Week 5 Yankees Player of the Week
Unlike the last 2 weeks it was not very hard to find 4 worthy candidates for Yankees player of the week this week. The Yankees were one David Robertson save away from a perfect week but they will settle for 5-1. There were good moments from Robinson Cano’s grand slam in Kansas City, to wins over stud pitchers like James Shields, David Price, and Felix Hernandez, to the first saves post Mariano Rivera, and Jesus Montero’s return to the Bronx. The nominees for Week 5 Yankees Player of the Week are CC Sabathia, Raul Ibanez, Phil Hughes, and Robinson Cano.
The Case For Sabathia – CC Sabathia came up huge for the Yankees in the biggest game of the week. Sabathia was pitching the rubber game of the series vs.Tampa Bay against Tampa’s lefty ace David Price. After getting swept by Tampa in the opening series of the year it was important for the Yankees to take the series at home. 2 early errors by Eduardo Nunez put Sabathia in an early 2-0 hole. A lot of pitchers would have lost their cool and imploded but Sabathia is to much of a professional and a leader to allow that to happen. He shut down Tampa Bay for the rest of the night. Sabathia pitched 8 innings, giving up 7 hits, 0 earned runs, and struck out 10 batters.
The Case For Ibanez – Raul Ibanez was a much maligned signing by the Yankees this offseason. His awful spring training did not help his case and many fans wanted him cut already. He has been proving people wrong ever since. On the week Ibanez hit .444, with 4 HR’s, and 9 RBI. Ibanez’ 2 HR’s on Tuesday vs.Tampa Bay were the difference in a 5-3 win. His 3 run homer Friday vs.Seattlegave the Yankees the lead for good after the Yankees were down 2-1. Also, Ibanez started the scoring yesterday vs.Seattle with an RBI double and added another home run for good measure.
The Case For Hughes – Hughes has really seemed to turn a corner this week. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for the upcoming season and not another tease. Hughes had 2 wins for Yankees this week on Sunday at Kansas City and yesterday vs.Seattle. He got solid run support in both games but that should not diminish what he did. On Sunday at Kansas City Hughes pitched 6.2 innings, allowing 6 hits, 3 earned runs, and struck out 7. Yesterday vs. Seattle Hughes pitched 7.2 innings, allowing 6 hits, 1 earned run, and struck out 4. Hughes has thrown harder, finally scratched his cutter for the most part, and has been mixing his pitches better with 2 strikes.
The Case for Cano – If you would have told me that week 5 would be the first week Cano was a nominee for Yankees player of the week I would have laughed. It took Cano awhile to get here but he has arrived with a big bang. Cano batted an incredible .500 on the week with 2 HR and 9 RBI. Cano finally made his presence felt on the 2012 season with grand slam on Sunday in Kansas City. It was big home run for him and the Yankees because loosing 3 out of 4 to a team that had not won a home game all year prior to the series would have been brutal. Cano’s HR on Thursday vs.Tampa Bay gave the Yankees the lead for good in the rubber match game. He had 3 hits that night and followed that up by going 4-4 Friday vs.Seattle.
It was very tough to pick a winner this week. On most weeks Cano and Ibanez would be runaway winners and Sabathia and Hughes are deserving as well. I am going to give it to Cano over Ibanez since I do not think it is a coincidence the moment he gets hot the Yankees started rolling. Ibanez might have had more big hits than Cano this week so I could have easily given it to him as well. Vote in the poll and discuss in the comments who you guys think the Week 5 Yankees Player of the Week is.