MLB insider points out 3 key problems plaguing the Yankees

Anthony Rizzo at the New York Yankees dugout at Yankee Stadium.

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MLB insider and columnist for the New York Post, Joel Sherman has identified three issues that are core to all the troubles confronting the Yankees. While speaking on the Foul Territory podcast with A.J. Pierzynski, he shared his evaluation of the 2023 New York Yankees.

He pointed out that the team faces issues related to the age range of some players, the youthfulness of others, and heavy dependence on Aaron Judge, implying that these factors are contributing to their struggles.

“They’re too old, they’re too young, and they’re too Judge.”

The New York Yankees find themselves in a difficult position within the highly competitive American League East division. Currently, their record stands at 39-33 as they head into this week’s games. They recently suffered a defeat when their long-time rival, the Boston Red Sox, a team with a rich and illustrious history, swept them in a three-game series.

The Yankees veterans are lifeless

If the New York Yankees had a 39-33 record in the AL Central division, they would be in first place with a three-game lead. However, in the AL East, they are currently 10.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays, who have the best record in Major League Baseball at 51-24.

As of this week, the New York Yankees have a slightly better record than the Toronto Blue Jays, who are currently in fourth place in their division. The Yankees are also two games ahead of the Red Sox, who are at the bottom of the division standings.

The Yankees’ core hitters, including Giancarlo StantonDJ LeMahieu, and Josh Donaldson, have been mired in a prolonged slump. Even Anthony Rizzo, who initially showed promise, has seen his performance decline, with just one hit in his last seven at-bats, resulting in a dismal .083 batting average over the past 13 games.

Stanton’s return from the injured list on June 2 hasn’t provided the expected boost, as he has gone hitless in eight at-bats, lowering his batting average to a concerning .147 in the 12 games since his return. The Yankees are growing increasingly worried about his lack of production. Throughout 18 innings of play, the team has struggled to find their offensive rhythm, mustering only eight hits in total, with four hits in each game.

Yankees’ young brigade lack experience

Sherman feels the young guns on the Yankees roster lack big-game experience. Anthony Volpe remains largely ineffective on the plate despite heavy backing. He has the talent and energy but somewhere his batting stance flares up only sporadically.

A dejected Jhony Brito after the Twins hit him for 9 runs in the first innings on Apr 13, 2023, at Yankee Stadium.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Po

Young starter Jhony Britto made a great start but fell behind as the season progressed. Newly promoted starter Clarke Schmidt is equally submissive. Matt Krook made one of the most forgettable debuts.

No Yankees plan B for Judge

The New York Yankees have been facing significant difficulties, especially since their star player and reigning AL MVP, Aaron Judge, is currently sidelined due to an injury. Judge, who is not only the team’s captain but also a crucial component of the Yankees offense, hurt his right big toe when he collided with the outfield fence during a game at Dodger Stadium.

Aaron Judge is the captain of the New York Yankees.

In an attempt to alleviate Aaron Judge’s discomfort and facilitate his return to the field, he received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his injured toe. Despite this treatment, there is currently no specific timeframe for when he will be able to resume playing.

Last week, Yankees manager Aaron Boone informed MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch that there is a possibility of Aaron Judge returning to play around the time of the All-Star Break in mid-July. Boone expressed uncertainty regarding the exact timeline, stating that Judge might come back within a week or it could take up to four weeks.

Aaron Judge has encountered multiple injuries this season, resulting in him being placed on the injured list twice. In addition to his current toe injury, he was also sidelined in May due to a sore hip. As a result, Judge has only been able to participate in 49 out of the Yankees’ 69 games thus far in the season.

Aaron Judge’s presence in the lineup has a significant impact on the team’s dynamics. When he plays, it brings about a noticeable change. Currently, Judge boasts a batting average of.291, along with 19 home runs and 40 RBIs. Impressively, he averages a home run every 11.2 plate appearances, highlighting his ability to deliver powerful hits for the team.

When Aaron Judge is included in the Yankees’ lineup, the team has a record of 30 wins and 19 losses. However, when Judge is absent from the lineup, the team’s record drops to 9 wins and 14 losses.  This illustrates the significant impact Judge has on the team’s overall performance and highlights his importance to their success.

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