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We can debate Aaron Boone’s bullpen maneuvers from Friday night. We can dissect rookie Deivi Garcia’s mound performance from Saturday.
We’d be missing the point. We’d be wasting our time. One indisputable reality dominates this Yankees season:
This Yankees offense is an absolute horror show.
It’s time to mix up the cast again, however incrementally.
Aaron Boone’s bunch hit another low point Saturday, suffering a 6-1 loss to the terrible Tigers at Comerica Park, ensuring a second straight series loss after winning seven in a row. With 3.83 runs per game, the Yankees, deploying essentially the same personnel that led the American League in runs scored in both 2019 and 2020, were tied with the Orioles for 12th in the AL entering the industry’s night action. It’s astonishing and, if you care about them, it’s alarming.
“The bottom line is we’ve got to get better,” Boone said, after his team mustered a measly three hits and four walks against Tigers starter (and winner) Spencer Turnbull and four relievers. “If we’re going to be the team we expect to be, a lot of that is built around what we expect to be offensively, and there’s no question that has to improve.”
Every club experiences a bad week, even against a bad opponent. Yet the Yankees can’t afford a second consecutive bad week, not with the Rays and Red Sox, both above them in the AL East, coming to The Bronx starting Monday.
Neither Giancarlo Stanton, who is ramping back up following his return from the injured list, nor Gio Urshela, who is managing an achy left knee, started Saturday, and we won’t see Luke Voit for a while. Nevertheless, the Yankees fielded a lineup that would’ve been favored to top such a lousy club the prior two seasons.
Instead, the visitors put together a three-batter blast from the past to start the second inning: Gleyber Torres walk, Gary Sanchez opposite-field single and Mike Ford walk. As Tigers pitching coach Chris Beck visited Turnbull on the mound, with the game scoreless, the world was the Yankees’ oyster. Then Miguel Andujar, one of the Yankees’ hotter hitters — and a cause celebre of the “Play him more often!” Twitterati — grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, scoring Torres with the lead run and, as it turned out, sealing the Yankees’ doom. Sanchez didn’t score from third, and the Yankees placed just one more runner in scoring position, when DJ LeMahieu reached second with two outs in the sixth (and did not get any further).
Meanwhile, Garcia couldn’t live up to the high standards established by his fellow starting pitchers and Rougned Odor contributed a damaging throwing error in the second inning. In all, it added up to one of the Yankees’ worst games of the season.
So what to do? A blockbuster trade won’t be happening this week, if at all this season, so some logical, feasible, short-term solutions include:
The Yankees possess the roster flexibility to execute any of these moves without consequences. Ford and Clint Frazier have minor league options remaining, and Aaron Hicks and Corey Kluber can be moved to the 60-day injured list to create room on the 40-man roster.
“The roster we’re at right now, I think we do change up quite a bit. We do have different sorts of lineups each and every day,” Boone said, “But if we’re going to be the club we expect to be, we need to get the guys we expect to carry a lot of the load offensively to really get going.”
He’s not wrong. For now, though, this offense, staler than the last two seasons of “The Office” (US version), needs a shakeup, however mild. After watching two miserable days in Motown, is that really debatable?
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