Around the AL East: Yankees bullpen even better than advertised?
Around the AL East, April 22nd
By Sean McAdam
With nearly three weeks of the new season in the books, here's a look around the American League East.
AT LEAST SOME RELIEF FOR FLAILING YANKEES
The Yankees are struggling. The offense has scored only 18 runs in the last eight games and four regulars -- Chase Headley, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and Aaron Hicks -- are hitting below .200. There are ongoing questions, too, about the starting rotation, with four of the five starters posting ERAs north of 4.85: Luis Severino, CC Sabathia, Nathan Eovaldi and Michael Pineda.
But one area has been as good -- if not better -- than forecast: The late-inning bullpen tandem of Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller. In 13 combined innings to date, Miller and Betances have yet to allow a run and given up just seven hits combined.
Not surprisingly, they've been strikeout machines. Of the 21 outs Betances has recorded, 17 has come via strikeout. Miller has recorded 18 outs, 13 by strikeout.
Chilling thought for opposing teams: Aroldis Chapman, who has averaged a stunning 15.4 strikeouts per nine innings in his career, has yet to join this duo thanks to an MLB suspension for the first 30 games of the season.