The New York Yankees have lost four of their last five games, recently being swept by the Detroit Tigers over the weekend. The offense has been quite disappointing for some time, but the starting pitching has now begun to struggle, which was the only factor holding the Yankees above water the past few weeks.
Over the last three games, the Yankees have scored a measly five runs, allowing 15, showcasing their weaknesses in the batting order and desperate need for more offense of production.
However, ahead of the Tampa series on Monday, skipper Aaron Boone decided to make a few interesting changes. Devising a remedy to fix the most prevalent issue is not easy, but Boone has decided to bench Gary Sanchez and Clint Frazier, despite both being healthy and available.
The Yankees’ lineup for Monday’s game:
1. DJ LeMahieu, 1B
2. Giancarlo Stanton, DH
3. Aaron Judge, RF
4. Gio Urshela, 3B
5. Gleyber Torres SS
6. Rougned Odor, 2B
7. Miguel Andujar, LF
8. Kyle Higashioka, C
9. Brett Gardner, CF
The batting order is a bit different without the two, as Kyle Higashioka will get the start at catcher, and Miguel Andujar will play in left field. Over 132 at-bats, Frazier is hitting .182 with a .311 slugging percentage. He currently hosts a -0.8 WAR, recording just 24 hits and 13 runs.
Alternatively, Andujar has 62 at-bats, totaling a .226 average with a .242 slugging percentage. He has a -0.6 WAR with 14 hits and zero homers. He’s struck out 15 times compared to Frazier’s 42, representing a better percentage, indicating he lands more contact on the ball and has a better chance of getting on base.
Ultimately, the Yankees had to make a change at some point, and considering Sanchez struggles at the plate and behind it, Higgy once again will have an opportunity to showcase his abilities.
Boone is simply running out of options as the team suffers significant injuries and must work around them once again. This seems to be an every year event, and while Boone has worked some magic in the past to supplement losses, this time, things seem to be out a bit more serious without outfield depth. Trading Mike Tauchman seems to be a mistake in hindsight.