Yankees: Does anyone really have a bead on this team?

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The Yankees began the season where they are now as the mystery team, and a team in “transition” from the old to the new with a look to future as the talent in their farm system percolated. Has anything really changed?

The Yankees, for a team that is in the hunt for a berth in the Playoffs, have been slogging along at a mediocre pace with ten game stretches that more often than not read 5-5 instead of the 6-4 they’ve posted compliments of the Seattle Mariners and the three out of four series win at Safeco.

And every time the standings get posted I have to tickle myself when I realize the team is not only holding one of the two Wild Card berths but they’re also only 2.5 games behind the division leading Red Sox.

How can this be? Is it that goal of parity that Major League Baseball wants so desperately? And in the American League East, they can look with satisfaction and say, “Aha, we have found it”? Perhaps.

Where in between?

But that’s a bit too simple, and it has little to do with the Yankees. Throw away the 21-9 start as it has nothing to do with the team today, except that it has enabled them to stay where they are while they took a run down the tubes in June and early July.

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That blistering start was an aberration just as the .400 pace they set coming into the All Star break is not indicative of the “real” Yankees. They’re somewhere in between. But where in between?

And it’s not as though Brian Cashman has stood by. He probably waited too long and needed to be prodded by Joe Girardi to send Chris Carter packing his bags and may they miscalculated the strength and durability of their bullpen.

But much of that problem has been fixed, especially with the recent trade bring in Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson to shore up the pen.

They’ve joined all other teams in having their share of injuries and, in particular, losing Matt Holliday and Starlin Castro hurt a lineup that needs them. Clint Frazier has provided a spark, and the team looks better when he plays, but his die is cast with a trip back to Scranton when Aaron Hicks returns.

But, why then, has the team not caught fire, continuing instead to lumber along not losing ground, but not gaining any either.

You can point anywhere and you might have an inkling to the answer, but I doubt you would uncover THE answer.

And in a true sense, the Yankees are the Wild Card of Major League Baseball in 2017. We know who the Astros, Dodgers, Nationals, and Indians are. And we know who the wannabes like the Cardinals, Twins, Angels, and Mariners are.

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The Yankees, though, cannot be categorized. Not yet, anyway. Soon, the team will reveal itself. And it could come during the current homestand against the Reds, Rays, and Tigers.

In fact, you could almost say it has to come then. Joe Girardi believes his team is better than their record. I think he’s right. Question is, how much better?