Scouting the opponent: New York Yankees

SEATTLE -- Our buddy Andrew Marchand, from ESPNNewYork.com, answered some questions about the New York Yankees, who face the Rangers in a three-game set at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington this weekend. Here's what Marchand had to say about the Bronx Bombers, who lost three straight in Detroit:

Q: Give us an overall update on the Yankees. What's going well? What's not?

AM: The Yankees are doing pretty well considering Phil Hughes lost his fastball some place this offseason, Derek Jeter looks old, Jorge Posada looks even older, Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher haven't hit. And they didn't get Cliff Lee. They have been in first place for most of the season.

Q: Seems like Derek Jeter is a big topic of conversation. What would you do with him in the lineup? How is his right hip?

AM: You should check out ESPNNewYork.com. Hot Button right now pits my colleague, Wallace Matthews, vs. me. I say the Yankees should move Jeter down now. Wally basically calls me dumb. It is not the first time.

Jeter says his hip is fine, but Joe Girardi decided not to start Jeter on Thursday.

Q: How has the Yankee bullpen performed since the Rangers last saw them?

AM: They have been fine. Mo has been back to being Mo. Soriano is still adjusting to the eighth inning.

Q: What's wrong with A-Rod right now at the plate? Anything you can put your finger on?

AM: He misses Tom Hicks' encouraging words. No, A-Rod has just been a little of a funk since he hurt his oblique. He looked like he might be on an MVP run when he started the season. At this point, the Yanks would just take a couple of hits.

Q: Can you give us a scouting report on the starters we expect to see this series?

AM: Ivan Nova is coming off his best two starts of the season.

Bartolo Colon thinks it is 2005. He has been the best story of the Yankees' season.

CC Sabathia seems like his normal self. He is the best pitcher on the Yankees -- and even with Colon on board, he is still the biggest.

Q: Who is the biggest Yankee surprise so far this season and the biggest disappointment?

AM: Colon and Phil Hughes.

Q: Anything else about the Yankees we should know?

AM: Russell Martin is having a tremendous season. This is likely Jorge Posada's final year as a Yankee so last trip to Texas unless they meet in the playoffs.