Yankees fans disillusioned with Anthony Rizzo after his fifth defensive error

Anthony Rizzo's fifth defensive error of the season on April 17, 2024, in Toronto causes an uproar among Yankees fans.
Sara Molnick
Thursday April 18, 2024

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New York Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo has found himself in the crosshairs due to his recent defensive miscues on the field. His struggles were glaringly evident on Sunday, as he committed two errors during the team’s 8-7 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

These issues persisted in Wednesday’s Yankees game against the Toronto Blue Jays. With a runner on base and one out, the four-time Gold Glove winner mishandled a groundball that could have potentially resulted in an out. This blunder has heightened concerns among fans regarding Rizzo’s defensive reliability.

Fortunately, the Yankees managed to escape the inning unscathed, without allowing any runs to cross the plate. However, the recurring errors have left the Yankee faithful divided in their opinions.

Some fans believe manager Aaron Boone should grant Rizzo a brief respite from the field to work through his defensive slump. They are hesitant to see him on the diamond while he’s struggling defensively. Others are pushing for a more drastic solution, advocating for a change at the first base position entirely. For this group, the high stakes of the season make them unwilling to stick with a player who’s experiencing difficulties.

With the Yankees in pursuit of a championship, Rizzo’s defensive performance will likely remain a hot-button topic amongst fans until he can turn things around and regain his form on the field.

This uncommon occurrence now marks his season’s error count at five, diverging sharply from his typical reliability, especially considering his remarkable record of just four errors across 92 games last season.

Yankees fan discontent with Rizzo’s sloppy defense

Anthony Rizo, the Yankees player
USA Today

A cause for concern has emerged for the New York Yankees: the uncharacteristic defensive play of Anthony Rizzo. According to Baseball Reference, the typically reliable first baseman has committed a surprising three errors in just 18 games this season. This is a stark contrast to Rizzo’s decorated past, which includes four Gold Glove Awards and a coveted Platinum Glove Award, signifying him as the league’s premier defensive first baseman at one point.

These defensive miscues have prompted speculation about the root cause. Some point to Rizzo’s late-season concussion in 2023, sustained in a collision with Fernando Tatis Jr. The injury forced him to miss the remainder of the season as he battled the aftermath of post-concussion syndrome. Rizzo himself has admitted this recovery process was one of the toughest challenges of his career.

While he maintains he feels significantly better now, lingering effects from the concussion could be impacting his performance on the field. This concern will likely remain a top priority for the Yankees front office as the season progresses. Their championship aspirations hinge on a strong defensive performance, and Rizzo’s recent struggles cast a shadow over that goal. The Yankees will need to closely monitor his progress and determine the best course of action to help him regain his usual defensive prowess.

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