Thursday, May 20, 2021


The Yankees were hard to watch last month and even with the better record now and some wins....they are STILL hard to watch. There's a lot of season left and a lot of time to make improvements but they have a lot of work ahead of them. It's time to get back to some basics here.

I really like a lot of what Paul O'Neill has been saying lately from the broadcast booth. He's not saying anything earth shattering. It's not rocket science at all, but considering how awful the Yankees are this season at hitting you would think it was. If you didn't get to hear his comments you can read more about them HERE.

Seven of 12 Yankees hitters who have 50-plus plate appearances are batting in the .100s
Let that just sink in. That's literally disgusting to me and flat out unacceptable. O'Neill had some ideas on what needed to happen in order to fix it. I agree with most of them. Here's what works....

"If you were a manager and you take this team, I’ll have Voit, Stanton and Judge in my office, ‘You guys, I need you to hit home runs.’"

Again, O'Neill's comment is not rocket science but true. Luke Voit is last season's home run king, and lately Aaron Judge has been every pitcher's worst nightmare. We know Giancarlo Stanton can knock them out and he was on a tear know before he went on the Injured List AGAIN. The guys have the swing and the power and they just need to have good plate discipline and do what they do best. The keywords are plate discipline don't swing at everything, don't swing at garbage and drive the ball. 

"Then I’m going to take LeMahieu, Torres and Urshela and say, ‘Guys, I need you to be .300 hitters. I need you to drive the ball all over the place and keep the ball in play.’"

Again, right on the money. When you make contact, you make things happen. Hopefully good things, but still without contact then we get the seven Yankee hitters hitting .100 and that just doesn't work. We all know what DJ LeMahieu can do, he's been our Most Valuable Player and he's Mr. Consistent. We need him to stay that way and drive runs in. Gleyber Torres looks better now, but in April he looked like he was pressing too hard. He had a longer swing and his stance was pretty wide. It really messed with his mechanics and that's not how you bust out of a slump.

But here's what doesn't work for me....
"And then you’ve got Gardner and Wade, ‘I need you guys on base. I need you to steal bases and score runs.’"

I agree with the 'get on base' part but I think the days of relying on Brett Gardner to steal are over. He hasn't been much of a base stealer since 2017 where he had 23 in 151 games and 682 plate appearances. It's been a while since we've had that kind of production from him. Can he still do it? Yes. Is he likely to do it as much? Probably not. As far as Tyler Wade goes, I really don't think the Yankees can rely on him. He's had a lot of opportunities throughout the years and he's not a base stealer. His career best is 7 back in 2019. At this point he has a .280 BA, which is miles better than several other guys. Just give him some at-bats, hope he stays consistent and drives some runs in. We can't give him too many specific roles here and expect him to flourish. 

The Yankees like their analytics, so these ideas seem old-school and don't fit their current direction but they make sense and it can't hurt. The Yankees are underperforming here and I think O'Neill is on to something. 

O'Neill is a former batting champion for crying out loud so he knows a thing or two about hitting, even in this modern world. I really can't say I have the same confidence right now when it comes to Marcus Thames right now.....but I've already went down that road. 

  --Jeana Bellezza-Ochoa
     BYB Managing Editor
    Twitter: @nyprincessj

1 comment:

  1. How about a "hit and run"? What a concept! Move the infielders around, create some anxiety for the pitcher, catcher and defense! We've grounded into more double plays than anyone else!! Ugh!! Do something Boonie!!


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