After losing five of their last six, it appears as though the New York Yankees are not going to participate in this year’s postseason.
No one foresaw this New York Yankees‘ run to occur, regardless of their current chances.
At the trade deadline, New York sat at 52-52 and by the end of the day, two of their best relievers in Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller along with their best hitter in Carlos Beltran were sent to teams expecting to contend.
With that, the farm system was stocked with seven prospects in MLB.com’s Top-100 List and 2016 became an opportunity to check out what the kids had to offer.
That would likewise mean, however, that playoffs were no longer a reality and the Yankees were about to showcase a sub-.500 second half.
For a brief moment, the team infused with young talent appeared as though an improbable run at the playoffs was permissible.
Heading into last Sunday, the Bombers were 37-25 since the deadline and found themselves just one game back of the Wild Card. Their playoff odds were also the highest they were since May 30 (18%).
However, they have now lost the most games among any AL East teams since Sunday (1-5) while falling back into a crowded Wild Card race which includes the Detroit Tigers, Seattle Mariners, and Houston Astros. all ahead of them.
All of those teams sit ahead of them heading into Saturday.
The second wild card winner is projected, by FanGraphs, to finish with 88 wins meaning the Bombers must go 11-4 against the Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays (all on the road), then finish the year against Boston and Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium.
Not only that, but they must pray for all the teams in the mix for that second Wild Card spot to fall out. Things aren’t looking too conspicuous thanks to this week of poor play against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Red Sox.
Their elimination number is down to 12, and unfortunately for the Yankees and their hopeful fans, their August/early-September hot streak was the peak of year one of the rebuild.
That’s the word no one should forget, though. “Rebuild.”
2016 was not about bringing home the next World Championship. That was long gone after the 9-17 start back on May 5.
This season was about accepting defeat and coming to grips with the reality that a roster breakdown was the fitting route to pursue. The organization is primed now more than ever for future championships.
Plus, even though they are in a worse scenario now than they were a week ago, these games still have a playoff feel.
Of course, the veterans of this roster (who have been there before) may not find that to be worthwhile, but for the maturation of Gary Sanchez, Luis Cessa, Tyler Austin, Ben Heller and Jonathan Holder, pennant chase baseball is priceless.
This is about working out the kid’s growing pains during meaningful contests. Just ask the Core Four to revisit 1995 and they’ll tell you one thing: growing pains during the pressure of pennant race is vital to growth.
This year is not a lost cause. If anything, Sanchez’s surge is a preview of what’s to come. Sure Judge and Austin have gone through their growing pains but that will, hopefully, erase by 2017.
Also, while it didn’t seem that way at the time of the deadline and there’s a possibility that New York could be making a legitimate run at the AL East with their dealt-assets, they are closer to their next championship.
This year’s postseason will, again, exclude the 27-time World Champions. However, it’s time to take that statement with a grain of salt and realize that the Bronx Bombers will be wrecking havoc on Major League Baseball sooner rather than later.
Christian Kouroupakis covers the New York Yankees for ESNY. Interact with him and view his daily work by “liking” his facebook page and follow him on Twitter. All statistics are courtesy of Baseball Reference.com unless otherwise noted. Don’t hesitate to shoot him an email with any questions, criticisms, or concerns.