Things haven’t been going well for the Yankees of late. They don’t enter Monday’s action with a losing record like the Mets, but they’re still a last-place team in the American League East. And after losing two of three in a hard-fought series against the Rays, they’re 10 games behind Tampa.
If we look to last year, the Atlanta Braves proved that erasing an early-season 10-game deficit to win a division title is possible. However, they had to play at an unreal clip to get there. And it took them until the last weekend of the season to officially clinch it.
But, yea — back to the Yankees. They’re pretty far back in the standings. But it’s not even Memorial Day and there are about 130 games left to play. They’ll hopefully continue to get healthy, starting with Aaron Judge returning to action on Tuesday night. But not everyone is feeling optimistic about New York right now.
NJ.com’s Randy Miller spoke with an anonymous MLB scout, and he had some hot takes to share. Not only did they share that a 10-game deficit is hard to make up in the big leagues, but he also pointed to New York’s competition within the division. The Rays will probably cool off, but their hot start will make them a force all year. And it’s not like Tampa Bay is the only club the Yankees have to worry about.
The Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, and Boston Red Sox (who just had an eight-game win streak snapped) will all prove to be a pain in New York’s backside. This scout also doesn’t like the makeup of the Yankees’ roster (all quotes via NJ.com):
Nobody is afraid of the big, bad Yankees anymore. They’re getting old. DJ LeMahieu’s getting old. Anthony Rizzo’s getting old. Josh Donaldson’s old. Giancarlo Stanton plays like he’s old.
Stanton is proving year after year after year that he can’t stay healthy. He can’t run now and he’s still pulling a hamstring.
There were also some interesting things said about general manager Brian Cashman:
He needs to make a trade, but who’s he going to trade? The Yankees need a left fielder, but what are you giving up to get a good one?
Cashman wants to make some deals. He wants to get something to turn his club around, but how? His farm system isn’t what it was before he traded a bunch of guys last summer making deals that didn’t pan out.
You’re hoping and praying that Rodon comes back, and when he does come back you’re hoping and praying that he’s the Rodon that everybody saw last year with the Giants and three-quarters of a year in 2021 with the White Sox. If Rodon’s not what the Yankees think they’re getting, and I don’t know if they ever will consistently, then they’ve got a problem.
What about the offense?
It’s not all because of injuries. If they get healthy, they’ll have a lot of age in that lineup that is on the downswing of their careers.
And now they’re playing some young players who are getting exposed. Anthony Volpe is a rookie. He’s going to be a good player, but he’s not hitting much above .200 and that’s probably where he’ll end up.
They’re playing Oswaldo Cabrera every day. I like him as a utility guy, but there are certain guys that you can’t play every day or they’ll get exposed. Cabrera’s getting too many at-bats, but they’ve got to play him because they’ve got so many players hurt.
The moral of the story here is that this anonymous MLB scout isn’t feeling confident about the Yankees. That includes their chances of getting back on track and being where people expect them to be in September. He finished by saying the Yankees “should be panicking” based on all the things that were mentioned.
Talk about not holding back, right? The biggest key for New York is to at least start getting healthy again. That’ll start with Judge, and hopefully, it continues from there so we can see what kind of comeback can be made.
You can reach Matt Musico at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.