New York Yankees Analysis: Where has all the hitting gone, long time missing

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu
Mar 8, 2020; Sarasota, Florida, USA; New York Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu (26) watches batting practice before the start of the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

After a truncated, failed 2020 baseball season, the New York Yankees seem to be on a path to success as they approach first place in the AL East after a slow start to this season. The pitching has been great, and the fieldwork has improved greatly, but the missing piece of the puzzle is the Yankee hitting. It isn’t there for the most part, and when it is, it isn’t consistent.

This is something that not only affects the Yankees but seems to be baseball-wide. Whether it be a deadened ball or outstanding pitching, something is going on that’s different this season. The modern-era record (since 1900) for no-hitters is seven in a season. This year we have six already, and it not even June yet. One was by the New York Yankees starter Corey Kluber. If this pace continues, we could have as many as 18, well more than twice the normal amount.

Don’t get too excited

It’s easy to get really excited with how the New York Yankees have been playing the last few weeks. After all, they have now won nine series in a row: Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Washington Nationals, Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, and now the White Sox. But look closely at why this is happening. It’s for three reasons: We have had excellent starting pitching, a stellar bullpen, and hitting is down throughout baseball.

It’s easy for Yankee fans, particularly newer ones to get overly down on the team when they aren’t playing well and over-excited when they play well. One just remember to keep your eye on the ball, the big picture, it’s a long season.

So you ask, with all this winning going on, why should there be any reason for concern. It’s simply the New York Yankees hitting overall stinks. If our pitching falters, our hitting will not win games, and that should be a concern. Take a look at how we have been hitting at Yankee Stadium and on the road:

The New York Yankees have only played on the road at Baltimore, Toronto south, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, and Arlington, Texas.

Baltimore: .273 BA, .808 OPS (7 games)

Toronto: .198 BA, .651 OPS (3 games)

Cleveland: .209 BA, .758 OPS (4 games)

Tampa Bay: .204 BA, .620 OPS (6 games)

Texas: .253 BA, .680 OPS  (4 games)

Yankee Stadium: .220 BA, .684 OPS (22 games)

We are only playing well against the Baltimore Orioles and okay against the Texas Rangers; other than those teams; we are subpar. Even at Yankee Stadium, we aren’t that good. We are 13-9 At the Stadium; that’s the same record we have experienced on the road, 4 games above .500. Usually, the Yankees play much better at home than on the road.

Our good luck may not hold up season-wise if our hitting doesn’t improve. Like I say, we have been lucky; we have scored 3 or fewer runs in 23 games this season. On average, you have to score more than 3 runs a game to win games consistently. As of today, we have 9 hitters of the 14 regular players that are hitting under .200, which is just plain horrible.

To continue to win games, we must continue the excellent pitching; the aforementioned 9 have got to bring their averages up, and our star players need to be great. The Yankees are looking forward to getting Giancarlo Stanton back and Luis Severino to strengthen the starting rotation, and Zack Britton to shore up the bullpen.

The bottom line is that this is a quality team that can make a run for a World Series berth, but better hitting will get them closer to that goal. Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gio Urshela are hitting, Gleyber Torres is looking encouraging. Although DJ LeMahieu is hitting, he is not the dependable hitter he was last year. His batting average is 100 points lower than last year, and he only has 14 RBI’s. Luke Voit, just returning is too early to evaluate. The rest of the team needs to pick it up.