Analysis

Yankees: Let’s Not Start To Panic Just Yet

The Yankees hit a bit of a rough patch as of late which included being swept by the Red Sox, but it is not time for fans to start to panic just yet.

Yankees fans are rightfully upset with how the most recent four-game set went with the Red Sox. We got swept. The games were ugly. We could have salvaged the final game, and yet we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Now, after those dismal four games, the Yankees stand nine games behind the Sox, and only three games up on Oakland for the first wild card. Still, though, it is not time to panic in the Bronx.

We’re Not Healthy

This should go without saying, but I guess several hysterical fans are not aware that Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, J.A. Happ, Clint Frazier, and Domingo German are injured.

So you’re saying we’re not great without Aaron Judge in the lineup?

Some fans might remember that coming into 2017 this team had very low expectations. Then, something miraculous happened. Aaron Judge started hitting like an MVP. The Yankees outlook completely changed and we became buyers at the trade deadline. Then Judge had a dismal August and the team skidded back before Judge found his stroke again and the Yankees ultimate won a Wild Card berth.

Now, Aaron Judge is on the disabled list and *gasp* the Yankees are not playing well! This should come as a surprise to no one. While it’s not great that we’re nine games behind the Red Sox, the silver lining is that it’s early August and Judge is recovering.

Hopefully court will be in session soon and we can All Rise once again.

While Judge is obviously the biggest loss the Yankees are dealing with currently, Gary Sanchez, J.A. Happ, and Clint Frazier are huge losses as well.

Sanchez is a premier offensive catcher, and even though his year hasn’t gone as planned, he’s still a threat at the plate. Certainly more of a threat than Austin Romine. Sanchez hasn’t been able to get his batting average above the Mendoza line, but he’s still walking 11.4% of the time, a testament to the respect he commands from opponents. When his bat is back in the lineup, the Yankees will be better.

J.A. Happ missed his start on Saturday with hand, foot, and mouth disease (Is he two years old?). While he won’t be out long, and Chance Adams was decent in a spot start, Happ still missed a big game against the Red Sox. Once he gets healthy, the Yankees rotation will be that much deeper.

The injury to Clint Frazier is also an important one. He could have stepped in while Judge is on the DL, but since Frazier is in concussion protocol, the Yankees have had to insert ShaRobinsonson and Luke Voit into the lineup on a regular basis.

The Yankees Upcoming Schedule is Easier

Winning Percentages:
White Sox – .369
Rangers – .343
Mets – .413
Rays – .500
Blue Jays – .459
Marlins – .407
Orioles – .304
Tigers – .420

That’s a combined winning percentage of .413. Now, hopefully, the Yankees can win more than 60% of these games, but considering the Yankees have a .618 winning percentage overall, it stands to reason that they should do much better against these teams. Further, some of these teams traded away talent at the deadline.

Still, we’ve seen the Yankees have problems with the MLB worst Orioles, so nothing is a given. If the Yankees are going to make a move, this is the time to do it. They need to make up some ground on the Red Sox during this easy stretch and hope to return the broom to the Sox at the end of the year when they face off again.

The Red Sox Cannot Maintain This Pace (we hope)

The Red Sox are winning almost 70% of their games. They’re on pace for 113 regular season wins, or one fewer than the record setting 1998 Yankees. It’s incredibly unlikely that the Red Sox will maintain this pace. Just last year the Dodgers were on an even better pace, then reality, injuries, and normal regression caught up to them and they ended up winning “only” 104 games.

It’s almost a given that the Red Sox will regress. Chris Sale has been out, and although he is slated to come back for his next start, nothing is a given. Brian Johnson is still starting games. What will Nate Eovaldi give them? Will David Price pitch better? Will Mookie Betts continue to be the best player in baseball? Can J.D. Martinez keep up his unbelievable home run pace?

The Red Sox are currently playing at a ridiculous level, but there is still almost a full third left to the season. Plenty can happen. The Yankees could continue playing at their current pace, win 100 games, and depending on how far Boston regresses, win the division. Or maybe when Aaron Judge returns the Yankees will pick up the pace and win more than 100 games. Or maybe things will stay exactly the same and the Yankees have no shot at the division. In any event, it’s way too early to start panicking. There’s a lot of baseball left.

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