The Yankees are fast becoming a caricature of themselves, the Goliaths who get beat by the Davids of the baseball world. Can anybody hit here?
At the trade deadline, the Yankees had a choice between pitching and catching. They knew they couldn’t get quality in both areas unless they completely decimated their farm system.
We know now the Yankees went the way of strengthening their pitiful offense that was and still is the fifth-worst team in runs scored in the league. So now, it must deliver.
Along the way, and almost as an afterthought, they picked up left-handed starter Andrew Heaney from the Angels.
According to a story in today’s New York Daily News, “the Yankees are hoping that with some tweaks and insight from their pitching people (translation: the analytics gurus), Haney will help this surprising rotation cruise into August or early September and the final push for a playoff spot.”
Heany made his debut for the Yankees last night, unimpressive over four innings in which he allowed four runs on six hits, of which four were home runs, to take the 7-1 loss to the lowly Orioles as the Yankees returned home to the Bronx.
Yankees: A Dreadful Night…
Asleep at the wheel again, Yankees bats were nowhere to be found. Even more appalling than the three hits and one run scored was that they were shut down by Jorge Lopez, who picked up his third win of the year against – get this – twelve losses.
Today’s title is purposively written as a cliche – stating that you have to score runs to win in baseball.
Watching the game last night was excruciatingly painful, sitting there inning after inning. At the same time, the Yankees lineup went 0-12 with runners in scoring position (RISP), and mind you; we are talking about the “Bombers” in their attack.
Giancarlo Stanton 0-2, DJ LeMahieu 0-4 (who also grounded into a double play), newcomer Anthony Rizzo 0-2, Gary Sánchez 0-1, Rogned Odor 0-1, and Aaron Judge 0-2.
Call the Yankees lucky, I guess because every team in the American League East also lost, allowing the Yankees to tread water in the standings, seven games behind first-place Tampa Bay and three behind in the Wild Card chase.
Needless to say, though, it also means the Yankees blew a chance to gain a full game on the Red Sox, who have graciously lost four in a row.
We can still say the Yankees are 15-8 over the last three weeks, but they’re not killing anyone at Yankee Stadium (27-24), while the Red Sox are 33-22 and Tampa Bay is 34-21).
Yankees: Pouring It On Thick
It does no good to sugarcoat these things. Drill deeper, and you’ll see the Yankees -6 run differential compared to their rivals, two of whom have three-digit plus numbers.
Go on, keep going. Please have a look at the team’s slugging percentage (SLG), where they sit in 22nd place of 30 MLB teams, or their team OPS, one notch below the middle of the pack.
Fixes? Maybe, but only if Aaron Boone revamps his lineup in a way that recognizes another cliche in baseball that says you can’t score runs if you don’t get men on base,
Typically a team that ranks high in on-base percentage (OBP), the Yankees are ninth in the league – not bad.
Bit’s the combination of flow of who’s on base when that seems to be the team’s albatross this year, ergo their inability to produce with RISP.
First and foremost, DJ LeMahieu is killing the team, and when he returns (expected any day now), he needs to be in the bottom third and not the top third of the order. LeMahieu is just not doing it this year, as seen in this table of his splits from Baseball-Reference.
LeMahieu’s dive in OBP, BA, and SLG is too great, and if he can’t get on base as a leadoff batter, what value is he to the Yankees?
Yankees: A Tweak Here And A Tweak There
So with that in mind, here’s a proposed and revised Yankees lineup for us to kick around until game time tonight.
- 1) Anthony Rizzo 1B .356 OBP
- 2) Joey Gallo RF .374 OB
- 3) Aaron Judge CF .371 OB
- 4) Giancarlo Stanton LF .351
- 5) DJ LeMahieu .341 OBP
- 6) Gary Sanchez .323 OBP
- 7) Gleyber Torres .325 OBP
- 8) Gio Urshela 3B .315 OBP
- 9) Rougned Odor .298 OBP
The changes are not remarkable, except they put the Yankees best “eyes” at the top of the order while placing LeMahieu, who is still a hitter’s hitter, in a position where he is more likely to bat with men on base while also moving whatever speed the Yankees have to the bottom of the lineup, where a stolen base or a scratch single can turn the lineup over again.
This Yankees team tires me out, so that’s my suggestion of the day, and it’s all I have.
Now, no more of the fire Boone and Cashman tirades, please. The Yankees are what they are, so let’s go from there…
The Yankees have switched to Nestor Cortes Jr. (0-0, 193 ERA) to start tonight in the middle game of the series against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium.
Gerrit Cole is missing his scheduled start because he received a positive COVID test after being in close contact with someone who had contracted the virus. No word as yet from the Yankees as to Cole’s condition or when he is expected back.
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Billy Touw Plain and simple the entire team is underperforming
Joe Kepler Facts Yup, and I tried to lay them out there.
Ricky Revere And let’s just take a look back at their latest best run a week or two ago. Guys like Allen and LaMarre, etc. were putting the bat on the ball, bunting, stealing bases, running the bases, and WINNING! Because they were playing the game of baseball the way it’s supposed to be played! Now we’re back to Cashman ball and it sucks!
Joe Gonzalez If the batting lineup is expecting Rizzo and Gallo to do all the hitting, they’re in for a rude awakening. They’re still not hitting. Even though the pitcher had a rough night, only 1 run against a last-place team is on the hitters. Especially, with the ERA, their pitcher has.
Joe Mucchiello What teams win without scoring runs? What a stupid headline! Duh.
Andrew Pal I’ve thought a lot about this dreadful offense, and am starting to wonder about their scouting and game prep practices. All too often they get taken to the woodshed by lesser pitchers and rookies just up from the minors as if those teams are fully prepared to exploit all Yankee weaknesses. The Yankees play like they’re clueless as to how to beat those teams. It’s too unusual for an entire team of proven hitters to all go in the tank at the same time for such long stretches. Signs are that those teams have done a lot more homework than the Yanks have.