When the Yankees are a cohesive unit, they’re a force to be reckoned with. However, every team has an Achilles heel, which is something their opponents take advantage of.
The Yankees, despite their 21-10 record, actually have quite a few Achilles heels on their roster. But which players are considered the Achilles heels on the team?
1. CC Sabathia
At the beginning of the 2017 campaign, you wouldn’t have thought Sabathia would be the Achilles heel of the team. After all, Sabathia had a 1.47 ERA during his first three starts of the season. However in his last four starts he has a 9.58 ERA, which includes his five run outburst in the second inning of Tuesday night’s loss. The Yankees have insisted they have plenty of patience regarding Sabathia, but if Sabathia continues to struggle–or put the Yankees in a difficult situation as they compete for the American League East–would the Yankees actually consider moving him from the rotation to the bullpen?
2. Chris Carter
The Yankees initially signed Chris Carter to hit home runs and compete with Greg Bird for the first base job. Unfortunately, the Yankees aren’t impressed with Carter’s production. In 57 at-bats so far, Carter only has one home run and a .277 OBP. He’s also struck out 22 times in those 57 at-bats, and has a -0.2 WAR going into Thursday’s series against the Houston Astros. To be frank, if Bird and Tyler Austin weren’t hurt, Carter’s time with the team would probably be numbered. Also, I’m sure Mariano Rivera has had better at-bats than Carter…and Rivera was a pitcher who rarely picked up a bat.
3. Greg Bird
Before the Yankees put Bird on the DL, he was actually performing worse than Carter. Bird has six hits in 60 at-bats so far this season, but the explanation for Bird’s poor numbers might be his injured ankle. Maybe if Bird finally rests the ankle, he’ll come back to be the player the Yankees saw during Spring Training. If not, the Yankees are willing to help Bird through his growing pains, especially since the rest of the team has performed well.
Betances isn’t an Achilles heel because of his numbers; in fact he’s done quite well if you look at his numbers on paper. What makes him an Achilles heel is he almost never has an easy inning. Betances tends to work himself in and out of trouble. It’s worked for Betances so far, but there’s going to be an instance where Betances’ Houdini act isn’t going to work. Betances’ act could be the difference in the Yankees winning and losing games, and I don’t think the fans have enough Xanax to get through his heart palpitating outings over the course of the season.
I know, it’s odd that I’m adding Headley to this list especially after he’s performed well at the plate. However, we’re not going to discuss Headley’s offensive performance. We’re going to talk about Headley’s defense. In 28 games at third, Headley already has seven errors , most of them on throws. Headley has prevented the Yankees from losing with his bat. But his glove needs work, especially if the Yankees want their pitchers to last longer in games.