As I watch the Yankees’ anemic offense constantly fail, I wonder how the Yankees are over .500 and still competing for first place in the AL East. Although the Yankees have had solid production from cheap positions player like Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay, and Travis Hafner, there is a reason why these players were free agents and did not have many suitors. The Yankees hoped that these players could keep the Yankees in the race until their regulars returned into action, Teixeira, Granderson, Jeter, and Rodriguez. However, when Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson were able to return into reaction, they immediately re-injured themselves and returned to the DL.
Although Granderson may return this season, he will not have the same impact as Teixeira. Along with playing Gold Glove caliber defense, Teixeira is a power hitting switch hitter that the Yankees desperately need right now. During their current series with the Texas Rangers, it is becoming evident that the Yankees desperately need a power hitting right handed bat in the middle of the order. When the Rangers put in their good left handed relievers, they were able to dominate the Yankees’ left handed hitters one after another. The Yankees most feared power bat from the right side is Vernon Wells, who is not starting. The rest of the league has caught up to the Yankee’s lineup who are 22nd in runs, 25th in batting average, 23rd in on-base percentage, and 23rd in slugging percentage.
Although Jeter may be able to help the Yankees improve their batting average and runs scored, he will not provide the Yanks with the right handed power bat that they need. Five years ago, Alex Rodriguez would have been able to lead the Yankees to the playoffs. However, the Yankees do know what they can expect for Rodriguez or if they want him to take the field. Many people believe that the Yankees are waiting to put him in the lineup because they want MLB to suspend him for his PED connections. If he cannot play for the season, the Yankees would be able to recruit a lot of his salary, which is their main goal. The Yankees self-restricted cap rules are going to limit the Yankees’ ability to trade for a quality star that can lead them to the playoffs. Along with the cap regulations, the Yankees do not have the MLB ready prospects that most teams would want in return for their star players. Although one player does not usually deter the Yankees from reaching their goal of making the playoffs, this year is different for the Yankees because of their lack of quality prospects and available money.
Stats from ESPN.com