A Battle in the Lone Star State

New York Yankees Aaron Hicks (31) gets high fives in the dugout after a two run home run against the Texas Rangers in the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, May 21, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)

Yankees prevail in Wednesday slugfest

The New York Yankees took two of three from the Texas Rangers in a series loaded with young star power all over the diamond. The first game in Arlington went to the Yankees as they hit their way to a 10-5 victory. Cole Hamels of the Texas Rangers kept the Yanks offense at bay in a 6-4 win for the Rangers in the following game. The last game was a slugfest in which the Rangers prevailed 12-10 on the shoulders of OF Nomar Mazara and SS Jurickson Profar.

New York Yankees 31-15 2nd in the AL East

Texas Rangers 19-31 Last in the AL West

Key Takeaways

Cole Hamels to NYY

In what many believed to be an audition for the New York Yankees, Hamels looked strong in his outing. The team has good reason to be interested in the starter and he has been successful early on this year. Hamels went 7 strong innings allowing 4 hits, 2 earned runs, walked 2 and struck out 7. He impressively navigated through a tough Yankees lineup using his curveball and changeup with masterful precision. He put on a clinic on how to pitch as a left-handed pitcher at the highest level.

I believe that Cole Hamels will end up in a Yankees uniform before this year’s trade deadline. The veteran left-hander is currently 3-4 with a 3.38 ERA and has 64 strikeouts in 58 innings. This is a sign that his stuff is still good enough to fool hitters. This season, he does not look like he has lost any skill through 10 starts.

Let’s take a deeper dive into why Hamels to the Yankees makes so much sense. The veteran is a durable arm with tons of postseason success in his days with the Philadelphia Phillies and more recently the Texas Rangers. He has logged 98 pressure packed October innings and holds a 3.48 ERA in the postseason. Cole Hamels is signed through 2018 at a price the Yankees do not mind paying, and has a club option for 2019. This works out perfectly for the team. They would most likely decline this option and explore the monster pending free agent class featuring mega star Bryce Harper.

Young Talent

In this series, the field was loaded with young talent on both teams. The Yankees featured SS/2B Gleyber Torres(21), 3B Miguel Andujar(23), and C Gary Sanchez(25) while the Rangers featured dynamic young talent of their own in 1B/OF Joey Gallo(24), OF Nomar Mazara(23) and SS Jurickson Profar(25). Profar is finally healthy and getting a shot to play full-time.

The blend of youth and experience seems to be the perfect balance to cultivate success for the Yankees. In the other dugout, the Rangers seem to be in full rebuild mode as they are currently experimenting with young players at many different positions and sit 11 games below .500. 1B Ronald Guzman(23), 3B Isiah Kiner-Falefa(23), and OF Delino DeShields Jr.(25) are among the young players getting a shot at a full-time job for the Texas Rangers. With all the up-and-coming talent on these rosters it is easy to see why these teams are set to battle for years to come.

Extraordinary Performer

Gleyber Torres

The dynamo is red-hot for the Bronx Bombers. He was a nightmare for Rangers pitching and showed every person in the stadium his potential to be a star for many years in this league. It is not only the fact that he is hitting .323 with a quiet 8 homeruns and 22 RBIs. It is the poised confidence that he displays on a nightly basis, despite being only 21 years old. In this series, Torres played a fantastic second base while also setting the tone for the Yankees offense, collecting 5 hits, 4 HRs, and 7 RBIs. He went bonkers in Arlington, sizing up the Rangers staff and showcasing the extraordinary impact he can have on a game-to-game basis.

The idea of easing the youngster into the Major Leagues set into motion by Aaron Boone with the backing of the organization has worked perfectly. The talent on this roster afforded Boone the chance to properly execute this. In comparison, the less talented Tampa Bay Rays called up comparable top prospect SS Wily Adames, who has drawn similar hype to Torres, had him slotted into 5th hole for his debut. The state of the Yankees roster has allowed for Gleyber Torres flourish, develop, and stay on the path to becoming an elite contributor to an already loaded Yankees team. The middle infielder will encounter adversity and struggles in his young career but, he has the mental makeup to shake off inconsistencies quickly.

State of the Yanks

This game featured a lot of offense as the Yankees scored in the double digits twice and the final game was a back and forth slugging marathon. Sabathia’s recent struggles on the mound are a cause for concern and the young Domingo German does not look quite ready to fill in for Jordan Montgomery. The only constant in this pitching rotation is Luis Severino who did not pitch in this series. He seems to be rounding into top form as the season rolls along. It will be important to monitor the remaining four pitchers on this staff leading up to the deadline. The team is built to win offensive games when the starters do struggle, but could not pull out this series, dropping 2 of 3.