The Yankees next play at home on June 17. That Tuesday, they will face the first-place Blue Jays. Between now and then, they go on a 10-game, three-city road trip, during which, realistically, they probably can hope to just tread water before playing Toronto.
If they go 6-4 in Kansas City, Seattle and Oakland, I think they'll be ecstatic. They would take 5-5. They just have to avoid a road trip that mirrors their just-completed 2-5 homestand. Let's look at six questions that could use positive answers:
New York Yankees
From the beginning of the season, Teixeira appeared to be the most important Yankee, because the Bombers have no replacement for him. Teixeira has hit well, but can he remain healthy?
Beltran (bone spurs) is a full-time DH these days. At some point, he will begin a throwing program again. But, with the take-it-slow approach, Beltran will only be able to contribute with his bat. Teixeira and Beltran need to help lead the Yankees' offense to take pressure off the pitching.
2. Kendrys to the rescue? A well-informed baseball official said he doesn't see the Yankees making a play for Kendrys Morales unless someone were to get hurt soon. The Yankees like Morales, but they have nowhere to play him. As the source pointed out, Morales is going to want at-bats for his next contract. Where are they coming from if Teixeira is healthy and Beltran is the DH?
3. Smoke and mirrors in the starting five? With three-fifths of their opening day rotation out, you would think the problem would be the starting pitching. However, while often not giving enough length, David Phelps, Vidal Nuno and Chase Whitley have kept the Yankees in games for the most part. How long can that last?
4. No Mo, no problem? The Yankees' pen struggled on the homestand. Still, there has to be a high level of confidence with David Robertson, Dellin Betances and Adam Warren. Add Shawn Kelley back into the mix and the Yankees' pen should be pretty strong.
I guess you could argue Betances or Warren showed wear and tear this week, but I would say it was more bound to happen eventually. Like Robertson, Betances and Warren have the stuff to play late in games. To paraphrase Reggie, talent usually rises.
5. Who are they going to beat? You can't predict baseball, a famous hardball sage is known to say. John Sterling is right, but it would seem the Yankees will want to start this trip with three out of four from the Royals. Kansas City (29-31) is the weakest link along the way.
After K.C., the Yankees visit old buddy Robinson Cano and check out his new digs in Seattle. The Mariners are playing pretty good baseball and have a 31-28 record, which is one more win than the Yankees have. Seattle already swept the Yanks in a three-game, rain-interrupted series.
At home, the Mariners are 17-13. The Yankees finish up with the A's, who have the AL's best record after the Blue Jays.
6. Will they remain road warriors? Add it all up and the Yankees must be road warriors, which they have been. They are 17-13 away from the Bronx.