Dan's Dugout: Younger Yanks aim at Title • Latino Sports

Baseball

Dan’s Dugout: Younger Yanks aim at Title

on

If the Yankees stave off the Toronto challenge and reach the postseason, credit should go the next generation of Bronx Bombers.

In his first Yankee season, Nathan Eovaldi has evolved into an ace

In his first Yankee season, Nathan Eovaldi has evolved into an ace

Nathan Eovaldi, obtained from Miami in the Martin Prado trade last winter, has gone 13-2 and joined Zack Grienke as the only pitchers to win eight straight decisions this season.

Much-heralded Luis Severino lurched into the rotation in late summer after posting sensational numbers in the upper minors.

And Greg Bird, filling in for ailing first baseman Mark Teixeira, hit a pair of two-homer homers, enabling broadcaster John Sterling to yell “Bye, Bye, Birdie” as the ball cleared the fence and describe the rookie’s home run trot as “Bird flies around the bases.”

Didi Gregorious, originally billed as a good-field, no-hit shortstop, has been better than advertised and may indeed prove himself a worthy successor to retired team captain Derek Jeter.

To be sure, the Yankees still have plenty of age to worry about. Erstwhile ace CC Sabathia, like the equally rotund Bartolo Colon with the other New York club, has been erratic at best and Carlos Beltran, a former Met, has had his usual fliration with back and knee issues.

Teixeira, despite a strong season with the bat, has health problems too — and will have more as he gets

Mark Teixeira has battled both pitchers and injuries this season

Mark Teixeira has battled both pitchers and injuries this season

older.

But the Yankees have much to celebrate this summer: Brett Gardner has blossomed into an All-Star, Brian McCann has finally harnessed his lefthanded power, and the left-right bullpen duo of Andrew Miller and Dillon Betances has been an improvement over David Robertson, who left for the White Sox as a free agent.

Kudos to general manager Brian Cashman for bringing young talent aboard — a trend likely to continue now that the Yankees have held onto Aaron Judge and their other top minor-league prospects. Previous regimes would have traded them for win-now veterans and mortgaged the future.

Elsewhere in baseball:

Chase Utley jas been reunited with Jimmy Rollins in L.A.

Chase Utley jas been reunited with Jimmy Rollins in L.A.

With Howie Kendrick sidelined, the Dodgers made a great deal in outbidding the Giants for Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, a six-time All-Star who attended UCLA. Hitting well since his elevation to the leadoff slot, Utley is now reunited with Jimmy Rollins, with whom he formed a slugging double-play tandem for more than a decade . . .

Anyone who doubts the identity of the best team in baseball need look no further than St. Louis, where the Cards not only have the best home record but the best overall mark in the majors . . .

Because the DH does not exist in National League parks, rookie pitcher Daniel Norris of Detroit homered in his first at-bat Wednesday — nailing high-priced free agent signee Jon Lester in the process . . .

The Tigers and Cubs, opponents in the 1945 World Series, staged a benefit for the terrific National World War 2 Museum . . .

Dave Dombrowski, new front-office chief of the Boston Red Sox, is likely to hire former Florida colleague Frank Wren, fired by the Braves last fall, as his general manager . . .

Dave Dombrowski has lots to smile about in Boston

Dave Dombrowski has lots to smile about in Boston

No surprise here: Angels sluggers Mike Trout and Albert Pujols are both on target for 40-homer seasons . . .

Remember when Miami’s Dee Gordon was threatening to clinch the NL batting crown in April? Now he’s tied for the league lead with Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (.333) and just points ahead of Bryce Harper (Nationals) and Buster Posey (Giants) . . .

Harper leads in runs and home runs too but is not a contender for the National League’s first Triple Crown since 1937 because he’s not even close to the league lead in runs batted in . . .

The generous Giants voted Washington’s Dan Uggla a 2014 World Series ring even though he only played four games for them . . .

Since changing his name from B.J., San Diego centerfielder Melvin Upton, Jr. has become a force again; he had two homers and five RBI against his old Atlanta mates Tuesday night and is hitting more than 40 points higher than he did in either of the last two years . . .

The San Francisco disabled list is growing, with outfielder Hunter Pence joining second baseman Joe Panik . . .

Ryan Braun has topped Robin Yount Photo: Frankhyatt.com

Ryan Braun has topped Robin Yount
Photo: Frankhyatt.com

Ryan Braun has passed Robin Yount as the career home run leader for the Milwaukee Brewers . . .

WINS sports director Marc Ernay suggests the Mets trade Wilmer Flores and Jon Niese for San Diego closer Craig Kimbrel — if all three clear waivers . . .

Ex-Met Jose Reyes, now with Colorado, has cleared waivers and could be moving before month’s end — perhaps to the Yankees as a second baseman . . .

Isn’t it nice not to see Bud Selig’s scowling mug everywhere?

 

 

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

Recommended for you