Yankees starting outfielder is starting to become a liability

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The New York Yankees were a mess in June, and July hasn’t started on the right foot either. After the games on June 6, they held a 4.5-game lead in the AL East. Now? They are, as of Wednesday afternoon, behind one game in the standings, watching how the Baltimore Orioles take possession of the division.

The pitching has been struggling in recent series, both the rotation and the bullpen. The offense, however, has been a mess since the start of July. If it wasn’t for Aaron Judge and Juan Soto, the Yankees would probably be much further behind in the standings.

We can name several culprits of the collective offensive slump. Everything starts on the infield, where Gleyber Torres, Oswaldo Cabrera, and DJ LeMahieu aren’t even looking like league-average bats at the moment. However, there is also an outfielder who has disappointed with his play in recent games: Alex Verdugo.

Since coming over from the Boston Red Sox via trade, Verdugo became a reliable contributor and everyday piece. He wasn’t a world-beater, but supplied above-average offensive performance and a steady dose of energy.

The Yankees need more production from Verdugo

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Since June 1, however, Verdugo has slumped badly and owns a .213/.265/.315 line with a .580 OPS in 26 games and 117 plate appearances. He has gone cold just when his team needs him the most.

To be at its best, the Yankees lineup can’t rely too much on Judge and Soto. That means players like Verdugo need to be more consistent. Instead, his season line is down to a mediocre .241/.301/.389 with nine home runs and a .690 OPS.

If his career .756 OPS is any indication, Verdugo should be able to improve as the season goes on and if the Yankees are patient. He will need to start producing, though, or he risks losing some playing time or watching the injured players (Giancarlo Stanton and Jasson Dominguez, for example) take his spot in the starting lineup when they return.

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