Over the course of the last 12 games, the New York Yankees have lost eight. And now the Yankees have fallen to third in the AL East. And 6.5 games behind the division league Tampa Bay Rays. New York ABSOLUTELY MUST change their current trajectory or find themselves sitting home in October. For this article it will be part rant, part frustration release, and part hopeful optimism.
The Ugly: Anemic During Losing
As previously mentioned, the Yankees have lost eight of their last twelve games. They’ve dropped to third in the division and eighth in the postseason picture. The Yankees haven’t looked this anemic for several years. Having nearly all of their superstar players on the IL has taken its toll. The Yankees still have stud outfielders Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and the would-be number two starter James Paxton on the IL. Not having the right batters in the lineup causes the lineup to look much less intimidating. And only having Gerrit Cole in the rotation has also done damage.
During Cole’s most recent start against Baltimore, Gerrit was dealing until a home run to DJ Stewart. After the homer, Gerrit seemed to come unraveled. The speculation being that Gerrit understood if he wasn’t perfect, the Yankees would be unable to give him offensive support. And that has seemingly been the case for the Bronx Bombers since the initial COVID postponement of the New York Mets series.
The Bad: Gary Sanchez Becomes Scapegoat
During this in fathomable losing state, Gary Sanchez has been made the scapegoat. Sánchez was benched for the finale of the Baltimore Orioles series and the foreseeable future. For the season, Gary is slashing .130/.237/.350 with 48 strikeouts in 100 at-bats (48% strikeout rate.)
Now let me be clear Gary Sanchez isn’t the only one struggling. All the players who were such breakout players (i.e., Mike Tauchman) have struggled this season. The injury plague has spread across the entire league, not just the Yankees. But the repeated injuries of 2019 have not translated into the repeated success of the Next Man Up winning mentality. And now the scuffling Yankees must find a to get back to winning ways.
The Good: Cavalry on Horizon
The New York Yankees have struggled, and it’s not been a secret. And they’ve also been decimated by the injury bug. However, injured players are beginning to make inroads to returning. Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and James Paxton are on the mend. And when these Yankees heal up, the Bronx Bombers can get back to full strength. And this Yankee team at full force is a team to fear. So with the postseason a couple of weeks away, the Bombers need their stars back and healthy and mashing.