There’s Trouble Brewing in the Bronx
The Yankees are currently sitting at a record of 13-11 after last night's 6-2 loss against the Minnesota Twins. This also marks the Yankees first season series loss against the Twins since 2001. The problems with this team run way deeper than just losing the season series to the Twins.
The Yankees currently have the second-highest payroll in all of baseball, behind their crosstown rival Mets. Currently, at a whopping $279MM. The biggest issue stemming from that large lump some, is the amount they have on injury reserve.
The Yankees' injured list (12 players) currently has a payroll of $117.8MM, which is more than the 26-man rosters of 13 MLB teams: DET, SEA, MIL, KC, CLE, MIA, AZ, WAS, PIT, TB, BAL, OAK, CIN
(Via Bryan Hoch)
Obviously that could be a legitimate excuse to why the team is off to such a disappointing start. However, even when the IL starts to thin, there's major flaws with how this team is constructed.
Breaking it down to simplicity, this offense is flat out not hitting. The big names at the top of the lineup haven't been panning out the way the bombers had hoped. Aaron Judge is currently batting .244 with just 6 home runs, Gleyber Torres is batting .257 with 2 home runs, and Giancarlo Stanton is currently on the IL.
Anthony Rizzo and DJ LeMahieu have both been productive for the Yankees, but production out of just those two is not going to cut it.
The way this offense is constructed just does not do any good either. Consistently having different lineups that feature Willie Calhoun, Franchy Cordero, and Aaron Hicks is not going to win a lot of ballgames. The Yankees have also been known for being more of a "home run or nothing" type of team. That narrative seems to be the same this season. Outside of Aaron Judge, DJ LeMahieu, and Anthony Rizzo, there isn't many contact first players.
Speaking of Aaron Hicks, he's a glaring issue on this club. As much negativity that is thrown his way, it's warranted. He's currently slashing .129/.206/.129 with just 1 RBI on the season. The defense is not there either. He provides little to no value for this club as he comes with a $10.5M price tag this season. That deal also has at least two more full seasons attached.
Moving to the pitching side of things, the Yankees were projected to have one of the best starting rotations before the season started. That has not been the case. Bringing in Carlos Rodón was huge for this team, but he has yet to throw a single pitch for New York as he went down on injury with no timetable for return.
Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes have been holding down the fort, but the rest of the rotation is a different story. Jhony Brito, Clarke Schmidt, and Domingo Germán have 5.66 ERA and 6 losses.
The Yankees have way too much talent on their team to continue down this rough path. They will win more as their lineup and rotation get healthier. Although the wins will come, it's questionable to think this team will make a deep playoff push. With the lineup almost replicating last year's and the pitching staff doing the same, outside of Carlos Rodón, there's no reason to think otherwise.