General Manager Not In Love With Poor Defense Out Of The Gate, Expects Vets To Hit

NEW YORK (WFAN) — Sure, it’s only been three games, but there’s no denying the fact that the Yankees look very much like their mediocre-at-best selves from last season.

And that, as we all know, is not going to cut it.

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Heading into a weekend series with the visiting Red Sox, the Yankees aren’t hitting or fielding all that well. Add those problems to some average starting pitching and it’s obvious this team is lucky it’s just the second week of April.

General manager Brian Cashman talked about some of the issues with WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Friday afternoon.

“I thought we played a sloppy series with Toronto,” Cashman said. “Obviously we lost two out of three, but we could have been swept.”

It’s hard to argue. The Yankees scored just eight runs, collected just 17 hits and committed four errors against the Blue Jays to start the season.

“As we’re struggling to score runs, we can’t afford to give outs away,” Cashman said.

Starters Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia were each done in by one bad inning and a lack of run support in their respective starts. Michael Pineda was solid over six in the Yankees’ 4-3 win on Wednesday, but left without a decision.

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Cashman said he’s not concerned yet about high-priced veterans Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Mark Texieira, who in the early going have struggled at the plate, much like they did for most of last season.

“We’ve made our bed here and we’re going to have to sleep in it for a while to see how it shakes out,” Cashman said.

One bright spot has been Alex Rodriguez, who, despite having just two hits in his first nine at-bats, has been making very good contact. Cashman said considering A-Rod hadn’t seen live pitching in well over a year due to his drug suspension, he’s happy with where he is right now.

“Since the first two weeks of spring training, where he kind of knocked the rust out, he’s really been one of our better hitters,” Cashman said. “He’s clearly got great plate discipline still with the eye. Bat speed is there. He is impacting the baseball. He’s having, for the most part, real quality at-bats. On the offensive side, he’s really answering the bell for us and we need it.”

Newcomer Nathan Eovaldi was to start for the Yankees on Friday against Boston’s Wade Miley. Converted reliever Adam Warren, who won the fifth spot in the rotation during spring training, was scheduled to start Saturday’s afternoon contest for New York.

The Yankees’ GM spoke about several other topics, including Tanaka’s health, Sabathia’s return from injury, the struggles of the team’s new middle infielders and the youth trying to break down the door and join the big club. To hear his complete interview with Francesa, please click on the audio link below.

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