Yankees’ outfielder has gone ice-cold at the worst time

MLB: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

If not for superstar slugger Aaron Judge, the Yankees would not only be blown out on a daily basis but wouldn’t even have a respectable scoreline on most days. Judge, 32, is hitting .309/.433/.712 this season, including 30 homers, 77 RBIs, and a 215 wRC+. He’s actually on pace to beat some of his 2022 metrics when he won the MVP award, but aside from Judge and Soto, the Yankees aren’t getting much from the rest of the team offensively.

The Yankees are Failing to Step Up

In fact, with Giancarlo Stanton suffering a left hamstring injury, the Yankees have needed others to step up and produce. Unfortunately, all of their competent hitters, aside from the two listed above, have been underwhelming.

Alex Verdugo’s Slump at a Critical Time

When the Yankees needed him most, Alex Verdugo experienced a cold streak despite maintaining a slightly above-average wRC+ at 101. On the season, he’s hitting .247/.306/.399, including nine homers and 41 RBIs. However, over the last 30 days, he’s hitting .223, and over the last 15 days, he’s batting .167.

MLB: Seattle Mariners at New York Yankees, alex verdugo
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Alex hit into two double plays against the Mets on Wednesday, leaving several runners stranded when the Bombers needed to produce runs. Defensively, he’s been one of the best left fielders in the game this year, playing 645.1 innings, hosting a perfect fielding percentage, eight defensive runs saved, and one out above average. That value certainly exceeds what the Yankees had last year or years prior from their left fielders.

Verdugo’s Regression and Dominguez’s Potential

However, Verdugo is regressing to the mean offensively, and that is, unfortunately, an average player. The Yankees really only saw Verdugo as a one-and-done player anyway, with Jasson Dominguez preparing to make the transition full-time to the majors.

Injury Challenges and Looking Forward

Obviously, Dominguez suffered an oblique injury recently and might’ve been called up after Stanton went down. The injury bug has taken hold of the Yankees, but they’re trying to survive the cold stretch and get to the All-Star break, when they will get a week of rest. Verdugo stepping up and providing more offensive production would go a long way toward helping them win some of these close games.

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