NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Yankees are beating the tar out of everyone, but the scary thing is they are doing it despite one of their most important sluggers looking mostly clueless at the plate.
Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton blasted the Blue Jays in the 13th inning on Wednesday night and their respective power numbers are what one would expect in a lineup that is downright terrifying most nights.
Judge’s 17 home runs and 43 RBIs are tied for fifth and tied for fourth in the AL, respectively, further proof that the idea of last year’s AL Rookie of the Year suffering through anything resembling a sophomore slump is nothing more than wishful thinking by Yankee haters.
Stanton has rebounded from a brutal start and it seems like just a matter of time before he goes on one of his crazy long-ball runs. Lest we forget, he did win the NL MVP last season with the Miami Marlins on the strength of 59 homers and 132 RBIs.
But what about Gary Sanchez? His 12 homers rank third on the Yankees and his 35 RBIs third, two more than Stanton. Yet, he’s hitting an abysmal .201, with an on-base percentage of just .303. In other words, the player many think is the most complete hitter on the roster has been basically the epitome of feast or famine the entire season.
Just look at Sanchez’s numbers of late — an .081 average (3-for-37) over his last nine games, dating to May 26. Some of his at-bats in that span have been horrific. Sanchez’s plate discipline has left an awful lot to be desired. If he hasn’t been flailing at off-speed pitches away, he’s been hacking at stuff high and inside.
Yet, manager Aaron Boone says Sanchez’s season-long adventure at the plate likely will run its course soon.
“I see him missing pitches he usually does damage with,” Boone said Tuesday. “The last couple of weeks there are some pitches he is popping up or fouling off, pitches that he does damage with. I think he is close.
“I am quite confident he will give us quality at-bats and hopefully get some results,” he added. “I don’t worry about it, I know the at-bat quality will be there. I know the results will be there, too. Whether that is today or over time, they are going to be there.”
Austin’s Days Numbered?
Tyler Austin may soon find himself at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre. The young slugger is hitting just .224 this season and is in the throes of a 2-for-24 slump.
The Yankees chose to keep him with the big club after they activated Greg Bird, giving them three players, along with veteran Neil Walker, who can play first base. But now that sparkplug infielder Ronald Torreyes is eligible to return to the majors, the Bombers may want to rethink their bench. Torreyes, who was hitting .339 at the time of his surprising demotion, can play both middle infield positions and third base. Plus, he always seems to do something positive, be it at the plate or in the field, whenever he’s in the lineup.
It seems to make more sense having Torreyes as the backup to shortstop Didi Gregorius and rookie second baseman Gleyber Torres than it does having three potential first basemen that offer very little versatility.
Subway Series Pitching Probables
The Yankees have the day off Thursday before opening a three-game series against the Mets at Citi Field. In Friday’s opener, Masahiro Tanaka (7-2, 4.72 ERA) will face Jacob deGrom (4-0, 1.49). Domingo German (0-4, 5.44) takes the ball Saturday against Steven Matz (2-3, 3.42) and Luis Severino (9-1, 2.20) matches up with Noah Syndergaard (4-1, 3.06) on Sunday night.