Yankees’ Offensive Struggles: 2 expensive veterans flopping hard

giancarlo stanton, yankees
Apr 2, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27) tosses his bat after drawing a walk during the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Despite their recent victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night, the New York Yankees managed to scrape together just three runs. The star-studded roster, boasting big names and backed by hefty contracts, continues to struggle offensively.

Impact of Aaron Judge’s Absence

The conspicuous absence of Aaron Judge has proven to be a significant blow to the Yankees. The team had high hopes that their seasoned veterans would step up to fill the void left by Judge. However, rather than improving, their performance seems to have taken a downturn.

Despite the mounting failures, Manager Aaron Boone continues to offer positive reviews and exudes optimism, arguably skirting the accountability for the team’s shortcomings.

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A Deep Dive into Giancarlo Stanton’s Performance

One of the key players under scrutiny is Giancarlo Stanton. His performance this season leaves much to be desired, with a batting average of .196 and an on-base percentage (OBP) of .257. His tally includes six homers and 13 RBIs. Stanton’s current strikeout rate stands at a concerning 26.7%, and his walk rate is the lowest in his career at 5.7%. Even though he has only played 26 games this season, his 83 wRC+ is the worst he’s ever posted.

Injury and inconsistency at the plate appear to be leading Stanton down a path of decline. Interestingly, his power doesn’t seem to have waned, given his 52.2% hard-hit rate, 17.4% barrel rate, and average exit velocity of 94.2 mph.

In reality, Stanton hasn’t lost his power; he’s lost his discipline and timing at the plate. Given that he is virtually a non-factor defensively these days, his underperformance in the batter’s box turns him into a net liability for the team. With a salary of $32 million this season, the Yankees are banking on Stanton to reverse his fortunes quickly.

Josh Donaldson’s Underperformance

Stanton, however, is not the only one falling short. Veteran third baseman Josh Donaldson’s performance has also been disheartening. In his 18 games this season, Donaldson has hit .143 with a .222 OBP, a 28.6% strikeout rate, and 82 wRC+. Despite hitting six homers and providing eight RBIs, his power metrics have done little to bolster the Yankees’ offense.

Both Boone and General Manager Brian Cashman continue to express confidence in Donaldson, who maintains that he can still contribute value.

Regrettably, Donaldson appears uninspired, and his swing decisions have been less than satisfactory. At this stage, the Yankees might need to consider promoting Oswald Peraza, despite Cashman’s belief that Peraza needs more time to “finish off his development.”

Although Donaldson is a competent defensive player at this point in his career, his future beyond the 2023 season remains uncertain. His lack of commitment to the game suggests his heart may not be in it anymore, a fact that is clearly reflected in his offensive contributions.