The past few weeks have been a disaster. There is no positive way to spin this, despite any attempts from the eternal optimist Aaron Boone, this team absolutely stinks.
The Yankees were built around their lineup however this team absolutely cannot hit this season. I was worried about the starting rotation going into the season and was confident the lineup would put up runs. Surprisingly, it’s been the complete opposite.
I don’t need to go up and down the lineup pointing out everyone’s faults. I don’t need to but it will certainly make me feel better doing just that. DJ LeMahieu was amazing his first two seasons as a Yankee, one of the best hitters in MLB over that stretch. DJ, what the heck is going on this season? I don’t know how or why his production has completely dropped off. Is it possible he is playing hurt and toughing it out because he doesn’t want to go on the IL? That would be my guess.
Aaron Judge hasn’t produced the way we expected. Neither has Gleyber Torres. LeMahieu, Judge, and Torres are the keys to the lineup. If these guys don’t turn it on, this team is going nowhere.
I expected big things out of Clint Frazier, needless to say I am disappointed. Giancarlo Stanton’s inability to stay healthy is the one expectation we had for this lineup that has come true. Wahoo, we were right about one thing.
We know what is wrong with this team. How does it get fixed?
For once I am befuddled when it comes to brainstorming a solution. This team is so deeply flawed that I don’t see one or two trade deadline deals really moving the needle. We had World Series expectations for the Yankees and now I am concerned they could potentially miss the playoffs.
I put the blame on Brian Cashman and his baseball nerds (as Goose Gossage likes to call them). This team was built on home run, walk, strikeout. There is no depth to the lineup. I look at Tampa Bay and I see a lineup of guys that can grind out at bats, manufacture runs, and provide the occasional pop. Why can a team with a payroll ⅓ of what the Yankees have put together such a tough lineup but the Yankees can’t? This lies on Brian Cashman.
I don’t think Brian Cashman is getting fired anytime soon so maybe he needs to take a look at his analytics department. Clearly the analytics aren’t working for this team. There needs to be a new strategy put in place on how to build a roster. The Yankees live and die by the home run, this disaster start to the season has exposed how flawed that approach is.
I don’t see any reason to fire Aaron Boone. It doesn’t seem like he has much authority anyway. I’ve heard the rumors that he doesn’t even have much say in the lineup. Boone mostly answers questions from the media so I don’t see the need to remove him from his position.
I do put the atrocious baserunning on Aaron Boone. The Yankees really needed to tighten that up. No team in baseball can win with mediocre fielding and horrendous baserunning. The Yankees have more outs on the basepaths than any other team in baseball. That makes me sick having to write that sentence. During the 1996 – 2000 run, how often did you see Yankees getting thrown out on the basepaths? The answer is rarely. I don’t care what the baseball nerds say, fielding and baserunning is vital to the success of a team. It’s fine if they don’t value the stolen base but there does need to be an emphasis on not being idiots when running the bases.
All that being said, I don’t know if this team can be fixed mid-season. I fear that this is another lost season. I don’t think the Yankees championship window has closed like those foolish Boston fans think, but ⅓ of the way into the season, I am concerned the window for a championship this season is slamming shut.
I’m completely stumped on how to fix this team and what moves need to be made. I love Aaron Judge. I love Gleyber Torres. I love Luke Voit, Gio Urshela, DJ LeMahieu. I really like Clint Frazier and Giancarlo Stanton (when he’s healthy). I don’t want to see any of these guys get traded away. I would want to see them play to their potential.
As of today, the best I can hope for is that this team realized they hit rock bottom for the season and they turn it on down the stretch. We’ve seen it with other Yankee teams, now it’s this era of Yankees stars chance to show us what they can do when the pressure is on.
One note that I’ll expand on later, I don’t think the season is lost yet. If MLB follows through on the “substance abuse” by pitchers, maybe the reduced spin rates will snap this team back into shape. Between that and seeing how the Red Sox are playing over their heads, I don’t think the season is over yet. It’s looking grim and there are flaws to the team but “it ain’t over til it’s over”