Perspectives: April 26, 2021
By Paul Semendinger
April 26, 2021
With a new week upon us, here are some thoughts, stats, and such regarding the 2021 Yankees to this point in the 2021 season:
The Yankees are 9-12. That is still not good. Not good at all.
Things, though, seem to be brightening up. After being swept by the Tampa Bay Rays, the Yankees are 4-2 after splitting a two game series with the Braves and taking three of four from the Indians. That’s a start.
The Yankees must keep taking series. The teams they will be playing ahead in the schedule are all not very strong. This is the time when the Yankees must begin a strong streak of games. The time is now.
The offense is still a concern. The team, over this winning streak scored an average of only 3.33 runs per game. That is not going to get the job done.
The season is already 1/8th completed (12.5%). (It’s a little over that, we’re actually at 12.96%, but for easy math, we’ll keep it at 1/8th. If the following players continue at their current rates, their end-of-the-year season totals will be as follows:
Gleyber Torres: 0 HR/16 RBI
Aaron Judge : 32 HR/64 RBI
D.J. LeMahieu: 8 HR/64 RBI
The only Yankee batter on pace to have more than 75 RBIs (at this point) is Giancarlo Stanton who is on pace to hit 40 homers and drive in 112 runs.
Of course, Stanton is batting under .200 (.186)
The following Yankees starting players, with at least 10 games played, are hitting under .220:
Clint Frazier, .146
Aaron Hicks, .172
Giancarlo Stanton, .186
Brett Gardner, .194
Gary Sanchez, .196
Gleyber Torres, .213
Mike Tauchman, .214
The following Yankees starting players, with at least 10 games played, are hitting .280 or better:
Kyle Higashioka, ..286
Those numbers above, 12.5% through a season, are very concerning.
The following Yankees lead the team in starts. What follows is their average innings per start:
Gerrit Cole, 5 starts, averages 6.24 innings per start
Corey Kluber, 4 starts, averages 3.75 innings per start
Jameson Taillon, 4 starts, averages 4.27 innings per start
Jordan Montgomery, 4 starts, averages 5.32 innings per start
Those numbers are also very concerning.
The Yankees now get seven games against the Orioles (9-12) and the Tigers (7-15). Good teams have to feast on the bad teams, and these two teams the Yankees will be next competing against are bad. The Orioles are just 2-8 at home. The Tigers are just 4-8 at home. These are games the Yankees have to show up for and start to dominate. This is when the Yankees need to start to flex their muscles a bit. This should be the easy part of the early season schedule.
I know I am not allowed to say this, but in his two full seasons before becoming a Yankee, D.J. LeMahieu batted just .294 with 23 homers and 126 runs batted in over 283 games. My worry is that he’ll be that player, or worse, soon. He’s been worse so far this year (.260/1/6). The Yankees built this team believing D.J. LeMahieu would continue to put up MVP numbers. It just didn’t make sense. Part of the reason for the Yankees’ lackluster start is the fact that LeMahieu has been lackluster. If he’s not a MVP-level player, the Yankees will be in trouble.
The other thing people are not allowed to say is that Aaron Judge looks pedestrian – and has for a while now. I have seen Judge take more batting practice style fastballs right down the middle than any “great” player I have ever seen. Judge is batting just .246/4/8. Since the start of the 2019 season, Judge is batting just .266.
Here’s an even more concerning star regarding Aaron Judge that starts with a positive. Over his last 149 games (since the start of the 2019 season), he has 40 homers. That’s great. How many runs batted in do you think he has in that time?
Judge is looking more and more like a guy who occasionally runs into a fastball and hits it 900 miles but otherwise isn’t all that impressive. To have just 85 runs batted in to go with 40 homers says that something is just not going well. At all.
Deivi Garcia starts tonight for the Yankees. I am high on Deivi. Let’s hope he starts a nice winning streak. If the Yanks can take three of four from the Orioles, they’ll be at 12-13. Then, if they take two of three from the Tigers, they would be at .500 (14-14). That would be three series wins in a row. Things would be looking up. The Yanks dug themselves quite a hole. Let’s hope they can keep climbing out of it.
Let’s Go Yankees!