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New York Yankees: The Embarrassment of Riches

by Lewis DeAngelis
Mike Tauchman, New York Yankees

The sensational year that the injury-riddled New York Yankees are having could not have been predicted by the organization.

Most of the credit has to go to the Yankees front office, principally General Manager Brian Cashman. Considered to be one of the best general managers of all time, Cashman has worked his magic yet again. He is famously known for turning unknowns into stars when they come to the Bronx. Looking back to last year, the trade for Luke Voit was just the beginning. His pure power and ability to hit to the opposite field turned him into a star, using the short porch in right field. 

Fast forward to this year, the Yankees add Mike Tauchman (from trade), DJ Lemahieu (free agent signing), Gio Urshela (free agent signing), Edwin Encarnacion (from trade), and Cameron Maybin (from trade). The big question is: with all of these guys producing, who is going to be left out? The notable Yankees Luis Severino, Dellin Betances, Luke Voit, Aaron Hicks, Edwin Encarnacion, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez will all slowly make their way back in late August through late September. It will be tough benching players who have proven their worth at the MLB level. Players like: Mike Ford, Breyvic Valera, Kyle Higashioka, and Tyler Wade will most likely be optioned to Triple-AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre when everyone comes back. However, all of these players have contributed to the team at some point during the year. 

The Significant Contributions of the Yankees’ Newcomers

The stats for some of the newcomers to the Yankees are something that would be seen in a video game. Mike Tauchman has been a pleasant surprise while replacing Giancarlo Stanton. He is batting a career-high .299, with a .371 on-base percentage, and .934 OPS (Baseball Reference). DJ Lemahieu is having an MVP-caliber season for the Yankees. He is leading the American League in batting average at .336, a career-high in home runs with 18, and runs batted in with 76. He has also been able to play multiple positions at a high level, which makes him even more valuable.

Before his offensive surge, Gio Urshela was remembered for making a costly error for the Cleveland Indians in the 2017 ALDS. His numbers this year have made everyone forget that ever happened. He is slashing with a .314 batting average, .522 slugging, and a .882 OPS. Urshela is currently nursing a leg injury and is day-to-day (Baseball Reference). The Yankees acquired Edwin Encarnacion in a trade with the Mariners. He was leading the AL in home runs until Mike Trout’s unreal July home run surge. He has 30 home runs, 76 RBIs, and 57 walks. A fractured bone in his right wrist led to his placement on the 10-day IL. Last but not least, Cameron Maybin, the veteran leader the Yankees needed, has been a clutch performer as well. He has shown speed on the bases as well with 10 stolen bases. 

Despite all of the production from the “next man up”, the Yankees have a good problem heading into the postseason. Cashman and Boone now know they can trust any of these hitters on the roster to fill their role, whether as a starter or off the bench. As long as the starting pitching can keep their earned run averages down to four, the Yankees should be fine with all of the “savages” in the box.

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