Yankees dodge bullet with second baseman but infield support is desperately needed

MLB: Oakland Athletics at New York Yankees, gleyber torres
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The New York Yankees have recently struggled, losing five of their last six games, including an 8-1 blowout loss to the Atlanta Braves on Friday. This downturn in performance spans across all areas of the team.

Struggles Across the Board for the Yankees

The starting pitching has been lackluster, but the bullpen’s performance has deteriorated even further, and the Yankees’ offense seems to have vanished. These types of challenging periods are tough, but it is somewhat relieving that this slump is occurring in June rather than during the postseason—a time when the Yankees have historically faltered.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Yankees
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Despite these challenges, the Baltimore Orioles are now just half a game behind the Bombers in the AL East, putting the Yankees’ lead under significant pressure.

A Glimmer of Hope Amidst Injuries

On a positive note, the team announced that Gleyber Torres’s right groin injury is considered day-to-day, which means it won’t sideline him for an extended period. However, the timing is less than ideal as Torres, in the midst of his worst professional season, is hitting only .221/.300/.341 with seven home runs and 28 RBIs. His strikeout rate stands at 23.6% against a 9.6% walk rate. Given that he’s in a contract year, this downturn could not have come at a worse time, potentially forcing him to settle for a one-year contract in 2025 in hopes of securing a longer-term deal later.

Challenges in the Infield

Compounding the issue, Torres’s replacement, Oswaldo Cabrera, is experiencing an even more disappointing offensive season. Over 60 games and 195 plate appearances, Cabrera is batting .231/.272/.341, including five homers and 23 RBIs.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at New York Yankees, gleyber torres
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As the trade deadline approaches, General Manager Brian Cashman is compelled to be proactive in seeking an infielder. While the return of Jon Berti from the injured list is a boon, the Yankees need to secure a championship-caliber player, or at least someone who can perform above average, even if only slightly. This season, both Torres and Cabrera have posted a weighted runs created plus (wRC+) below 90, indicating they are performing at least 10% worse than the average MLB hitter, with Cabrera lagging by 25%.

Looking Ahead: Urgency as the Deadline Approaches

The Yankees are exposed now, but identifying these issues early provides a silver lining—it’s better to address these challenges now rather than later. The upcoming trade deadline offers a crucial opportunity for the Yankees to bolster their lineup, relying less on unproven youngsters and aging veterans and more on strategic acquisitions to turn their season around.

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