Sunday, April 11, 2021


The Yankees didn't show much action in Saturday afternoon's game against their nemesis Tampa Bay Rays but they did expose their clear weaknesses that need to be plugged up if the Yankees are going to be competitive not only against the Rays but the AL East and MLB at large.

What are the Yankees weaknesses? There are number of clear winners and since it is early in the season, there are a lot opportunities to tweak and improve in order for the 2021 Yankees to meet their mark of winning the AL East and moving onto the post season matchups and into the World Series.

Source: AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

1. Hitting with runners in scoring position. RISP is key to success and the Yankees simply cannot convert hits into the runs. "The Yankees collected just five hits, despite watching starting pitcher Chris Archer (2 1/3 innings, 0 runs) leave early with forearm tightness. A day after missing a game due to COVID-19 vaccine side effects, Gio Urshela didn’t get a hit in three at-bats. They went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and stranded six runners," reported following the Bombers 4-0 shut out loss against the Rays. 

2. Gleyber Torres. Sigh. Gleyber Torres's defense has been in the spotlight since 2020 when he began to show mechanical and timing issues fielding balls at short. And already this season, Gleyber has a number of missteps and poor throws leading to errors and runs. The Yankees need to be a win-now team and they have to start to ask this question, "Can we win the Series with Torres at shortstop?" I would not go so far as making a trade for Torres, but I wonder myself if the Yankees latest acquisition Rougned Odor, who will likely get the start at second today, will step in for Torres and make a difference or do they need to go out and get another specialist such as Trevor Story or Corey Seager. And is that even possible in 2021? I think The New York Post columnist Joel Sherman's article on Saturday gives a lot to think about on this topic. As a note of reference, the Yankees have already demoted Tyler Wade, who although defensively and in speed he outshines Torres, Wade can't swing the bat so there's that. 

Source: Newsday

3. Injuries. Aaron Judge sat out two games due to soreness. How is that even possible? Can he take Advil? I feel like there is more going on there. And we wrote about it earlier this week in THIS AARON JUDGE INJURY SEEMS KIND OF SERIOUS. Then there are the early injuries to Luke Voit and Zack Britton, causing stress on the Yankees. Jay Bruce simply is not producing the way the Yankees expected but the bullpen continues to outdo itself. The addition of Justin Wilson is proving to be impactful.

Source: MLB Film Room

On the flip side of injuries, Brett Gardner continues to be, well, Brett Gardner. He made fantastic catch in left center field. It was so incredible that fellow outfielder Brett Phillips saluted him. Gardner also produced offensively for the Yankees. 

It is still early. And teams don't make drastic changes until later in the spring or even early summer. But changes need to be made and the Yankees have to be thinking about this. As Aaron Hicks said on Saturday, the Yankees are tired of losing and so are we as fans. 

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

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