The Yankees won a baseball game last night, the first time in 4 days. Clint Frazier‘s walk-off blast in the 11th inning sent the Bronx into a frenzy, giving the Yankees a 5-3 win over the rival Rays. But the Yankees have been up and down. From sweeping the once American League-leading Chicago White Sox a weekend ago to getting swept by the doormat of the AL Detroit Tigers, the Yankees have experienced a rocky ride. At times the offense is mashing the baseball. At other times the offense is dormant. The Yankees have had their fair share of struggles this season. But what exactly is going wrong? And how can the Yankees address these struggles?
Has Anyone Seen The Yankees Offense?
As we know, the Yankees lineup is stacked with power. Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez can really hit the baseball with force. But even these guys have struggled at points during the season, as well as the rest of the lineup. The bottom of the order consisting of Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, and Mike Ford have not been great at all. Even Ol’ reliable DJ LeMahieu hasn’t been himself at the plate this year.
The Yankees are currently holding one of the worst batting averages in baseball. As a team, the Yankees are batting .229, ranking the Yankees in 24th place out of all 30 MLB clubs. New York has been struggling to even plate runs with RISP, which is very unusual. In last weekend’s three-game series in Detroit, the Yankees left 28 runners on base, going 2-25 with RISP. They also scored a combined total of 5 runs in the series against one of the worst teams in the league. The Yankees have also scored 3 or fewer runs in 13 of their last 21 games. Strikeouts have also been a huge issue. New York also averages about 9.18 strikeouts per game, which ranks them in 19th place out of 30.
Yankees Are Hitting Into Too Many Double Plays
Double plays have been one of the biggest issues for the Yankees this year. The Yankees have hit into over 50 double plays in 2021, translating to 0.95 per game. That ranks the Yankees in 29th place out of 30 in GIDP’s per game. The only team behind them happens to be the Houston Astros. What’s even worse is that the Yankees have 9 GIDP’s this season with the bases loaded, leading the MLB. With the amount of talent in the lineup, it is very shocking to see the double plays become frequent, especially when the bases are loaded.
The Yankee offense is definitely underperforming. Many fans are calling for the firing of hitting coach Marcus Thames. Whatever the issue has to be addressed because some players in the lineup just look completely lost at the plate. The “savages in the box” have taken a drastic step backward in 2021.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone is quickly becoming the scapegoat for the Yankees struggles. To be fair, he does indeed deserve blame for this, but it is not entirely on him. It seems that Aaron Boone does not hold his players accountable in the media, which sparks some questions from fans. For example, the same old answers are given to questions during his press conferences. “I believe in these guys”, “Good at-bats”, “we’re turning the corner”, the list goes on. As a fan of the Yankees, I am really getting frustrated, it’s like the movie “Groundhog Day”. Same thing over and over again. I just wish that he could use some anger and intensity in the press conferences. Boone has also been very hesitant when it comes to benching slumping players, but instead, he rests the players who are heating up occasionally.
Also not to mention the Yankees have won one playoff series and one wild card game under Boone. If Boone lasts the rest of the 2021 season, I really hope he leads the Yankees to a deep playoff run or that will really be the final straw.
Cashman And The Analytics
Now onto the general manager, Brian Cashman. It’s no doubt that Cashman has had his moments as Yankees GM, including guiding a team he built to a ring in 2009. He has made some good moves, such as signing Gerrit Cole, trading for Gio Urshela, Luke Voit, and amongst others. But under Cashman since 2009, the Yankees have not won anything. New York has not been to a World Series in 11 years and has won 1 playoff series since 2017.
Cashman is also known for hugging prospects for too long. The Yankees needed to make a move at the deadline the last few years, and we had prospects to deal for pieces we needed at the time. But Cashman decided to hold onto these prospects. All I have to really say here is Clarke Schmidt is the age of 25 and has started one career MLB game when we could have traded him at one point. The Yankees really need to make a move soon, and I wrote an article about potential trade targets. You can check it out right here.
It’s like the Yankees think they are the smartest team in the MLB sometimes, so driven by analytics. Don’t get me wrong, I like analytics and I think they’re valuable but sometimes you have to think it through. Like how does somebody think it is okay to bat Rougned Odor second? And Mike Ford fifth? Is it because the analytics said so? Don’t get me wrong I love Odor, but he should be batting lower in the bottom half of the lineup all the time. Some wacky lineups are thrown out there from time to time, and I really don’t understand the logic behind them.
Some of these decisions are just head-scratchers. The Yankee management has not been spectacular this year, but there is room to improve. Cashman and Boone should really be on the hot seat if the team continues to slump though. The Yankees are just too talented to be in third place in the AL East.
The Yankees can definitely improve. I think the offense can come around eventually, but a move really needs to be made. Cashman has to make moves soon and trade away some prospects to address some holes on the current roster. Because whether you like it or not, the Yankees championship window is quickly closing. Boone has to hold the team accountable and stop being so reliant on analytics. Every once in a while a team needs a spark from their manager and benching somebody or getting heated can cause that.
Things have been rough, but the Yankees will get better.