Randy Miller | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
NEW YORK — The Yankees made a statement to the Boston Red Sox and all of baseball this week:
They’re for real.
It may be too early to call them World Series contenders because the Houston Astros are the class of the American League, but with the season already more than a third old, the Yankees definitely are threats to dethrone the Red Sox as AL East champs.
MLB: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees
Noah K. Murray | USA TODAY Sports
Rotation picking up Tanaka in big way
Incredibly and improbably, the Yankees’ supposed weakest link has become a huge team strength.
And this starting rotation that had two openings heading into the final week of spring training is among the best in baseball with ace Masahiro Tanaka, the supposed one sure thing, by far their worst starter with a 5-6 record and 6.55 ERA that ranks 85th among 86 qualifying starters in the majors, ahead of only Atlanta Braves righty Bartolo Colon (2-7, 7.78).