The Yankees came out of the All-Star break the same way they went into it, winning lots of games, but unfortunately after they took six of seven games they haven’t been the same since. From July 19th, the start of a four game series against Oakland, they have been 19-24 and looked awful doing it.
But what exactly has been the problem?
INJURIES: The Yankees have played games without Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, and Mariano Rivera during their recent stretch of poor baseball. All of those players are counted on to be major contributors to this team.
THE OFFENSE: Since July 19 the Yankees offense has hit a combined .254/.317/.419 over 43 games. That is down across the board from what they were doing previous to that – .265/.339/.467. Injuries have played a large part in that, but it isn’t just the injuries that are hurting them.
CANO: Robinson Cano is the Yankees best hitter and they need him to be their best hitter, but since that series in Oakland he has fallen on hard times hitting just .265/.335/.457. Those aren’t terrible numbers, but the Yankees will go as their best hitter goes and if he’s not playing up to his caliber it’s hard to expect the Yankees to either.
GRANDERSON: After Cano, Granderson is probably the second most important hitter in this lineup. Unfortunately he’s completely fallen off the table in the second half of the season and is hitting just .195/.259/.409 since July 19. Throw in his terrible defense and Granderson has become a liability to the Yankees.
IBANEZ: Raul Ibanez had a nice run in May and was really helpful before Teixeira began to turn his season around, but he’s 40-years-old and was forced to play in the field to make up for the absence of Gardner. So it’s no surprise to see that he’s fallen off and has hit just .210/.295/.370 since July 19. That’s not going to cut it as a left fielder or a DH.
JONES: Andruw Jones is the other half of the Yankees DH platoon and he’s been even worse than Ibanez. He’s hit .125/.220/.208 since July 19 and it is amazing that he still has a job at all. Supposedly great against lefties, he’s hit .120/.237/.220 off them in that span.
MARTIN: It’s not that Russell Martin has gotten worse, but it should be pointed out that he still sucks. Since July 19, he’s hit just .230/.304/.377. Would have been nice to have seen him upgraded at the trade deadline.
ICHIRO: Overall, Ichiro Suzuki has done pretty much what should have been expected of him as he hit just .275/.301/.405. Not good, but to be expected at his age. The problem is that he’s been even worse lately, he’s hit .182/.217/.205 since August 20th. Because of his age there is a real concern that could last all season. If that’s the case than the Yankees are in big trouble.
THE BULLPEN: The Yankees ‘pen started off as a big strength, but it has fallen off significantly recently. Over the past 30 days only three teams in the American League have been worse than them which means that with the offense struggling their starting pitchers have to dominate for them to even have a chance at winning.
JOBA: A big reason the Yankees didn’t make a move at the trade deadline for a reliever was because of the impending return of Joba Chamberlain. Unfortunately, Joba has been real bad since he returned. He has a 10.57 ERA, a 5.9 K/9 and a 5.9 BB/9 while opponents have hit .447/.522/.684 off him. Babe Ruth wishes he could have put up those numbers.
THE REST: In years past the way the Yankees built their bullpen has been to throw a ton of options at the wall and waited until a few guys began to stand out. This year the Yankees have done that to a lesser extent, but the names they’ve thrown out there have been few and far between. There was Chad Qualls, Ryota Igarashi, and Derek Lowe. That’s all they’ve tried. Not impressive and not surprising that they didn’t work out.
NOVA: In seven starts before landing on the DL, he had a 7.02 ERA and he turned the average hitter into an All-Star with a .311/.376/.506 line against him. That’s not major league caliber and unfortunately because of injuries to CC and Pettitte the Yankees were not able to replace him until they were forced to.
GARCIA: Freddy Garcia has more or less done the job filling in for the injured pitchers, but lately he leaves a bit to be desired. His ERA since July 19 has been 4.53. His K/9 and BB/9 have been solid, but he’s only pitched into the seventh inning twice in eight starts and hasn’t even lasted through the fifth inning in his last two starts. That’s a problem when the bullpen has been this bad.