Yankees: A slide that suddenly looks like an avalanche

Tyler Wade: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Tyler Wade: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

The Yankees were overwhelming in April and very underwhelming in June. We called it a skid, attributing it to “that’s baseball.” But are we looking at something deeper than that? I say no, but the losses on the field continue. What should we make of it?

The Yankees, much like the Cardinals, Mets, Cubs, and probably a few others are scratching their heads right about now asking, “Wait a minute, this isn’t supposed to be happening.” And yet, when you look at the AL East standings, the Red Sox are in first place and the Bombers have a 2-8 record over their last ten games.

And much like when Hurricane Sandy hit the shores of New York City, all of a sudden everything is turned upside down. And even when the Yankees make a move to bring relief by dismissing Chris Carter from the team and calling up Tyler Austin, that turns into shambles as well as Austin sees only ten pitches today going 0-3 with two strikeouts.

Video courtesy of the YES Network

In baseball, you don’t want to make too much out of a good thing, and conversely, you don’t want to make too much out of a bad thing. But the fact remains that the Yankees, at this point, are, at least, troubled.

Tomorrow is Old Timer’s Day at Yankee Stadium, and maybe some of these guys can take a moment to pull a Yankee or two aside with some encouraging words that suggest, “I’ve been there before, and you’ll come out of it.”

More from Yanks Go Yard

But the fact is that, with the exception of Aaron Judge, who hit his 26th home run today in a losing cause (again), this has been a team collapse. Joe Girardi has played Brett Gardner more than he wants to in the absence of Jacoby Ellsbury and Gardner is showing the effects of weariness.

The rotation continues to stumble through producing mediocre performances, which in April when the Yankees were scoring a ton of runs a game, would have gone unnoticed are now part of the daily headlines on the back pages of New York newspapers.

Here comes the real judge

So we reach the point now where a general manager needs to be the hitter who makes adjustments on the fly to a pitcher in a particular game, or sometimes even from one at-bat to another.

Brian Cashman’s plan for 2017, all of a sudden becomes suspect, and remedial corrections become evident. The plan to stand pat, letting the kids in the minors get a full season under their belt before making decisions during the offseason, while worthy may no longer be feasible.

Occasionally, a team can look good even when losing. The Yankees haven’t managed to do that. They are getting beat by mediocre teams like the Angels, the A’s, and now, the Rangers. Lord help the team when they get to face their division competitors, who by the way, now includes the Tampa Bay Rays who are only 2.5 games out of first place.

Panic time? Mmm…maybe getting close

Panic time? Hardly, as there are 80 or more games left in the season. But it is a time for the Yankees to be a little more circumspect than they (may) have been to date.

The move yesterday to give Chris Carter his walking papers is a sign that the Yankees recognize the need to do something, even if it means forfeiting $3.5 million of the stockholder’s money.

Cashman’s choices haven’t changed. He can still stick to the plan and quietly ride out the season with what he has with an eye towards 2018, or he can make adjustments on the fly to bring in more talent that puts at least a dent in the talent he’s stored up in the minor leagues.

It’s a heady decision, and I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes to make it. But it has to be done.