Friday, May 2, 2014

Bronx Bummers: Yankees’ offensive funk continues

There were few positives for the New York Yankees to point after the two-game series loss to the Seattle Mariners. One negative trend has manifested into a complete issue. This offense is weak and dragging the team down.

The Yankees have scored 13 runs over their last five games. Their pathetic offensive display was magnified by a bargain basement starter and an unheralded rookie.

The Yankees were held in check by Chris Young, who hadn’t won a MLB game since 2012 and rookie pitcher Roenis Elias. Young stymied the Yankees allowing just one earned run on three hits across 5 2/3 innings, while Elias was even better allowing one run over seven innings and striking out 10 batters.

The Yankees offense has a combined .261/.326/.404 line ranking 10th in team OPS in MLB. This was supposed to be a bounce back season for the club in terms of offense after signing Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann. Only Ellsbury has performed consistently well since the onset of the season.

Here’s a look at some Yankees hitting stats from players with more than 40 plate appearances.

There isn’t much to say other than the offense has been mostly feeble. The team has yet to put together a stretch where calling them the Bombers applies. The club has a negative run differential (-13) and while the pitching rotation is suspect, the issues some Yankees’ hurlers are enduring are not exactly surprising.

But what has been unexpected is that Beltran and McCann are flailing right now. McCann has yet to put together a run of more than a couple games in which he’s looked comfortable at the plate.

The issues do not stem from just the newcomers with loads of cash dumped in their laps. Other free agent signings like Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson have failed to show much promise.

While Yangervis Solarte had a solid first couple of weeks, he has slowed immensely going 5-for-34 over his last eight games.

The outfield holdovers from last season are not exactly lighting a fire thus far. Brett Gardner and Alfonso Soriano are treading on mediocre performances thus far. Ichiro Suzuki should be commended for his performance, but he’s been riding the pine for much of the season.

The book on Mark Teixeira is still too young to judge though he looks to be swinging the bat harder, showing the wrist might be getting stronger. Derek Jeter has been fairly consistent, but he’s not much more than a singles hitter right now (three extra-base hits).

The Yankees do not have a feared hitter (except maybe Ellsbury right now), which necessitates consistent positive production throughout the lineup. One player can't do it alone for this squad. It's going to take an immediate and collective turnaround or else the Yankees will find themselves slipping in the standings.

Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance sports writer/editor and the Director of Content Strategy for Sportsideo.