Mike Mussina – Despite being called out by Hank, Mussina has quietly been decent this year. Yeah, yeah, Manny had some big hits off him. But in general, the Moose kept the Yankees in the game against one of the best offenses there is. Last night, he put together a 7IP, 2ER gem without his best curve. Mussina is going to be a big part of the Yankees this year, whether people like it or not.
Melky Cabrera – Another guy who hasn’t received much credit. The Melk man is making me consider picking up one of those “Got Melk?” T-shirts, because every indication is he is going to keep developing as a hitter and should have a good career.
Chien-Ming Wang – Okay, I’ve had enough of the whole “ace watch” thing, where after each good start we all say “he’s an ace!” and after each bad we say “he’s no ace.” Good pitchers have bad games. CMW had one bad game and one game he gutted out without a good fastball. He’s evolving as a pitcher and he’s pretty damn good. If people decide to call him an ace or not, I don’t care.
Andy Pettitte – Hey speaking of requirements of an ace: isn’t one of them that the pitcher stops losing streaks? If so, the Yanks may have two aces, because in that sense Andy is truly a stopper.
Johnny Damon – A few homers later and it looks like Damon is finally starting to get into a groove. Though I still haven’t seen him have one of those at-bats where he’s near impossible to strike out and just keeps fouling balls off until he finds something he likes.
Bobby Abreu – Adding some long-balls to his already impressive start.
Mariano Rivera – How can I not put him here? But how can I not also be terrified of jinxing my favorite player?
Joba Chamberlain – He’s tremendous and everyone who is important agrees he should be a starter. And there was much rejoicing.
LaTroy Hawkins – This has nothing to do with his number. I talked myself into the Hawkins signing because I felt it would be good to have one veteran reliever it eat innings. I didn’t necessarily think Hawkins would be very good, but I figured he could mop up, worst case. But now, the more I think about it, the Yankees have guys with high ceilings wasting away in triple-A: Edwar, Britton, Albaladejo, Patterson, etc. So if the Yanks dealt Hawkins, it wouldn’t surprise me.
Jason Giambi – There has been talk of releasing him (in fact, I mentioned it myself) but the Big G has been insanely unlucky and that opposite field HR the other night was a good sign. And we know from the past that he’s a late starter. The real question: how to the White Sox justify intentionally walking a guy slumping like Giambi is, twice in one game?
Robinson Cano – His at-bats simply infuriorate me. I can barely watch. Please, Robinson, for my own mental health, stop swinging at everything and stop lunging at the ball. You know Alberto Gonzalez? He looked pretty good.
Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy – Both young pitches have had a lot of press regarding how bad they’ve been. Neither has really gotten “rocked” though in the sense of giving up a lot of big hits. They’ve walked some guys and seemed hesitant to throw strikes. That should change.