The Yankees concluded the first half of the season before the All-Star break with a 49-42 record, positioning them fourth in the AL East, just a game away from the last wild-card position and on track to finish the season at 87-75.
As the team anticipates the return of Aaron Judge from the injury list, they’re banking on the potential impact of new hitting coach Sean Casey on their underperforming seasoned players. Here’s a first-half grading breakdown for the Yankees:
Gerrit Cole: A
Cole, who signed a $324 million contract with the Yankees, has lived up to expectations by being a consistent anchor for the otherwise fluctuating rotation, ensuring a competitive edge for the team every fifth day.
Aaron Judge: A
The team’s struggles during Judge’s two spells on the injured list underline his value. His performance upon return could be a deciding factor for the Yankees’ second half.
Clay Holmes: A-
Despite a shaky start in April, Holmes adjusted his sinker and paired it with a robust slider in his bullpen role.
Tommy Kahnle: A-
Though biceps tendinitis delayed his season’s commencement, Kahnle has remained unscathed, allowing no runs in 16 relief appearances.
Michael King: B+
King, who plays as a multi-inning reliever, experienced a challenging June but has largely replicated his performance prior to his elbow injury last July.
Ian Hamilton: B+
Hamilton, an uncontracted spring training participant, has earned himself a significant bullpen role, taking on more high-stakes innings.
Domingo German: B
German’s performance has swung from a 10-game suspension for using sticky stuff in mid-May to a perfect game in late June.
Clarke Schmidt: B
Despite a rough start, Schmidt’s adherence to his process and cutter has improved his consistency, even though he hasn’t pitched many long innings.
Harrison Bader: B
Despite two stints on the injured list, Bader’s crucial defensive contributions in center field and occasional firepower at the plate have been noteworthy.
Wandy Peralta: B-
Peralta’s performance hasn’t been as stellar as the end of last season, but he still plays an important bullpen role.
Ron Marinaccio: B-
In his second year, Marinaccio has been reliable in high-stakes innings but occasionally troubled by walks.
Anthony Rizzo: B-
Rizzo started strong but has since cooled, with no home runs since May 20, after missing three games due to neck stiffness.
Jake Bauers: B-
Bauers has been an impactful player since his call-up in late April, providing 19 extra-base hits, despite lackluster defense.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa: B-
A versatile player, Kiner-Falefa is a valuable asset in both starting and bench roles.
Gleyber Torres: C+
Despite being one of the Yankees’ more consistent hitters, Torres’ performance has been marred by errors and base-running mistakes.
Anthony Volpe: C
Expected challenges for the rookie have surfaced, but he’s showing signs of improvement after a mid-June swing adjustment.
Willie Calhoun: C
Calhoun, a left-handed hitter, was performing well until he strained his quad in June.
Kyle Kigashioka: C
Recently, he has seen more playtime, offering strong slugging and excellent framing numbers.
Jose Trevino: C
Despite an offensive slump compared to last year, Trevino’s defensive work behind the plate remains excellent.
Albert Abreu: C
Abreu has mostly been reliable in the bullpen, with the exception of two substantial six-run hits.
Nestor Cortes: C
Cortes suffered a rotator cuff strain in early June and hadn’t been performing at his best, particularly evident in a couple of difficult starts.
Josh Donaldson: D
With only 15 hits in 112 plate appearances, Donaldson has been inconsistent, though he has hit 10 home runs.
Luis Severino: F
Severino’s performance post-injury has been disappointing, with the exception of his initial two starts, presenting a significant question mark for the second half of the season.
Giancarlo Stanton: F
While still capable of impressive hits, Stanton hasn’t consistently stepped up in crucial moments, especially during Judge’s absence.
DJ LeMahieu: F
Unlike last year, LeMahieu’s struggles can’t be attributed to an injury, which makes his lack of form more alarming.
Oswaldo Cabrera: F
Cabrera failed to seize his opportunity after starting in left field on Opening Day and has been sent back to Triple-A twice.
Carlos Rodon: INC
Rodon, who signed a $162 million contract, made a single start due to injuries but offers hope for the second half of the season.
Aaron Boone, manager: C
Boone has received criticism for his management of the bullpen and decisions regarding starting pitchers. However, he continues to shield his players, giving them regular breaks and defending them publicly.