Named an All-Star for the second consecutive year, Sabathia shut out the Rays in the last game before the break for his league leading 13th win against just 4 losses. As good as Sabathia has performed in his first two seasons in New York, this may turn out to be his best.
Bartolo Colon, A+
When evaluating Colon, one has to consider what was expected of him entering the season. His signing was met with mockery and ridicule, perhaps justifiably, as the hurler had not been healthy since his Cy-Young award winning 2005 season. Now, beneficiary of a revolutionary stem-cell surgery, Colon is pitching better then at any other time in his career and is a legitimate top-of-the-rotation pitcher. Paired with Sabathia, the Yankees have a 1-2 punch of ample proportions (literally).
A. J. Burnett, C+
The A. J. Burnett of the first half is the best version one could hope for. I think everyone has stopped day-dreaming of what could be if he were to ever harness his stuff. He gets points for curtailing innings of spontaneous self-combustion.
Freddy Garcia, A+
It would be impossible to ask anything more of Freddy Garcia. The man seldom touches 90 miles-per-hour on the radar gun yet has pitched to a 3.13 ERA in the first half. 11 of his 15 starts have been quality (6 innings pitched, 3 or fewer earned runs allowed).
Ivan Nova, B
Ivan Nova, B
Ivan Nova was rewarded for a quality first-half performance with a demotion to AAA. Admittedly, the Yankees had little alternative with the return of PHil Hughes. They could have put Nova in the bullpen but decided they'd rather have him continue starting in the minors.
Phil Hughes, F
Let's face it, Hughes has been an underachiever since his arrival on the scene in 2007. This season has been no different. Possibly falling victim to the effects of last season's inning-spike, Hughes has been derailed by the infamous "dead arm". He has totaled only 15 innings in his four starts, allowing 18 earned runs. After a prolonged stay on the DL and extensive rehabilitation, Hughes returned before the All-Star break and showed off a slightly better fast ball.