A week and a half ago, New York Yankees fans started to worry. The team was crashing downhill fast. Aaron Judge was slumping, and had gone 1 for 21 in his last 21 at-bats since the all-star break. They needed pitching help. They couldn’t win many games and they continued their struggles that started in mid-June and continued through the all-star break.
The Yankees were in great position on June 12th, with their division lead widening over the Red Sox and the rest of the AL East. They’d won six straight and started a road trip to the West. The road trip was where the team just started crashing down and losing their grip on the division. The team lost 7 of 8 in a span from June 13th to June 22nd. They were swept in a four game road series against the Oakland Athletics, one of the worst teams in baseball. The Yankees went 4-13 in the remainder of June and lost the division lead to a heating up Red Sox club. They even fell to third in the division as the Tampa Bay Rays were starting to contend.
The Yankees only won seven games in the span from June 13th to July 9th. The losses? 19 of them in the span. They headed into the all star break with many questions. Will the bullpen return to form? Will they have to acquire pitching? Will they need to give up on contending this year? But Yankees general manager Brian Cashman had an answer to those questions. And it has looked like a damn good answer so far. The Yankees acquired 3B Todd Frazier, and relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle from a rebuilding White Sox club for their 2016 first round draft pick OF Blake Rutherford and a few other prospects.
Since the trade became official, the New York Yankees have caught fire and are putting themselves in perfect position to run toe to toe with the division rival Boston Red Sox in a chase for the AL East division title. They’ve won 6 of their last 8 games. Aaron Judge is still struggling a bit but he’s still contributing some whether it’s getting walked or hitting a home run. Gary Sanchez is struggling as well. Starlin Castro has returned to the DL with an injury. So you might ask who is keeping the Yankees alive and well and helping them win ball games? Well there are multiple answers to that question.
One guy who’s recently been nearly unstoppable is the Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius. He’s batting .388 with a .796 SLG% and 6 home runs over the last 14 days. That is ridiculous. Young rookie stud outfielder Clint Frazier has also found a touch in his swing. Frazier is batting .289 over the last 14 days and he’s contributing a lot of run support for the Yankees pitchers. Speaking of Yankees pitchers. The team’s current ace Luis Severino has pitched 14 shutout innings in his last two starts on the bump. Tommy Kahnle hasn’t surrendered a run yet in the Yankees uniform out of the bullpen. Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman are starting to look much like themselves as studs out of the bullpen. Chad Green has been great as a 5th, 6th, or 7th inning reliever to shut down the opposing batters.
Joe Girardi is finally respecting the fact that Judge needs to rest. He’s also being smart with all of his weapons at his utility via the bullpen. The Yankees built a playoff caliber bullpen with their big trade. Now, they need to look at acquiring a first baseman, and a good starting pitcher. The team would love to rip out a deal for the Rangers ace Yu Darvish or Athletics ace Sonny Gray. They are also interested in going with a guy like Marlins first baseman Justin Bour or Athletics first baseman Yonder Alonso.
But remember, whatever the Yankees do end up doing at the upcoming trade deadline, Yankees fans can finally breath about their team. They are looking really good right now and it is something to be excited about. They have trimmed the Red Sox lead in the division to a game and the Yankees will start a three game home series with the Tampa Bay Rays tonight at 7:05pm EST on the YES! Network. Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed!
Written by: Tristan Beckmann