The New York Yankees, the Bronx Bombers, were always a team associated with the ability to put on an explosive display of offense night in, and night out. However, 51 games into the season, this year’s Yankee squad is in the bottom five in a ridiculous amount of major offensive categories, including; Team Batting AVG, RBIs, and OBP and more. Regardless of the pitching rotation any team has, hitting a dismal .233 collectively as a team is not going to get you many wins, especially if you are the Yankees trying to compete in the perennially tough American League East.
Understandably, some lack of offense can be pawned off on some of the unfortunate injuries, between losing Greg Bird for the season, Alex Rodriguez’s stint on the DL, Dustin Ackley’s torn labrum, Mark Teixeira’s daily battles with soreness; the list goes on and on. However, there is no reason that players such as Brett Gardner and Brian McCann should each go through streaks of 20+ hitless at bats, simultaneously nonetheless. Also, Chase Headley, for someone who finished fifth in NL MVP voting two years prior to joining the Yankees, has not proven for one second of this season that he belongs on the field at the major league level this year. He is batting .229 with only 11 RBIS, and has played in 44 of the 51 games this year. Yet, the Yankees scratch their heads as to why they go 1-8, or 1-9 nightly with runners in scoring position. A huge part of the problem starts with having players in the lineup, such as Headley, such as Gardner, who just cannot get the job done this year.
The Yankees have a great farm system growing with a lot of young talent, chomping at the bit to get called up and get a shot. That being said, why not give a player like Gary Sanchez or Aaron Judge the chance to come up and see what they have to offer. At this point, it is safe to say that any bat that gets taken out of the lineup, with the exception of MAYBE Beltran for the time being, is not going to have a major impact, or cause a decline in offense from the disappointing start that they have had to the season, and their lack of run production.
A final point to touch on, which is a topic to be discussed in a whole other article, is how this ties into the Yanks pitching. The Yankees starting rotation is getting the most production from such unexpected places, and hard fought performances by pitchers such as CC Sabathia and Nathan Eovaldi are getting wasted by the lack of offense coming from the Yankees lineup. The Yankees have arguably the best bullpen in the Majors with the 7-8-9 inning combination of Betances – Miller – Chapman. With that three-headed monster closing out the games, the Yankees should not even have to put up a surplus of runs to win games They simply have to get enough run support to get them to the final innings in which, most of the time, these three pitchers will just mow down lineups to close out the game.
When a pitcher such as Sabathia has gone four straight starts, going six innings or more and only allowed one earned run or less in each start, those are the games that are must wins. However, there are nights such as tonight in which the Yankees can only manage to scrape together six hits and one run, which will not get the job done on a nightly basis, and it is reflecting on their 24-27 record.
With the Yankees a little bit over a quarter of the way through the season, the Bronx Bombers better hope that their bats come alive soon and that they can find offensive run production somewhere, anywhere, before the 7.5 game hole that the Yanks are currently sitting behind in the battle for the top spot in the AL East gets too deep for them to climb out of.