The New York Yankees have treaded water all year long largely due to striking gold in an area that was not destined to yield the outcome.
As the 2016 season has developed, the New York Yankees have displayed their identity as a mediocre team that is one or two setbacks away from being downright bad. The inconsistency plaguing their campaign can turn into consistency in all of the wrong areas if a few uplifting factors suddenly become nonexistent.
One of those factors is Carlos Beltran, and he has been as uplifting as they come. Constantly defying father time, his .297/.336/.570 slash with 19 homers and 53 RBIs has lifted the Yankees on numerous occasions.
Go-ahead hits, game-tying hits, hits with runners in scoring position, you name it. Beltran has provided the damage time and time again.
However, last night’s near catastrophe portrayed why father time remains undefeated and will likely take down the Yankee right fielder when the time comes. Unable to make a hard push around first base, Beltran cramped up in what initially looked like a hamstring pull that would cost him valuable time.
Despite being one of the better offensive threats in the American League, reality must be faced. A continued reliance on Beltran is going to result in the Yanks getting burned big time.
He is 39 years old. Bound to have a detrimental injury or a tail off of some sort, the Bombers have little to no production coming from other outlets. Beltran has been the only outlet the club has been dependent upon for consistent production.
Rarely do you see a team place all of their cards in an aging star’s basket, but the uncertainty that continues to ride over this Yankee team has forced them into an uncomfortable scenario. Throughout flashes of brilliance and flashes of utter disappointment, their near 40-year-old has been the only source of undeviating light.
Third in the AL in home runs, fifth in RBIs, and ninth in OPS (.906), the outcome to this point has been jaw-dropping.
With that said, any logical fan can draw the conclusion that this is simply a great story. This is not a 26-year-old Beltran and this certainly is not a crutch that the Yankees can lean on.
Keep in mind, this is the same father time that is currently taking over Alex Rodriguez as his days in the Bronx may be coming to a close. This is the father time that has kept Mark Teixeira from being the perennial force the organization is accustomed to seeing. This is the father time that is holding Brian McCann back from being the same catcher he was just a year and a half ago.
To span it back even further, Derek Jeter was victimized from simply wearing down as he neared the age of 40. Jorge Posada was no longer able to perform his everyday catching duties and stumbled his way to an ugly finish. Andy Pettitte, although making do with what he had, was no longer a nine inning force.
Age and time gets the best of everyone, particularly in baseball.
The franchise has witnessed it with some of the key pieces of their dynasty, integral current players, and are bound to watch the anchor of their offense fall victim to it just as the others did.
Last night only provides a start.
Dominance from an outfielder in the twilight of a storied career should be a nice incentive that can easily be done without.
In an ideal world, Beltran finishes the year based on projection. He goes for 41 home runs, 113 RBIs, and hits near .300 while helping the Yanks squeak into the playoffs.
If you think that is a realistic possibility, you should seriously consider reevaluating your stance. Fans would love to believe it, but there are realities and borderline happenings. This is none of the two.
The front office evidently views this team as a contender. However, if they do not want to flat out embarrass themselves, they need to perform a shakeup to the current roster. Whether that is through buying, selling, or digging deep within, the big league team was poorly constructed.
If they do not perform one, things will not be pretty in Yankee land when Beltran falls off the table in some way, shape, or form.
It will not be another year of mediocrity, it will be a year of failure and humiliation.