New York Yankees Continue Surge and Have Chance at Playoffs

The New York Yankees, who have played in New York City for over 100 years, are the most historic and successful Major League Baseball franchise. The Yankees have won more World Series and American League titles than any other franchise and have a long list of players in the Hall of Fame. While the Yankees have historically been one of the best teams of all time, the 2016 Yankees have struggled to play well consistently. While it once appeared that the Yankees season was over, a recent publication (http://theinscribermag.com/sports/why-the-new-york-yankees-will-make-the-playoffs.html) gives reasons why the Yankees could still make the playoffs.

The 2016 season has been a significant season of transition for the Yankees. The Yankees are still dealing with the recent retirements of future Hall of Famers Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. During the 2016 season two additional players, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixiera both announced that their careers were coming to an end as well. At the mid-point of the season, the Yankees looked like long shots to make the playoffs and they ended up trading several key players, including Aroldis Champan, for prospects with significant potential.

While the Yankees were already preparing for the 2017 season, it now appears that the team suddenly has a lot of life left. Rookie Catcher, Gary Sanchez, has been the hottest player in baseball over the past month. He is making a strong case to be Rookie of the Year in the American League and is showing significant signs of potential. Furthermore, the pitching staff has done very well, despite having a very depleted starting rotation and bullpen.

As it stands today, the Yankees are fighting for one of several playoff spots. They are currently in fourth place in their division and are 6.5 games behind Toronto for the division lead. However, they are only 3.5 games behind the Red Sox and 4.5 games behind the Orioles, which are currently the AL leaders for the two Wild Card spots. If the Yankees can play well the rest of the season, they have a very good chance of catching one of the two teams and playing in the Wild Card game. This is further supported by the fact that the Yankees have several games left with both of the teams ahead of them.

Kelly Johnson Once Again Finds His Way Back to Flushing

The New York Mets have acquired infielder Kelly Johnson from Atlanta for relief pitcher Akeel Morris, welcoming Johnson back after letting him go in 2015.

The Braves traded Johnson to the Mets on July 24, 2015. But the Mets released him 2 months later, and he signed back on with Atlanta. Now, due to injury concerns on the Mets squad, he’s as welcome back to NYC as the flowers in May. Third baseman David Wright will probably be out 6 to 8 weeks with a neck injury, as well as spinal stenosis.

The Mets even wonder if the 33-year-old Wright can still be productive. “It’s pretty shocking to hear about the length of time,” Mets manager Terry Collins said, referring to Wright’s long recovery period nytimes.com.

In addition, first basemen Lucas Duda is nursing a stress fracture in his back, and outfielder Juan Lagares has an injured thumb. Although Johnson will start at third base, he may also be called on for duties at first and some outfield.

That’s why Johnson has found a home once again with the Mets. He has the ability to play multiple positions. Johnson can play first, second, third, and outfield and even played shortstop for the Mets once last year.

Johnson’s a crafty 34-year-old veteran who, although he’s only hitting .215 now, has been around. He’s played for 8 clubs, including the whole AL East. Wow!