The Yankees are walking into the perfect storm with more position news for next week

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

The Yankees endured the perfect storm last week, as they lost five games in a row, including three to the Baltimore Orioles. There’s a big difference between being hit by the perfect storm and being the perfect storm. The Yankees are flipping the script as we speak, as they’ve embarked on a four-game winning streak and are looking to close out a four-game sweep against the Orioles on Sunday.

The storm that is brewing is headed toward open water, where it can gain its strength and begin to head toward the coast. The open water represents Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, who are set to return next weekend and will add needed firepower to the batting order. Heading to the coast represents the opposing teams that remain in their path as they climb the playoff standings. Entering Saturday’s game, the Yankees were in the final spot for the wildcard, but are in a place to make positive movement up the rankings.

“I would say they’re both close,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said on a Zoom call Friday. “They’re both feeling well. They’re both doing well. Hopefully, we’re in the final days before they start getting some at-bats.”

The Yankees have been forced into a corner, similar to 2019:

Without Judge and Stanton, the Yankees have been deploying a number of different reserve options. Ranging from Mike Ford to Clint Frazier — their offense has been spotty at best.

If not for a Jordan Montgomery gem on Saturday, the Yankees might not have walked away with a victory. They ultimately won 2-1, but only tallied five hits on the day. The kinks in their armor remain, Gary Sanchez, who’s been hitting the ball better as of late, Mike Ford, who’s hitting .137 with a .274 slugging percentage, and Tyler Wade, who’s hitting .152. Even Mike Tauchman has been a liability at the plate lately, failing to get on base during Saturday’s game.

Prior to going down, the 28-year-old Aaron Judge was hitting .292 with a .738 slugging percentage, adding nine homers and 20 RBIs. Judge looked phenomenal this season through 18 games, and Stanton mirrored his performance.

Over 14 games, Stanton was hitting .293 with a .585 slugging percentage, including three homers and seven RBIs. A left hamstring strain has kept him out since August 8 against the Tampa Bay Rays. This will be a perfect time to gain him back starting next weekend, as the Yankees are only a few weeks away from the postseason.

Ideally, both Judge and Stanton will return against the Boston Red Sox next week, giving them an opportunity to earn live reps against Toronto and Miami before the regular season concludes.