Yankees trot out embarrassingly bad lineup against Rays

aaron hicks, yankees
Apr 4, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Aaron Hicks (31) reacts after grounding into an out during the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

As the Yankees grapple with multiple injuries across their roster, they currently have one of the worst batting orders in baseball. Without Aaron Judge, their situation is dire, and offense is hard to come by, as clearly demonstrated by their lineup for Saturday afternoon’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Ordinarily, the Yankees would have a fighting chance against Tampa, which has half the payroll but 10 times the talent. Regrettably, the Bombers don’t stand a chance with their below-average unit, particularly the bottom half of the order, plagued by inconsistencies and subpar talent.

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Yankees batting order against the Rays on Saturday:

1.) Anthony Volpe

Volpe is hitting .229 with a .328 OBP this season, including three homers, nine RBIs, and a team-high 11 stolen bases. While these numbers don’t suggest efficiency, they are some of the best on the team, highlighting the Yankees’ weaknesses. At the very least, he’s experienced a few hot streaks and exciting moments, building on a decent start to his MLB career.

2.) Anthony Rizzo

Rizzo has been the best Yankee hitter by far, hitting .286 with a .368 OBP, smashing five homers, and driving in 14 runs. He boasts a 19.9% strikeout rate and an 8.1% walk rate, posting a 132 wRC+.

3.) Gleyber Torres

Gleyber Torres began his season strong, but his numbers have plummeted over the past two weeks, batting .236 with a .336 OBP. He has a 110 wRC+ with four homers and 11 RBIs. It’s evident his confidence is dwindling as the team continues to lose games.

4.) DJ LeMahieu

One of the few consistent players lately has been DJ LeMahieu, hitting .275 with a .348 OBP, smashing three homers, and driving in 13 runs with a 121 wRC+. He currently has a career-high 28.7% strikeout rate, but his ability to hit for contact and drive runners in makes him a valuable asset.

5.) Willie Calhoun

Now, we turn our attention to the bottom half of the lineup, where things progressively worsen. Calhoun, who has traditionally been a poor major league player, is hitting .240 with a .291 OBP, posting an 85 wRC+. Fortunately, he’s been solid over the past week or so, but the fact that the Yankees are forced to utilize him in a prominent spot reveals their lack of depth.

6.) Jake Bauers

Jake Bauers was on a tear at Triple-A before his promotion. The Yankees are eager to give him more opportunities, given the lack of offensive support they’re receiving in the outfield. At the very least, he’s already hit a home run in seven plate appearances, suggesting he can offer more power than Aaron Hicks and IKF combined.

7.) Isiah Kiner-Falefa

Moving on to IKF, the 28-year-old utility man is hitting .193 with a .233 OBP. Having failed to record an extra-base hit this season, he is another liability in the batting order who struggles to get on base. Currently hosting a 20 wRC+, the numbers indicate he’s 80% worse than the average MLB player up to this point.

8.) Aaron Hicks

Moving on to arguably the worst player on the roster, Aaron Hicks currently boasts a 3 wRC+, hitting .146 with a .212 OBP. The truth is, nobody thought he could get any worse than his 2022 season, but he’s clearly proving everyone wrong.

9.) Kyle Higashioka

Yankees reserve catcher Kyle Higashioka is also in the lineup on Saturday, hitting .200 with a .234 OBP. Fortunately, he holds a 60 wRC+, better than the two players above him. At least Higgy offers a bit of power, having slugged two homers this season. Nonetheless, his 31.9% strikeout rate justifies his spot in the lineup — dead last.