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First Pitch: Cashman making the grade

When you look at the Yankees' first half, there is only one way to describe it.

"Great," Yankees GM Brian Cashman said. "The best record in baseball. We are in first. I'll take it. I hope it lines up for a strong second half."

The Yankees lost Michael Pineda before the season's first pitch. Mariano Rivera and Brett Gardner have barely played. David Robertson has missed significant time. Alex Rodriguez is only a good, not great or elite, third baseman.

"We have a lot of talent," Cashman said. "We are going to have to rely on our depth."

That is why, however you look at this season, Cashman has to get a grade of A so far. The Pineda move hasn't worked out yet, but it hasn't been very good for Seattle either. Still, the minor moves for Cody Eppley and Clay Rapada have been solid and Raul Ibanez instead of Johnny Damon appears to be the right call. The return of Andruw Jones and Eric Chavez have also played out well.

Cashman has been steadfast about sticking with Phil Hughes and that has worked out well. Cashman got Andy Pettitte to come back for $2.5M after originally offering him $11M. With a $200M payroll, Cashman is never going to get a lot of credit, but he is making the grade thus far this season, for sure.

UP NOW: I report that Reggie Jackson could be back sooner than Brett Gardner.

IN THE HOLE: I'll have you covered on the blog and with any news all day.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What move would you still like to see Cashman make?