Yankees invite offensive woes by disconnecting from the ’90s approach

Giancarlo Stanton hits during the Yankees vs. Rays game at Tropicana Field on Aug 25, 2023.

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During a meeting with the media on Wednesday, Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman told that the ongoing season was a disaster for the team. He pointed out that nobody within the Yankees roster, coaching staff, managerial team, or even external observers could have foreseen the circumstances that had unfolded.

Enduring defeats in 10 out of their last 12 games and currently holding a record of 62-66, the Yankees are seemingly on track for their most disappointing ending since the 1992 season, when they concluded the season with a record of 76-86. Speculation has arisen, suggesting that the Yankees may be lagging in adopting a modernized approach, characterized by a focus on either home runs or minimal outcomes.

However, Joe Migliaccio, the Yankees’ hitting coordinator, holds a contrasting viewpoint. Migliaccio addressed a prevalent misunderstanding regarding the development strategies employed by the Yankees and baseball as a whole. He clarified that the misconception revolves around the notion that they exclusively instruct a particular swing, characterized by a focus on either hitting home runs or accepting strikeouts, leaving no room for an intermediate approach.

Migliaccio conveyed this viewpoint during a conversation with Greg Joyce from The New York Post. He emphasized that this perception is far from accurate, and further explained that their objective isn’t to compromise contact for the sake of enhancing contact quality. Instead, there exists a balance that requires consideration and adjustment.

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Yankees slump following offensive decline

An in-depth analysis of the statistics corroborates Migliaccio’s evaluation.

The current season for the Yankees hasn’t solely revolved around the dichotomy of hitting home runs or succumbing to strikeouts. While their 176 home runs position them in seventh place in the league, their 23 percent strikeout rate places them around the middle of the league’s spectrum.

The primary factor negatively influencing the team’s performance is their struggle to achieve a high on-base percentage. The Yankees find themselves near the bottom in this category, ranking fifth from the last with a .305 on-base percentage. This marks a significant decline of 20 points from the previous season, during which their .325 OPS was on par with the top four in MLB. Consequently, they rank 23rd in the league with 538 runs scored, projecting to a pace of 686 runs over a 162-game span. This is notably lower than their tally of 807 runs from last season, which secured them the second spot in MLB.

In response to Cashman’s press conference, Billy Beane, an executive from the Oakland Athletics, voiced his support for the Yankees’ GM through comments to NJ Advance Media’s Bob Klapisch. He mentioned that over the past twenty-five years, the Yankees have been the singular team that has managed to avoid experiencing a period of decline. Beane characterized this streak as truly remarkable.

Beane gained recognition for his scouting methodology as portrayed in Michael Lewis’ acclaimed book “Moneyball.” Essentially, the concept of “Moneyball” revolves around the strategy of acquiring players who excel at reaching base. Given that the fundamental objective of the sport is to generate runs, there’s no more effective way to achieve this than having ample runners on base to drive in.

During their successful championship run in the 1990s, the Yankees incidentally employed a similar approach, although it wasn’t characterized by a catchy term at that time. Perhaps revisiting this past strategy could offer a solution to their current challenge. By doing so, the Yankees might be able to reignite their winning momentum.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

3 thoughts on “Yankees invite offensive woes by disconnecting from the ’90s approach

  1. Migliaccio should save this explanation for his job interview after the season. He fits the scapegoat profile and probably deserves it but I give him credit for going public to market himself for his next job.
    If you believe what he says I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

  2. I have some numbers for the Yankee analytical department. The Yankees are 62-67 on August 27. Those are the only numbers that count.

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