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New York Yankees: 5 Biggest Surprises Halfway Through 2014 Season

New York Yankees: 5 Biggest Surprises Halfway Through Season

Brian McCann Hiroki Kuroda New York Yankees
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The 2014 MLB season has been flying by, and every team is officially past the halfway point. The New York Yankees have had a tumultuous first half to say the least and stand at an even 41-41. No matter how good a team looks exiting spring training, there are always situations that come up that the manager didn’t see coming. Here are five of the biggest surprises for the Yanks halfway through the 2014 season.

5. Injuries To Starting Rotation

C.C. Sabathia New York Yankees
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5. Injuries To Starting Rotation

C.C. Sabathia New York Yankees
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Sure, managers plan ahead to try and prepare for injuries, which are to be expected, but you never expect to lose 60 percent of your starting rotation for long periods of time. Michael Pineda and C.C. Sabathia are both on the 60-day DL, and Ivan Nova is out for the season. The three have only combined to start 16 games, making it extremely tough on the Yanks’ pitching staff. Injuries happen, but losing three of five starters is hard to overcome.

4. The Emergence Of Dellin Betances

Dellin Betances New York Yankees
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4. The Emergence Of Dellin Betances

Dellin Betances New York Yankees
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While the injuries are an unpleasant surprise, Betances has been the opposite out of the bullpen. He’s 4-0 with a great 1.50 ERA and has come out of nowhere to become New York’s most valuable reliever. He has 76 strikeouts in just 48 innings of work and is looking like the closer of the future for the Bombers if he keeps it up. There’s no question that his surprising success has been huge for the Yanks.

3. Offensive Power Outage

Carlos Beltran New York Yankees
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3. Offensive Power Outage

Carlos Beltran New York Yankees
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Last year the Yanks didn’t hit many homers and had difficulty scoring consistently. That was supposed to change this year when they added Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran, but it simply hasn’t happened. The team ranks 11th in the AL in home runs and have the third-lowest amount of RBIs. The pressure is on the offense with the injuries to the pitching staff, but surprisingly the offense has looked similar to last season at times.

2. Masahiro Tanaka's Amazing First Half

Masahiro Tanaka New York Yankees
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2. Masahiro Tanaka's Amazing First Half

Masahiro Tanaka New York Yankees
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When the Yankees acquired Tanaka in the offseason, they knew he would be good. I don’t think anybody thought he would be this good and right away too. The Japanese sensation is tied for first in the AL in ERA and has been everything the Yanks hoped for and much more. Few pitchers have ever stepped into MLB and immediately dominated the way Tanaka has. It’s been a surprise but essential to the Yanks staying close in the AL East division race.

1. Despite Circumstances, Yanks Close In AL East

Brett Gardner New York Yankees
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1. Despite Circumstances, Yanks Close In AL East

Brett Gardner New York Yankees
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The AL East is competitive, and despite the injuries and slumps on offense, the Yankees are only three and a half games out of first place. It’s a surprise because with an even .500 record at the halfway point, they’re lucky to be so close. This is also the No. 1 surprise because it’s the most important. Injuries and slumps are part of the game, but nothing is more important than the standings. The Yanks know their second half must be better.