The hot stove is on full blast in Yankees Universe (check out our HOT STOVE series), and with good reason. Let’s face it, the Yankees were terrible last year, and no one wants to go into 2015 with the same team. Renovation is in order, and we are all salivating at the thought of some fresh blood to kick things into gear. Somewhat surprisingly, most of the rumors have been about pitchers.
Yesterday, BYB reported on the Max Scherzer rumors in SNIFFING AROUND THE MAX SCHERZER RUMORS . No lie, signing Max Scherzer would be a tremendous morale boost to the fan base, showing a commitment from the front office to go out and get the best players. The article also mentions the possibility of trading for Gio Gonzalez, who I admire as a great pitcher. The question is, are we focusing on the real problem with the roster?
At a basic level, I wonder why the team is not focusing on hitting. Look, it is hard to lose sight of the fact that the team hit .245 and had an OPS under .700. Not a single player wearing pinstripes for more than 50 games had a .300 average. The most startling stat I saw says that the Yankees scored 2 runs or less in 50 games. That was practically one third of the season! While I still think Scherzer can win games with 2 runs of support, he would only be pitching once every 5 days. No 5-man pitching rotation can sustain a winning season with that kind of paltry support
Hitting is hard to come by these days, especially on the free agent market. The overpriced contracts on our ledger for under-performing players does not help things at all. If we are on budgetary constraints, the best option for the Yankees might be to develop some of the talent in the minor leagues. At BYB, we have always been a fan of the kids coming up through the system. But if we take that road, we may be forced to admit that 2015 will be a development year. Still, the talent is out there if we want to spend.
The first step in solving a problem is admitting that there is a problem. If we admit the obvious, that hitting is a problem, the Yankees’ actions have to line up accordingly. If we decide that a recent Cy Young Award winner will be a boost to the team, fine. Nevertheless, they have to start taking action on the problem - hitting.
--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
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