Insiders identify 3 roster flaws that could doom the Yankees in playoffs

aaron judge of yankees
AP
Sara Molnick
Friday October 7, 2022

Table of Contents

The American League East champion New York Yankees are waiting to see who wins the Wild Card Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cleveland Guardians. Their Game 1 of the American League Division Series is set for Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. But before that, there is a warning sign for them.

The Yankees can definitely use the time off to give their injured players a few days to rest. But injuries aren’t the only thing that could kill the Yankees in the postseason. MLB insiders have disclosed to The Athletic that the Yankees have damaging roster flaws. It interviewed them and gave each of the 12 MLB playoff teams a grade based on their feedback. But the Yankees were placed in “Tier 2″ and considered overhyped.

It quoted three reasons for this downgrading of and a question mark on the Yankees’ chances in playoffs.

First, it quoted one NL scout, who said: “Their bullpen scares the hell out of me. There have been big cracks there. Take a look at Clay Holmes now. And Aroldis Chapman seems to be about done.”

Secondly, an NL coach told it: “A good right-handed pitcher can show them up. Their lineup gets even shorter if left-handed batters Anthony Rizzo and Matt Carpenter aren’t healthy.”

Thirdly, another NL Scout said: “They just looked so hurt right now. They are a team that might need those extra days off at the start.”

The Athletic analysis drives home the roster issues the Yankees are facing this season. Their bullpen is underpowered as many pitchers are struggling with injury. Even they don’t have a good righty pitcher to practice. The offense is fully dependent on Aaron Judge and may face more doldrums if Rizzo or Carpenter suffers an injury.

The report also put the St. Louis Cardinals, who won their division in the National League Central, and the New York Mets, who will play the San Diego Padres in the wild-card round starting on Friday, in Tier 2.

Only three teams are in Tier 1. These are the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Atlanta Braves, and the Houston Astros. They, according to the report, are World Series front-runners.

The Yankees’ hit-or-miss offense fits playoffs

As the MLB playoffs get closer, the New York Yankees’ offense continues to become erratic. With all the attention on Aaron Judge and his attempt to hit 62 home runs and win the Triple Crown, it’s easy to forget that he’s not the only player in the lineup who can hit long balls.

Anthony Rizzo hit 32 home runs at the end of the 2022 season, and Giancarlo Stanton hit 31. So, the Yankees hit 254 home runs this season, which was the most in MLB. They also scored 807 runs, which was the most in the American League. This augurs well for playoffs, where hits do matter a lot.

This got the attention of MLB.com, which found “one stat that defines each playoff team.” It highlights:

They got 50.8% of their runs from home runs, which was the most in the Major Leagues. That looks good going into the baseball playoffs. Last year, teams that out-homered their opponents went 25–2 in games. Overall, 49.8% of runs were scored by home runs, which is the third-highest rate in a single postseason since the playoffs got bigger in 1969. Only 2020 (51.3% of runs) and 2017 (50.9% of runs) were higher.

The 254 home runs the Yankees hit in one season were the third-most ever for a single campaign in the history of the franchise. In 2019, they reached 306, while in 2018, they only managed 267.

Will the Yankees’ offense become more suitable for playoffs where home runs decide everything?

Related posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Pinstripes Nation!

Your Daily Dose of Yankees Magic Delivered to Your Inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Don't Miss Any of the Latest Yankees News, Rumors, and Exclusive Offers!