First Pitch: State of the Yankees

The Yankees finished their first road trip of the season 3-3, which left manager Joe Girardi quite happy going into the home opener on Friday.

"You don't want to go home feeling like you are in a hole already," Girardi said.

Six games in, the Yankees have shown the great, the good, the bad and the ugly. So let's go through it.


1) Mariano Rivera blew the save on Opening Day, but overall the bullpen has been great. Their combined ERA is 2.11 in 21 1/3 innings, and they were the real reason the Yankees swept the Orioles. You know that Rivera and David Robertson are almost sure things. What has been very impressive is that Boone Logan, Cory Wade and David Phelps have started so well. The Yankees are very, very deep out there.

2) Fittingly, Derek Jeter, No. 2, is in this spot. It is amazing how good Jeter looks at the plate. He is a very dangerous player once again. Last year at this time, he was only dangerous to the Yankees.


1) Raul Ibanez had a good opening week. He has a team-best six RBIs. He also leads the club with two stolen bases.


1) The Yankees have been unable to come through with runners in scoring position. Overall, they are hitting .222 in RISP situations -- and that is after going 4-for-10 on Wednesday. This is what got them in trouble in last year's ALDS -- this must improve for the Yankees to get to and advance in October this season.

2) The starting pitching hasn't been very good. Ivan Nova is the only starter to have a very good start, and he had to spray 10 hits over his seven innings. CC Sabathia fought through six innings on Wednesday for a workmanlike, but not great, start. The starters figure to get better soon.


1) Alex Rodriguez not only has bad numbers (.174 with no homers or RBIs), but he has looked slow at the plate. He has hit only a couple of balls really hard. This is sort of strange, because he seemed very locked in the first two games in Tampa, but in the last four he has looked almost tired. A-Rod may just be regressing from elite to great, and now to just a good player. His cleanup spot could be in jeopardy at some point this year.

2) Mark Teixeira has been feeling the shift. He even admitted it after his lucky popped-up double that set up Nick Swisher on Wednesday. Teixeira, at the moment, seems closer to breaking out than A-Rod.

3) Robinson Cano also has goose eggs in homers and RBIs, so I had to put him in here, but I fully expect him to come out of it big-time. I picked him to win the MVP in the American League. I don't think he wants to make me look bad.

UP NOW: Swisher was just looking to make contact in the 10th inning Wednesday night -- boy, did he ever. For more on the Yankees' first week, Mark Simon looks at it statistically.

Also, Jorge Posada will throw out the first pitch on Opening Day.

ON DECK: We will be getting you ready for the home opener on Friday. Later, I will have a column about Rivera, Posada, Jeter and Phelps, on what this Opening Day means to them.

IN THE HOLE: At 11 a.m., I will have a post on Hiroki Kuroda and his concerns about starting for the first time at Yankee Stadium. At 1 p.m., researcher Katie Sharp takes center stage with her always-fun Yankeemetrics. At 3 p.m., I will have a post on Albert Pujols, as Girardi reflects on his former teammate's arrival in the Bronx. In the late afternoon, Simon comes back with his must-read W2W4. All day long, we will be on the blog for breaking news and other posts. Thanks for reading.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What is great? Whats is good? What is bad? What is ugly? Be heard.