If there's a way to spin this current Yankee slump into a positive, it comes from pointing out how it's put a quick end to all the growing talk about the team not needing all their injured players back, and what's going to happen to the current players, and what do they do if the team plays worse with the better players back? This current version of the Yankee team appears to have hit the wall and they are in serious need of a spark, one they thought they had when Curtis Granderson return. More than anything else, even if neither guy gets a hit in tonight's game or all weekend, that's what Mark Teixiera and Kevin Youkilis will give this club when they return tonight.
And if it turns out they both can shake the rust off quicker than expected, even better. From a performance standpoint, the 2 things this team lacks the most right now are right-handed power and patience. The lack of power has been an issue all season long. The lack of patience is something new and it's been at the forefront of this week's offensive disappearance. Teix and Youkilis have always been good at working counts and drawing walks, and blending that patience with their power presence and balance they bring to the lineup should help turn things around.
Lyle Overbay has done the job well, but he's got an OBP in the .280s. David Adams has looked more than capable of hacking it at the Major League level, but he was still never expected to be in this position this year and is already showing signs of being exposed at the plate. Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner helped carry the offense through the first 6 weeks of the season, but the grind of playing every day appears to be catching up to them now. Teixeira and Youkilis are the salve to ease these wounds, the reinforcements for the reinforcements, and they represent the first step towards a return to business as usual for the Yankees. If they're both healthy enough to play every day, and I don't think the team would be bringing them back tonight if they weren't, they should be just what the doctor ordered.