The Yankees surrendered another game to Toronto today, limping to the finish line with only two hits, shutout, and wondering if it will end…
While we’ve marveled at the Yankees’ newfound capacity to win close-knit low-scoring games by a run or two, today’s performance at Yankee Stadium, losing the first game of a doubleheader leaves cause to wonder if the Bronx Bombers are merely a figment of our imagination.
Domingo German, in keeping with recent Yankees tradition, went out there to do his job, albeit with two misplaced pitched that went for solo home runs by Dante Bichette and Marcus Semien in the third inning.
But where were the Yankees bats against Alex Manoah, a Blue Jays rookie making his first start against the mighty Yankees?
Stuff happens, okay, and sometimes seeing a pitcher for the first time says “advantage pitcher”, but today was gruesome when looking at the game box score that shows the only entry for their offense as four men left on base.
Yankees: Hello, Bronx Bombers?
This can’t keep happening, especially when facing intra-division rivals like the Blue Jays.
Count ’em, there are 21 teams with more runs scored this year than the Yankees, previously known as the Bronx Bombers.
While the pitching continues to hold the team together with a fourth-best ERA of 3.18 ERa in all of the major leagues, while tied to a full schedule of 162 games following an abbreviated 60-game schedule last year – for how long can this team maintain the pace set by the Red Sox, Rays, and now, even the Blue Jays?
Yankees: Brian Cashman, Are You Still Breathing?
Presumably, Yankees GM Brian Cashman scours the MLB Transaction Wire looking for help, but at this stage of the season, there is none, unless you want to be the Mets picking up former Yankee Cameron Maybin, only to be rewarded for a player looking for his first hit in 21 tries with his new team.
The answer, if there is to be one, has to be with trades. Leaving it to Cashman, who gets paid the big bucks, that’s all I can offer.
A left-handed power bat is a given, and with Luke Voit out again for an indeterminate number of games, a first baseman other than DJ LeMahieu, who belongs at second base, are both prerequisites to bringing the team’s offense alive.
The Yankees have trade-chips among their position players, including Gary Sanchez, Miguel Andujar, and (reluctantly) Clint Frazier as inclusions in trades, without even touching the Yankees’ stable of pitching prospects like Deivi Garcia, Michael King, and injured Clarke Schmidt.
The team’s starting pitching remains tenuous at best, especially with the news that Corey Kluber will be sidelined for the next eight weeks, minimally.
Aaron Judge and Gio Urshela, with some rising punch from Gleyber Torres can’t do it all.
There’s no help on the way from the Yankees farm system, other than if they are willing to give Estevan Florial a go at it, though with untested skills at the major league level, they might think twice before setting him up for possible failure, and a setback at least mentally in his future career.
Think positive, and we can envision Giancarlo Stanton returning to the Yankees after a still mysterious injury, picking up where he left off, together with a rejuvenated Clint Frazier, who will soon realize his dream to play centerfield, giving Brett Gardner a respite.
But beyond that, and without additions and subtractions to the Yankee’s roster, it’s bound to be the same ole, same ole, with mind-blowing frustrations like the one the Yankees are experiencing today at the hands of the Blue Jays.
Postscript: 5/28/21 10:00 AM ET
Aaron Judge hit a two-run home run to knot the second game of the doubleheader at three, and that was followed by a blast by Gary Sanchez to put the Yankees ahead 4-3 for good as they salvaged the second game of a doubleheader.
None of that, however, dismisses the main idea discussed in this column – which is that answers are not likely to come from within, leaving Brian Cashman to be the GM he was of old – and for Hal Steinbrenner to release him to exceed the luxury tax limit because without that the Yankees can’t win this thing.
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Mark Malmut When you run up 5 players batting under 200, expectations can’t be too high. I’m beginning to think that Voit is the type of player that will never be able to last through a full season. Maybe it’s time to entertain moving some of these low BA guys and maybe even seek a reliable first baseman.
Robert Oliveri Are the bats ever going to get going? It’s almost June!