3 way-too-early AL East overreactions that could affect Yankees
By Adam Weinrib
The New York Yankees began 2023 with a series win against the San Francisco Giants, shutting out their opponent twice within their first three games of a season for the first time ... ever.
The middle game? Uh ... pass. Next question. But so far, there's been plenty to like about the Yankees' staff, and some offensive players have popped, too.
So where do they rank relative to the rest of the division? What do we know so far? What can we pick from the embers of Opening Weekend, when anything goes and nothing can really be learned for good ... though Lord knows we try to draw conclusions?
Do the Toronto Blue Jays look like the Yankees' closest competitors/AL East favorites? Not quite. Do the Red Sox look like the bottom of the division? We'd say no. And does anyone know who the f*** put these "balanced schedules" together, which allowed the Sox to start Baltimore/Pittsburgh/Detroit, while the Rays go Detroit/Washington/Oakland? Come on now.
Acknowledging that we don't know anything yet, these three early overreactions could create a bit of intrigue in the division.
3 AL East overreactions Yankees should keep an eye out for
Did pitch clock kill Chris Bassitt?
It's certainly too early to judge the Toronto Blue Jays' signing of finesse pitcher Chris Bassitt, who thrives on messing with hitters' timing, immediately before MLB installed rules meant to standardize pitchers' timing.
That said, whenever the Toronto Sun is calling your debut an "abomination," it's worth pointing out.
Bassitt's start in the Jays' series finale in St. Louis featured 10 hits and nine earned runs in 3.1 innings, along with zero strikeouts. Hey, no walks, though! That's something.
After one series, the Cardinals' offense is MLB's gold standard, posting a ridiculous 202 wRC+. How much of that is Toronto's pitching? Literally impossible to say, and the Cards breaking out wouldn't stun any prognosticator, led by Jordan Walker's emergence.
But, knowing what we know about how Bassitt works, he'll be under the microscope until he posts a solid start.
Toronto was lucky to escape The Lou without being swept; if not for an Andrew Knizner dropped third strike (in relief of Willson Contreras) on Opening Day, they might've lost that slugfest, too. A road set with the punch-free Royals should be just what the Canadian doctor ordered to get the Jays back on track.