting too, or the Indians are simply lining up better.
The third reason Yahoo and CBS give for the Indian’s success is starting pitching ERA. Again, with pitching carrying the Yankees through much of the season, you might think the Yankees aren’t far off the pace here either. But the Indians number six MLB ranking of 3.63 is significantly better than the Yankees 16th place 4.32 as of this writing.
So if the Yankees are to use the Indians success formula, their starter’s must pitch better, they must field better and run the bases better. That’s all it would take. And then they would find a ten game winning streak waiting right around the corner.