The Yankees face a daunting reality without their superstar slugger

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at New York Yankees
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have experienced a downturn, dropping two consecutive games to the Los Angeles Dodgers following an 11–3 loss on Saturday night. The game highlighted struggles across the board, particularly with starting pitcher Nestor Cortes, who labored through 5.1 innings, managing only 83 pitches and yielding four earned runs, including two homers. The bullpen provided little relief, with Tommy Kahnle and Dennis Santana conceding six combined earned runs.

Yankees Falter Against Dodgers Amidst Offensive Drought

While pitching took the brunt of the blame, the Yankees’ offense was noticeably absent. Despite star slugger Aaron Judge hitting two homers, the team’s lineup faltered significantly without Juan Soto, reminiscent of their struggles throughout 2023.

Soto’s Absence and the Team’s Offensive Strain

The significance of Juan Soto in the Yankees’ lineup cannot be overstated, evidenced by the meager four runs the team has scored over the last two games. Soto, who boasts an impressive .318/.424/.603 slash line with 17 homers and 53 RBIs this season is sorely missed. His replacement, Trent Grisham, has only managed a .083 batting average, underscoring a drastic drop-off in production.

May 22, 2024; Bronx, New York, USA;  New York Yankees right fielder Juan Soto (22) celebrates with center fielder Aaron Judge (99) after hitting a two-run home run in the third inning against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

With Judge as the lone superstar currently active, the Yankees are feeling the pinch, with other players’ struggles becoming more pronounced. The presence of Soto in the lineup not only boosts offensive output but also helps mitigate the impact of slumps from other key players like Gleyber Torres and Anthony Rizzo, allowing the top half of the order to excel.

Manager Aaron Boone recently indicated that Soto would avoid the injured list but would take a few days off to recover. While Soto is eager to return, it is unlikely he will be back for the series finale against the Dodgers on Sunday night.

As the Yankees set their sights on an upcoming four-game series in Kansas City starting Monday, they hope for Soto’s mid-week return. In the meantime, the team must find a way to cope without one of their most valuable players and a leading MVP candidate.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: