The simple fact that the New York Yankees have climbed to a 27-16 record on the backs of reserve players like Gio Urshela, Mike Tauchman, Clint Frazier, and more, is astonishing. They’re tied for first place with the Tampa Bay Rays and are fighting for the lead in a split series.
With the Red Sox featuring their entire starting team minus one or two players, the Yankees have battled more injuries than one can count. Ranging from starting pitchers to outfielders, infielders, and the team’s best hitters have been forced out with different ailments, some of which will see certain players out for months.
How have the New York Yankees fared without their impact players?
At the current moment, the Bombers rank in the middle of the pack in offensive efficiency – .252 batting average and .328 on-base percentage. If you take a look at three influential players that have been out for quite some time, we can see what the potential of the team can be.
In 2018, Aaron Judge hit .278 with an OBP of .392, well above the team average this season. His loss has been detrimental to the offense, but luckily the pitching and a few timely hits by Urshela have helped keep the Yankees’ record respectable.
Giancarlo Stanton, Judge’s slugging partner, batted .266 with an OBP .343. Aaron Hicks, who just returned on Friday night in a walk-off victory against the Rays hit .248 with an OBP of .366 last season. His ability to draw walks and get on base is his primary contribution, as well as his defensive capabilities.
Gaining back these three influential starters will do wonders for the offense and team spirit once they can all make a return. Judge is still several weeks out from making a potential appearance and Stanton is still healing from a shoulder injury that was a by-product from a strained bicep.
However, it seems as if the current team can handle the load in the meant time, but there have been moments where things seem to be falling apart. Maintaining the level of success they have enjoyed lately will be difficult, but they’ve shown they can weather the storm.
Gaining back their sluggers and a slew of pitchers (Luis Severino and Dellin Betances) this season will put them in a solid position heading into a playoff push. Don’t forget about Didi Gregorius who is progressing through rehab very well. He batted .268 with an OBP of .335 in 2018. He will be a fantastic addition to the team upon his return. However, in the meantime, DJ LeMahieu has filled in valiantly as Gleyber Torres has taken over at shortstop.
I anticipate Torres moving back to second and Gregorius to short upon his return. LeMahieu will act as a rotating option to mitigate fatigue and injury.