The New York Yankees are in a pretty good place right now for several reasons. One is that their pitching has improved, and the hitting has come alive. Another is that the Yankees are almost whole, with key players returning from the IL. Unfortunately, in a shortened season, everything is magnified. There was no time to play poorly. Unfortunately for the Yankees, they couldn’t avoid a slow patch. With pitching faltering and hitting non-existent, the Yankees slid. A number of injuries eclipsing last year’s unprecedented number of injuries hit the team at the same time, and the Yankees lost 15 of 20 games, right in the middle of the season.
Since then, everything has changed for the Yankees. The Yankee pitchers are pitching well, and the bats are alive and well, with the Yankees hitting home runs at an amazing pace. The bullpen has also done their job limiting opponents’ offense. Even Aroldis Chapman is on track saving his last four games while striking out 9 of 12 batters. All of this while the Yankees have gotten back crucial players.
Gerrit Cole: Gerrit Cole has been our best pitcher this season with 6 wins and an ERA of 3.00. Some have said he hasn’t seemed to be as dominant this season as last year, and that may be true. However, the facts differ. Last season in his first 11 starts with the Houston Astros; his ERA was 2.82, almost the same as this year. Cole in his history has become more dominant as the season progresses.
Luke Voit: Luke has been nothing short of amazing for the Yankees this year. He leads the team with 19 homers. In fact, Luke Voit leads all of baseball, ahead of Nelson Cruz and Mike Trout. He is hitting .280 and has featured this season, timely hitting that has produced 45 RBIs. This is the equivalent of 122 RBIs at this point in a regular season.
Deivi Garcia: Garcia has been one of the most encouraging “baby bomber” pitchers. After making his major league debut, he pitched adequately in his first two games and has dominated in his last two starts, and has a chance to pitch in the postseason.
DJ LeMahieu: This year, DJ is being DJ. Leading off for the Yankees “the machine” continues to get on base with amazing regularity and has shown more power this year. He has the second-most home runs and is batting .373 in 39 games.
Clint Frazier: Frazier has finally found his place with the Yankees, and has earned a regular spot in the lineup. This year Frazier is a much-improved player, making amazing defensive plays and his quick bat has provided seven home runs and a batting average of .303.
Gio Urshela: Gio this year has proved that last year was not a fluke, in fact, he is having an even better year this year. He is making fantastic defensive plays, over and over again, while hitting .286 with six home runs.
Zack Britton: Britton has been the bright spot in the bullpen this year. With the absence of Aroldis Chapman, Britton saved all of his eight possibilities. In seventeen games he has a 2.25 ERA.
Those not mentioned in this article are having average years, relatively unremarkable, neither good nor bad.
Brett Gardner: As much as I have always been a Brett Gardner fan, even I have to admit that his time with the Yankees is near over. After having a break out year last year, he is only batting .185 with 4 home runs. He is just as good in the field, but his hitting proves that last year when he hit 28 home runs, was indeed a fluke.
Tyler Wade: Tyler Wade is hitting just .171. In his four years with the Yankees, he just hasn’t been able to maintain a decent batting average, and he has not developed power, hitting just five home runs in four years.
Mike Ford: Mike Ford has been a great disappointment this year after having a nice season last year. Ford hasn’t been able to get it going this year, batting only .135.
Adam Ottavino: Ottavino is the biggest disappointment in the bullpen. Last year he seemed to run out of gas late in the season. This year he hasn’t had any gas at all, letting down the Yankees with an ERA of 7.43, his worst year since 2010, with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Gary Sanchez: Gary unfortunately hasn’t had a good season since 2017, and this season is the worst one yet. Each year his batting average has dropped, and his strikeouts increased. His present batting average is just .134 and has just 17 hits on the season with 55 strikeouts. Equating that to a regular-season, he would have 149 strikeouts at this point in the season. What is most ugly, is that the Yankees support of Sanchez has been unrelenting, and he will probably catch in most of the postseason games. That one unproductive spot in the lineup could cost the Yankees the postseason.
The New York Yankees will finish the season and go into the postseason without their co-ace Luis Severino, who is out for the remainder of the year, after having Tommy John surgery. They will also be minus last year’s best pitcher, Domingo German who’s suspension will be over during the wild card series. It is doubtful that he will be ready to pitch in the postseason. Next up is second in the rotation, James Paxton that most likely will be out the remainder of the season, and not be ready to pitch in the postseason.
The questionable surrounds sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Both have been on the IL for a prolonged time and have just returned to the lineup this week. Both in their return went hitless, which isn’t surprising. The question is if they can get their timing back in time for the postseason. If they can, they will add a new potency to the Yankee lineup. The other question is if they can remain uninjured.
If the New York Yankees season was to end today they would face the Minnesota Twins, in the first round of the postseason, at Target Field in Minnesota. The New York Yankees have won 13 straight postseason games against the Twins, the longest win streak by any team against a single opponent in postseason history. Half of those games have been in Minnesota. The Yankees swept the Twins last year in the ALDS. Beyond that, it’s a bit of a puzzle to who they will meet up with, and how they will do. One thing we do know is that the Yankees pitching will have to be dominant, and the lineup will have to be alive and well.
Whether the New York Yankees will go to a World Series appearance and whether they will win, it is anybody’s guess, but one thing is for sure, they are in a much better position now than before to succeed and win a 28th World Championship.