Friday, June 21, 2013

This Offense Is Offensive

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

There's no need to sugarcoat it anymore.  It's a scientific fact at this point, why try holding out hope that it's going to turn around?  This offense sucks.  It sucks and it sucks hard.  Whether you want to blame ownership, Cashman, or both, we can all be unified in agreement that this performance from the lineup night in and night out is just pathetic.  Each game brings a new low, and the numbers and anecdotes to prove it are starting to get frightening.  Reid Brignac isn't OPSing CC's playing weight.  Vernon Wells may have inadvertently started the takeover of the machines.  Francisco Cervelli is the team wOBA leader right now, by a wide margin, and he hasn't played a game since April 26th.  Alberto Gonzalez is statistically the team's best offensive shortstop.

The rest of the roster hasn't been holding up its end of the deal as well as it was earlier in the season, but this lineup is so inept that the team is basically done as soon as they give up 3 runs these days.  That's no way to try to be competitive at the Major League level let alone try to win games, and it certainly appears to the trained eye that it's starting to take its toll on everybody.  The cupboard is so bare that Joe is starting to throw the binder and the matchups out the window when making his lineup cards and that's about the most un-Joe thing he could do.

Nobody is hitting right now except for Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki - 2 guys who at their best aren't the types of players who can carry a lineup for more than 1 game at a time - and there's a very important stretch of games coming up before the remaining reinforcements come back.  With the way they're trending, the Yankees are teetering on the edge of falling out of contention before they get healthy, and with the trade deadline starting to creep up on them they need to make a decision on what, if anything, they're going to do to address this offense.

And it doesn't even have to be the big Giancarlo Stanton or Chase Headley deals, even though those should still be pursued to the absolute last minute.  The Yankees have gotten where they are this season, for better or worse, because of a continuing series of little moves, marginal upgrades, and trades.  They've gotten what they can get out of the Vernons Wells and Travises Hafner of the world for the first half of the season, now they need to go out and find new versions for the second half.  Start with the small fish - Chris Coghlan or Justin Ruggiano from the Marlins perhaps - and work up to something a little bigger.  If the Phillies start to fall out of it in the NL Wild Card race, Chase Utley could probably be had and he's not owed anything after this season.  Ditto Paul Konerko, whose White Sox are all but out of it already in the AL Central.  Maybe put in a call to the Brewers, see if they're willing to talk about Jonathan Lucroy.

Whatever it is, the Yankees need to do something if they're seriously going to keep up the spoken "championship-caliber team" commitment.  What's on the field right now is not even in the same realm as that at the plate and the Thomas Neal/Zoilo Almonte band-aids aren't going to be enough to help.  We saw how tight the purse strings were held on Cash in the offseason.  The continuation of this offensive disaster may force the Steinbrenners to loosen that grip earlier than they wanted to.

P.S.- And anytime Robinson Cano wants to not make me look like an ass for defending him and start hitting again, that would help too.

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