Yankees’ Biggest Red Flags Early in 2024 Season

Yankees’ Biggest Red Flags Early in 2024 Season

Yankees’ Biggest Red Flags Early in 2024 Season

0 of 3

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 21: Gleyber Torres #25 of the New York Yankees in action against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium on May 21, 2024 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Brad Penner/Getty Images)

    Brad Penner/Getty Images

    The New York Yankees are off to a terrific start to the 2024 season, and there is a strong case to be made that they should be considered the favorites to win the American League pennant at this point in time.

    However, their early success is not without a few notable red flags.

    Second baseman Gleyber Torres is still not hitting after being one of the team’s most reliable bats in recent years, the bullpen remains a work-in-progress bridging the gap to closer Clay Holmes, and the offense has struggled at times against left-handed pitching.

    Let’s take a closer look at those three notable red flags.

A Questionable Collection of Setup Relievers

1 of 3

    Luke Weaver

    Luke WeaverOrlando Ramirez/Getty Images

    The Yankees rank second in the majors with a 3.00 ERA from the bullpen, so to call their relief corps a weakness would simply not be true.

    However, it is fair to question whether a collection of largely unproven arms will continue to be successful in bridging the gap to All-Star closer Clay Holmes who is having another excellent season in the ninth-inning role.

    Caleb Ferguson, Luke Weaver, Victor Gonzalez, Ian Hamilton and Dennis Santana have been the team’s most frequently used middle relievers, and no one from that group has much of a track record of late-inning success prior to this year.

    It’s not out of the question to think the Yankees have cobbled together a successful relief corps with spare parts, but without a top-tier setup option, the bullpen still feels a bit like a house of cards at this point.

The Ongoing Struggles Of Gleyber Torres

2 of 3

    SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 26: Gleyber Torres #25 of the New York Yankees bats against the San Diego Padres during the fifth inning at Petco Park on May 26, 2024 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images)

    Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images

    Outside of Aaron Judge, second baseman Gleyber Torres has been the most consistent offensive presence in the Yankees lineup the past two seasons.

    He posted a 113 OPS+ with 24 home runs and 76 RBI in a 4.0-WAR season in 2022, and followed that up with a 118 OPS+ and 25 long balls last year when he was one of the league’s most productive second basemen.

    Now playing in a contract year, he has been the weak link in the starting lineup, hitting .229/.304/.327 for an 80 OPS+ with 12 extra-base hits in 231 plate appearances.

    His batted-ball data provides little reason for optimism, including a .219 expected batting average that ranks in the 14th percentile among qualified hitters, so this could be more than just an early slump.

Mediocre Production Against Left-Handed Pitching

3 of 3

    Anthony Rizzo

    Anthony RizzoOrlando Ramirez/Getty Images

    The Yankees have one of the best offenses in baseball, leading the majors in home runs (82) and team OPS (.770), but they have struggled at times against left-handed pitching.

    With a southpaw on the mound, they rank 16th in batting average (.242), and 15th in OPS (.694), and for a team with legitimate World Series aspirations, that is not going to cut it if they run into a team with multiple lefties in the postseason.

    First baseman Anthony Rizzo in particular has been a complete non-factor against lefties, hitting .185/.254/.185 with zero extra-base hits in 59 plate appearances.

    Finding a right-handed bat who can serve as a platoon option with a tough lefty on the mound should be a top priority at the trade deadline.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *