The New York Yankees offense is lifeless. The Bronx Bombers are no longer around and the team does not bring fear into the opposing teams as it once did. The idea that they are on the verge of winning the World Series is foolish because, without consistent offense, you just cannot win. 2023 was supposed to be different, especially with the rule changes, but it looks eerily similar.
Why The Yankees Offense Is Lifeless
Hitting Is Contagious For The Good And Bad
The Yankees have come out of the gates with a pedestrian 13-10 record and a whopping seven games back of the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays. Yes, the Rays have been otherworldly, but that still does not give the Yankees an excuse to be slacking to score runs. With that being said, the so-called “Bronx Bombers” have scored a measly 94 runs so far in 2023 through Monday, April 24th’s game. That’s an average of about 4.09 runs per game.
These numbers are borderline feeble. Only the Cleveland Guardians, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, and the Oakland A’s have scored fewer runs in the AL at this point in the season. These four teams are combined 29-61 this year. That is not what you call an American League powerhouse.
Sure, it’s early in the season and struggles are bound to happen, especially when playing in cold and harsh March/April weather conditions. But other teams have to deal with it, too. The Yankees have also collectively hit .225 AVG, .306 OBP, and a K% of 24.7%. These numbers sit in the bottom third of MLB.
And the team has eight players currently hitting .200 AVG or lower. These are pathetic numbers for a team that has aspirations to be a World Series contender and with some of the names that are associated with this lineup. This story is sounding more and more similar to the last few years of Yankees teams.
Why’s It Going Wrong?
With the Yankees offense for a few years continuing to sputter — other than a few hot spurts or glimpses — why has the front office lacked the to make bigger changes? Going into the 2022/2023 offseason, the Yankees knew they had some holes to fill and, for the most part, it was the offense that needed changes.
But here comes Opening Day and the Yankees only added minor bench players like Willie Calhoun and Franchy Cordero and pitching depth. Carlos Rodon and Tommy Kahnle are solid additions if they ever get healthy, but the offense still looks the same. Stagnant, punchless, and at times unwatchable. The front office dropped the ball on well OVERDUE adjustments to the lineup.
The team ended the year knowing they had to figure out their shortstop, catching, third base, and left field positions. The combination of Josh Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Aaron Hicks, Jose Trevino, and Kyle Higashioka was not going to cut it anymore. Something had to be done and done soon.
The promotion of Anthony Volpe and Oswaldo Cabrera is a great start to helping fix the offense and shortstop position as well as the depth of the team. But, as rookies, they are expected to struggle and can’t shoulder all the blame. Volpe is hitting .194 AVG, .326 OBP, he is stealing bases and getting his walks but he is just not hitting as of yet.
Then comes the veterans in the likes of Hicks and Donaldson (who is currently on the IL), at this point has been an act that needs to end. No one is winning here, the Yankees are wasting their at-bats and roster spots on players that are only hurting the team. Combined the two are 5/44 for a .114 AVG. That’s just not going to cut it at any professional level.
And for the catching position, Trevino and Higashioka have combined for 15/78 for a .192 AVG. At the catcher position, this is still not great, both players do possess great defense and if this is your one hole in the lineup, you can live with it. But as the stats show above, it’s just another gaping hole in the lineup.
The team has relied on Aaron Judge to hold this offense together and when he struggles the team’s offense collapses. This year Judge is off to a slow start, with .244 AVG, .344 OBP, six HR, and 11 RBIs. Relying solely on one man to shoulder the load is unsustainable, even when Judge had one of the greatest seasons of all time in 2022.
The team needs offensive reinforcements this year if they want to make a deep playoff run in 2023. The idea that Judge will replicate last season’s numbers is unrealistic. The pitching staff has done a good job so far this season. But it needs the offense to help out.
Is There Any Hope?
With the Yankees sitting where they are record-wise with the key players currently hurt, there is hope. The idea is that Luis Severino, Frankie Montas, Jonathan Loaisiga, Rodon, Kahnle, Harrison Bader, and Giancarlo Stanton are expected to return this season, and for some of these guys shortly. The team has reinforcements on the mend in all different areas, Starting Pitching, Bullpen, and the most needed aspect: offense.
The real offensive hope comes from the idea that players like Judge, Volpe, and Cabrera should be able to turn their seasons around and get back on track. But this team is going to need a big acquisition at or before the trade deadline.
Running the same mediocre lineup at best out there is not going to cut it anymore and New Yorkers are getting very restless. The time is now for the Yankees and the front office needs to find a bat or two to add to the team.
Open up the books and trade for a player who is consistent and makes contact, they need more DJ LeMahieus than home run hitters. A deal for a player like Tim Anderson, Charlie Blackmon, Joc Pederson, or even Shohei Ohtani would help this lineup immensely. The Yankees need offensive help soon or the lifelessness will stay and the season will be lost, AGAIN.
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