Everyone is believing the hype for the New York Yankees, but there are certainly some concerns that can keep the Bombers from winning it all.
The Bronx is buzzing with postseason anticipation. If there was ever a year for the New York Yankees to come home with a World Series title, it would be this year.
All signs are pointing towards a gathering at the Canyon of Heroes, 10 years after their last celebration. The parallels between the 2009 season and this season are uncanny. If you believe in fate, you better believe in the Yankees making a run for the title.
The stage is set. The Yankees will face the Minnesota Twins starting the evening of Oct. 4. From there, they will face one of three teams, still to be determined. Then, it’s the World Series.
Easier said than done. With the narrative pointing in the direction of another New York championship, it’s easy to focus on the positives. But there are a heck of a lot of negatives the Yankees have to overcome … and it’s not just about injuries.
It won’t be an easy trek for the Yankees, with plenty of high-quality obstacles in the way. But there are a few specific reasons why championship no. 28 will not find its way to the Bronx this season.
3. Starting Pitching Method
The Yankees are trying something new this postseason. Forget the narrative that starting pitchers need to give length in order to have a successful postseason. Nah, the Yankees are going to be doing unconventional things.
The Yankees announced the James Paxton would be their only “primary” starter prior to him exiting Friday night’s game with nerve irritation in his left glute. Although he’ll be ready for the postseason, it’s still a concern.
Your one starting pitcher who will actually be used in a starting role is battling injury. Obviously, the Yankees want to get to their bullpen early and often. With that bullpen, it absolutely makes sense. Throughout the season, Yankees starters have a 4.51 overall ERA. Relievers have a 4.00 ERA and a .240 batting average against.
It would make sense to bring the bullpen into the game as soon as they can, but it’s also a method they really haven’t tried at all this season. Why bring something completely new into the mix? Especially when the bullpen is dominant when it comes to just four main players?
They can’t pitch Adam Ottavino every day. They can’t bring in Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton or Aroldis Chapman for multiple appearances. These guys have already hit close to career-highs in regular-season innings of work. Chapman proved back in 2016 just how much overuse can change his game.
It’s a scary plan to roll out, especially when Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino are capable of putting out longer performances each time out.
2. Inconsistent Offense
When the offense is clicking, every team in the league is terrified. However, it doesn’t always click for the Bombers.
Sure, they can put up 10 runs but they also can put up two runs the very next day, making it even harder to take two games in a row. With the postseason, it’s all or nothing. The offense has to be clicking at all cylinders in order to advance to the next rounds.
The Yankees look like they’ve got a solid lineup figured out but the postseason is a whole new animal. Some of these players have yet to play in any postseason game. They are going to be facing arguably the best pitchers in the game at all times.
It’s going to be challenging and are these Yankees up for the challenge? Slumps can’t happen. With some of the slumps these Yankees are going through, it won’t be acceptable come October.
If the offense can be firing on all cylinders, it’ll be nothing but good news across the Bronx. But right now, the inconsistent offense is a huge concern.
1. Lackluster Defense
Despite some sparkling plays that have made the highlight reels, the Yankees defense is actually not that great. They’ve committed 90 errors, good for 18th in the league.
Eh, well errors don’t mean anything. What about defensive runs saved? They ranked 20th at -8.
There is definitely some work to do and very little time to get it done. Their defense has the ability to be dominant but with all the injuries this year, things have certainly changed.
Their defense doesn’t necessarily need to be perfect. However, these guys will be some of the best hitters in the game and will be using the exit velocity stat to their advantage.
Nobody cares what happened in the regular season as long until there is a trophy being hoisted at the end. It’s not about just starting strong. They must finish strong and right now, they are some doubts about their run to a title.
Can the New York Yankees bring home a title? It’s absolutely a possibility. But it’s not yet a foregone conclusion. They have a whole plethora of obstacles to overcome first.
After all, that’s what this season is all about. Maybe the New York Yankees are more prepared than we originally thought.