2019 Autopsy Report: New York Yankees
Welcome to the 2nd half of today’s reports – earlier I reviewed the 2019 Milwaukee Brewers
The 6th team eliminated, and 2nd in the American League, is the New York Yankees. The Yankees certainly had the highest hopes of any teams reviewed thus far. With a new GM in from Kansas City, a Big Apple sized budget and bevy of moves, many looked at the Bronx Bombers as a potential playoff team, despite a 69-win 2018.
Time of Death: Wednesday September 4th, 12:31 AM PST when 3B Xavier Noonan grounded out to 2nd in the 10th inning, giving the Rangers a 5-4 win and officially eliminating the Yankees.
Cause of Death (Primary): Filled full of holes. As in the Yankees defense isn’t really a defense at all, more like 9 guys out there just kinda hangin’ out playing fetch. The Yankees had a team ZR of -51.2 – which higher (lower?) than the next 2 worst defenses in the AL combined (BOS at -20.7 and KC at -30.1)
Secondary Issues: Chicks may dig the long ball, but when those long balls tend to happen with no one on base, it doesn’t exactly make for winning baseball. The Yankees lead the AL with 197 HR, but are just 11th in Runs thanks to being last in Avg (.229) and 2nd to last in OBP (.301). The have the 2nd most K’s as an offense as well, so they’re basically swinging for the fences and hoping they connect. Combine that with the pourous defense giving the opponent extra outs and it’s hard for a team to get hot and reel off many winning streaks. The Yankees have won 3+ in a row just 4 times this year, haven’t won more than 4 in a row at all and only 1 of those 3+ streaks has happened over the last 3 months.
Left to Play For: They have some spoiler-ish scenarios possibly. They have 2 series with the Jays left, host the Angels for 3 mid-month and finish with 2 in Tampa followed by a 3 game set in Texas (who just swept them in New York). It shapes up for a pretty brutal schedule aside from traveling to Detroit next week. They need to finish 9-12 to avoid 100 losses and that might be pushing it.
2020 Outlook: Honestly, it’s tough to say. They have some recently traded for young talent in the bigs this September for a long look, but even though they’re the Yankees, they may not have the money to add anyone. Even if they declined arbitration on everyone eligible, they’ll have over 200 million already committed to players on the roster and salary retention on guys they jettisoned.