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What’s Wrong With the New York Yankees in 2021?
The New York Yankees came into the 2021 MLB season with high hopes. They were going to ride their power-hitters and talented pitchers all the way to the postseason.
With early season struggles and health issues, do the Yankees have a chance to fight back their division rivals?
The talent is still there, but the results simply haven’t. Here’s a look at what’s wrong with the Yankees and how to fix it.
Pitching Isn’t the Problem
The Yankees’ pitching has been amazing in 2021. The one caveat is the sticky substance saga going on in MLB right now, as well as Gerrit Cole’s awkward handling of it.
Cole has still been his dominant self, though. Even better, he hasn’t been alone.
New York’s new starters have filled in nicely. Corey Kluber has seemed to find his stuff once again, which is bad news for other teams. The former Cy Young winner signed with the Yankees for $11 million for this season, and everyone else missed out on signing him, that is until he got injured.
New York’s starting rotation ERA is 10th lowest in the league at 3.63. Their bullpen remains one of the best in the business and should continue to be as the year goes on, as well.
Their fireball throwing closer in Aroldis Chapman slams the door in opposing faces consistently in the 9th inning. They also have Zach Britton, Chad Green, and Jonathan Loaisiga who have been solid. Their bullpen ERA is 4th lowest in the league at 3.30.
Barring a sudden drop-off stemming from the illegal substance issues with MLB pitchers, this remains a strong area for the pinstripes.
Their Offense Hasn’t Been Elite
Aaron Judge (158 wRC+) has been killing it. Giancarlo Stanton (133 wRC+) has been good as well, but outside of those two, the Yankees offense has struggled.
Second baseman, D.J LeMahieu, re-signed before this year to a 6-year, $90 million extension and he was supposed to set the table for the two home run hitters. D.J has struggled mightily with his average being unlike him at .254.
Some other Yankees hitters have been below average in that category, as well. Clint Frazier (80), Brett Gardner (74), Rougned Odor (74), and Aaron Hicks (79) all have had significant ABs but wRC+ under 100.
The Yankees Can’t Stay Healthy
Injury’s suck and the Yankees know it. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are the centerpieces to their offense, but they have bounced around the IL again this year.
New York has also dealt with injuries to their first baseman, Luke Voit. Voit was incredible for the Yankees last year in a shortened season. He hit 22 home runs in 56 total games with a wRC+ of 152.
The good news? Voit’s power is slowly inching its way back into the lineup.
Today INF Luke Voit commences a rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.— New York Yankees (@Yankees) June 13, 2021
In addition to Voit’s absence, Corey Kluber, Aaron Hicks, Darren O’Day, and Luis Severino have all missed time.
New York has loads of talent, but an inability to stay healthy and field the same team consistently has undeniably held this club back in 2021.
The AL East is Loaded
The Rays and Red Sox are currently atop the AL East, with the Yankees in third. The Rays have been incredible yet again this season following their World Series runner-up season.
Tampa Bay always seem to find ways to win, even without having to pay big money. Their incredibly low payroll (26th lowest in MLB) makes it even more of a slap in the face to the Yankees.
They’re sure to try to rub it in New York’s faces further, as they’re among the 11 teams that should be buying ahead of the 2021 MLB trade deadline.
The Yankees have a huge payroll ($202,186,977, 2nd highest in the league) and need to win now.
The Red Sox also have been impressive. Behind their talented offense, their pitching has been solid as well. As the return of ace Chris Sale looms, the Red Sox just might be in the battle for first in this division, or the Wild Card.
If the Red Sox keep up the pace that they are on, the Yankees may even be out of the 1st Wild Card slot and must battle it out with either the Astros or A’s for the 2nd slot.
Toronto and their never-ending string of power bats has even been a bit of a problem.
Needless to say, the Yanks have competition in their own division. If the season ended today, the Yankees would be missing the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
How the Yankees Can Save Their Season
The Yankees have some work to do. With injuries in their lineup and bullpen, they need more depth.
Their offense has been struggling, but as players get healthier and healthier, their numbers should improve. D.J LeMaheiu’s numbers should get better, and he should get back to his usual, high-batting average self.
The Yankees also need to look to trade for a player to acquire at the trade deadline, or even before. The Yankees should acquire a flexible player or players, who can play 1st, 3rd, and some outfield.
New York always have their name in all the big-name trade rumors, and this year should be no different if they want to compete. They need another starter/long-reliever and a quality bat, but everything else should improve naturally and help the Yankees make a push for the postseason.
of their current situation.
Should you be encouraged about New York’s prospects, check out their odds and consider placing a bet at the top MLB betting sites.