The New York Yankees have killed two birds with one stone. They have finally addressed a lack of contact hitting and left-hand batters. In as many as two days, they have added two left-hand bats to the lineup. They acquired lefty Joey Gallo from the Texas Rangers and lefty Anthony Rizzo from the Chicago Cubs. This season’s Yankees’ primary problem is a lack of hitting from an underachieving lineup. Part of that problem is that the lefties they have outside of Rougie Odor have not been producing. Brett Gardner has a batting average of .196. Tyler Wade at .191, and Odor at .227.
At the beginning of July, when it comes to the left side, New York is dead last in the majors in batting average (.168), OPS (.540), BABIP (.204), wOBA (.249), and wRC+ (58). Yankees lefties are only a few steps from the cellar regarding runs, home runs, RBI, and ISO. Although not superstars Gallo and Rizzo will greatly increase those figures even if they don’t play well. Their combined batting average is in the .240s with 39 home runs and almost 100 RBI’s. The addition will also make it more difficult for opponent pitchers to navigate the Yankee lineup.
The New York Yankees now have the option of putting out 4 lefties in the lineup when it is called for.
Gallo has had a fine career for nine years with the Texas Rangers. Gallo is both a contact and power lefty. The 27-year-old is also a fine defensive player that is versatile. Primarily, he can play any outfield position, but he can also defend at the infield’s corners. This season he is batting .223 with 25 home runs, more than any Yankee hitter. He also has 55 RBIs. Going into a 3 game series with the Miami Marlins; fans will likely see Gallo somewhere in the middle of the lineup and out in left field.
Rizzo is an eleven-year veteran who has spent all but one year with the Chicago Cubs. He doesn’t have the power he once had but will be a valuable contract hitter for the Yankees. His batting average this season is .248 with 14 home runs. He, similar to DJ LeMahieu, gets on base and moves runners. He is an excellent defender at first base. He will likely find himself somewhere in the middle of the lineup, possibly breaking up Stanton and Sanchez. With two successful lefty hitters now in the Yankees lineup, it entirely changes the lineup dynamics and may turn around a season for the team.
Notes: Previous to the Gallo and Rizzo trade, the Yankees acquired Glay Holmes, a righty reliever. He is 28 years old, the Yankees, even with his elevated ERA, see Holmes as a righty assassin. The Yankees acquired him from the Pirates. He made his Yankee debut last night in the ninth inning, pitching a scoreless in for the Yankees.
With the trade deadline drawing to a close at 4 pm today, the Yankees still have $4 million to spend without going over the luxury tax threshold. Stay tuned to EmpireSportsMedia.com for all the latest developments.