The All-Star break is meant to offer a short resting period for MLB teams heading into the second half of the season. As for the Yankees, they desperately needed some time to regain their strength and turn the corner after finishing the first half of the year just barely above the .500 mark. They currently sit 8.0 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East and 4.5 games back on the Oakland Athletics in the Wild Card race. With plenty of games left to catch up, the Yankees are still in the fold but desperately need their starting pitching and offensive production to increase.
The Bombers were scheduled to take on Boston on Thursday evening, but a COVID-19 outbreak within the team forced the game to be postponed. Just when the Yankees felt as though they were ready to flip the script, another obstacle was presented, and it is possible they miss the entire series after six players were confirmed with positive cases.
However, one former Yankee believes the season is all that but done for his team:
â€œThe way the Rays and the Red Sox are going, I think, unless thereâ€™s radical changeâ€”and I donâ€™t see one comingâ€”I think the partyâ€™s over at least this year for the Yankees,â€Â said Alex Rodriguez on FOX Sports.
Ultimately, one of the biggest flaws for the Bombers this season is their lack of lefty-hitting, which normally offers diversity in the batting order, providing leverage over pictures.
â€œAs a right-handed hitter, I loved having a left-handed guy right behind me like [Ken] Griffey [Jr.], or [Mark] Teixieira, or [Hideki] Matsui,” Rodriguez added, via Pat Ragazzo’s transcription on SI. “What we want as a lineup, we want lefty-righty-lefty-righty. That way, that opposing manager always has a tough decision. Right now, the way that team is architected, thereâ€™s eight righties against a righty [pitcher]. Theyâ€™re last in doubles, theyâ€™re last in triples, theyâ€™re second in double plays. They have made a ton of outs, almost 40 outs, on the bases.â€
Rodriguez nails it on the head, the Yankees have followed an analytically distraught method, and if that doesnâ€™t change quickly, they will find themselves plummeting down the standings even further. Rumors have indicated that general manager Brian Cashman could be intrigued by Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo, who offers a big lefty bat. While he would be expensive to acquire, heâ€™s exactly what the Yankees need in the middle of the lineup, fitting their mold perfectly while adding a bit of variety.
Unfortunately, the Yankees are strapped for cash and are still dealing with injuries all over the roster, so unless they can find more supplementary pieces, this season could be over well before the playoffs roll around.