Yankees back Anthony Rizzo despite struggles, amid fan criticism

Due to the Yankees' poor performance in 2024, some fans were upset that Anthony Rizzo was included in the lineup on May 29, 2024.
Amanda Paula
Wednesday May 29, 2024

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The New York Yankees released another lineup with Anthony Rizzo included, but the Bronx Bombers’ fanbase widely criticized this decision due to his recent performances.

Anthony Rizzo’s status shifts amid criticism from Yankees fans

Due to the Yankees' poor performance in 2024, some fans were upset that Anthony Rizzo was included in the lineup on May 29, 2024.
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Although Anthony Rizzo stays in the Yankees‘ lineup, his status has changed. Bryan Hoch reported that the first baseman was out of early batting practice with coaches James Rowson and Pat Roessler. Rizzo has been a regular figure in the lineup since August 1 of last season, when undiagnosed post-concussion symptoms ended his year after a problematic two-month stretch.

After the Yankees decided to keep Anthony Rizzo in the lineup, fans expressed their displeasure. One user on X.com (formerly known as Twitter) said he would rather see Jahmai Jones than Rizzo.

Despite the criticism, Rizzo remained the first baseman, prompting other fans to make ironic comments about the situation.

A closer look at Anthony Rizzo’s 2024 season

Due to the Yankees' poor performance in 2024, some fans were upset that Anthony Rizzo was included in the lineup on May 29, 2024.
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In 2024, Anthony Rizzo has struggled to meet expectations despite insisting he is healthy. During Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to the Angels, the player went 0-for-4 and failed to handle a grounder from Luis Rengifo in the eighth inning. Initially charged with an error, the play was later ruled a hit, but it set up a two-run double by Taylor Ward, giving the Angels the lead.

“To the standard that I hold myself to, I just need to be better,” Rizzo told the YES Network after the game. “I need to make that play. That one stings.”

Tuesday’s game marked Rizzo’s fourth error in 55 games this season, tying him for the most errors among MLB first basemen. Last season, he made four errors in 92 games, indicating a decline in his defensive performance. He also made an error in Sunday’s loss to the Padres when he failed to handle a bunt from Ha-Seong Kim, allowing the Padres to take the lead.

Although some of Anthony Rizzo’s errors have been reclassified as hits, his defense has yet to live up to his four-time Gold Glove reputation. As of the time this article was published, Anthony Rizzo had been officially charged with three errors, tying for the second most among first basemen, and had recorded zero Outs Above Average, compared to seven over 99 games last year. His Fielding Run-Value is 0, and his Defensive Runs Saved is -1.

Offensively, Anthony Rizzo has also underperformed. Entering Wednesday’s game, he had a .245/.310/.370 slash line, with seven home runs, 25 RBIs, and a wRC+ of 99, considered league-average. Since colliding with Fernando Tatis Jr. on May 28 last year, Rizzo has hit just .213/.292/.305, with a 74 wRC+—the 12th-worst in baseball and second-worst among first basemen with at least 400 plate appearances during that span.

Looking ahead

According to NY Daily News writer Garry Phillips, the Yankees hold a $17 million club option on Rizzo, with a $6 million buyout. Despite Rizzo’s struggles, the Yankees’ offense has performed well, and DJ LeMahieu’s return from the injured list provides an experienced backup first baseman.

Despite Anthony Rizzo’s struggles this season, the New York Yankees have potential replacements in their lineup. Jasson Dominguez’s latest rehab performance might give the Yanks additional options, though the Bronx Bombers remain cautious about activating him. DJ LeMahieu is expected to primarily play third base but may occasionally replace Rizzo if his performance continues to decline.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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One thought on “Yankees back Anthony Rizzo despite struggles, amid fan criticism

  1. Cashman doesn’t sit big money veterans, and due to the roster construction, unless they want to swap out Rizzo for Cabrera, there is no other choice on the active roster. You can’t even sit Jason Giambi anymore simply because you have Tino Martinez on the bench to replace him.

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