The Yankees have 3 players destroying their offense

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays, alex verdugo
Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees‘ offense is in shambles, with only Aaron Judge and Juan Soto consistently performing. The rest, including players like Ben Rice, Oswaldo Cabrera, Jahmai Jones, or other reserves in starting roles, are not producing as needed — but what should we expect?

Urgent Need for Improvements at the Trade Deadline

With the bottom half of the order underperforming, General Manager Brian Cashman is under pressure to seek upgrades at the trade deadline in late July to bolster the lineup.

Three Yankees Who Must Elevate Their Game

1. Gleyber Torres: Under Scrutiny in a Contract Year

By far the most problematic is Gleyber Torres, who has spent the last two days on the bench after jogging to first base on a ground ball.

The 27-year-old is in a contract year, and the Yankees see every reason they need to move on without considering a potential extension. Manager Aaron Boone said that Torres would likely return to the lineup on Friday, but a short two-day rest likely didn’t change much for his mental state.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at New York Yankees, gleyber torres
Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

This season, he’s played 80 games, including 327 plate appearances. He’s hitting just .215/.294/.333, including seven homers and 29 RBIs, with an 83 wRC+. His 23.9% strikeout rate is 9% higher than his 14.6% rate in 2023. In addition, his hard-hit percentage has dropped to 34.9%, a career-low.

Across the board, Torres has been a liability, not to mention his defensive, which has been volatile. If the Yankees want any chance of turning things around over the next few weeks and helping to offset the loss of Giancarlo Stanton, they need Torres to carry his weight.

2. Alex Verdugo: An Ice-Cold Slump

For the most part, Alex Verdugo has been solid this season but is going through a nasty cold stretch at the moment. Over the last 30 days, Verdugo is hitting just .216 with a .270 OBP.

Over the last two weeks, he’s hitting .149 with a .231 OBP. In other words, Verdugo has been essentially a ghost in the middle of the lineup, and the 28-year-year-old is also in a contract year.

At the moment, he’s hitting .245 on the season with a .305 OBP, nine homers, and 41 RBIs with a 100 wRC+. Verdugo might be on pace to set a career-high in home runs, and he might be arguably the best defensive left fielder in baseball at the moment, but his struggling offensive production is hurting the Yankees significantly with Stanton on the injured list. It’s fair to mention that most Yankee fans would take an average offensive left fielder with elite defense over the Aaron Hicks experiment.

3. DJ LeMahieu: Facing the Decline

Boone has already suggested that the Yankees will give DJ LeMahieu a long leash to get back to his usual self. However, at 35 years old, LeMahieu may have already had his best days and the underlying metrics certainly suggest a turnaround is unlikely.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Yankees, dj lemahieu
Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Over 23 games, LeMahieu is hitting .178/.274/.178, six RBIs, an 18.8% strikeout rate, and an 11.8% walk rate. LeMahieu is the only player in Major League Baseball with 80 plate appearances and zero extra-base hits. At some point, the Bombers are going to have to acknowledge that DJ simply might not be an asset on a championship-caliber team and is better suited as a primary utility man in a backup role.

LeMahieu’s defense remains solid, but unless his bat takes a dramatic turn in the right direction, it is unlikely he’s going to make much of a difference for the Yankees this season, who desperately need more offensive support from the hot corner.

Yankees’ Crucial Decisions Ahead

As the All-Star break approaches, the Yankees face crucial decisions to revive their lineup and remain competitive. The performance of these key players will be pivotal in turning around the season or determining their fate at the trade deadline.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: