Six Yankees do what they must in order find greatness
Red Sox Helping Yankees
The up and down nature of Severino’s last two years with the Yankees does not need repeating. And one of the reasons for his struggles has also already been covered in an earlier piece. In summary, he needed to control his emotions. He was too hyped up for his second season and cratered when he experienced difficulties.
One of the big keys for his success this year is that he has controlled his heart rate. If he gives up a walk or does not get a call, he takes a moment to calm himself before he gets back up on the rubber…and completely dominates. Oh yeah, the force is strong in this one.
Another reason for the change is that he sought out, and worked with, Pedro Martinez in the off-season. Pedro takes some perverse pleasure in the Yankees doing well and has helped Luis find his best stuff. My guess is that he helped him find his confidence again, too. Always nice to help your daddy, I guess.
On A Clear Day, You can See 1986
I knew those two reasons when I conceived of this piece. Watching the Fox broadcast on Saturday (June 10th), followed by a little research, led me to this great piece from Andrew Marchand.
They collectively reported that Sevvy had gained 15 pounds of muscle going into the 2016 season. Are you paying attention Mets fans? Can you see where this is going already? This decision robbed him of too much flexibility. My guess is that he, the Yankees, and Pedro Martinez all agreed. So in this last off-season, he took it off again.
And guess what? He looks like the most dominating young pitcher in baseball and has the highest average velocity on his fastball, again, in all of baseball. Now, it seems to me there was a guy in that situation this year who also plays in the NYC. Tall, blond kid whose nickname is straight outta mythology. He decided to add fifteen pounds of muscle, and this time it is no guess that his team did not agree.
And guess what? That unnamed gentleman is currently spending the bulk of the season on the disabled list, and his team is paying the price, a thunderbolt of despair for the long-suffering fans. The Yankees got lucky with Severino but, in baseball, luck always plays a role.
Return of the Kraken
Which brings us to a quick word on Gary Sanchez, one I also heard on that same broadcast. He, too, put on extra muscle and weight in the off-season thinking bigger is better. Like Severino, he learned that he needed his flexibility to be his best, crouching, rising and throwing as often as
That is not a claim that his extra weight had any impact on his early season offensive struggles. But he was not as spry and effective defensively earlier in the year, in keeping with a story of the 2017 Yankees season.
It’s a story so far about how many players have improved both before and during the season, and The Kraken deserves mention.
Which means it is time to look at Starlin Castro and Brett Gardner, where the real guesswork begins.