The Walking Dead: The Yankees incredible run by the numbers

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 02: DJ LeMahieu #26 of the New York Yankees fields a hit by Jeimer Candelario of the Detroit Tigers and sends the ball to first in the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium on April 02, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City.The New York Yankees challenged the initial safe call and it was overturned to end the inning. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 02: DJ LeMahieu #26 of the New York Yankees fields a hit by Jeimer Candelario of the Detroit Tigers and sends the ball to first in the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium on April 02, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City.The New York Yankees challenged the initial safe call and it was overturned to end the inning. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Who claimed more casualties? The New York Yankees in April or The Battle of Winterfell?

The Yankees went into the preseason knowing that they would be without Didi Gregorius, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Jordan Montgomery for the start of the season. They could never have dreamed about what would end up happening during the weeks that followed.

By the time spring training ended, CC Sabathia, Luis Severino, Aaron Hicks, and Dellin Betances had joined them on the Injured List, and less than a month later, the list had grown to include Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar, Troy Tulowitzki, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, and Clint Frazier. 15 players have already landed on the IL this season and even after the returns of CC and Sanchez, there’s still 13 heading into May.

It was as if a ‘snap’ had occurred and half of the team disappeared. Going into the season, the Yankees were thought to be an incredibly deep team. They had many  ‘good problems to have’.

  • “…we have too many outfielders”,
  • “where is LeMahieu going to play?”
  • “what are you going to do with Bird?” 

But as the saying goes, ‘Depth is great… until you HAVE to play it’. Yet, since April 16, the Yankees have won 11 of 14. During this time, the Yankees lead the MLB in Run Differential and now occupy the 5 spots on ESPN’s MLB Power Ranking.

To understand why this is so impressive, I will point out a very intriguing statistic. Urshela, LeMahieu, Voit, Torres, Sanchez, Gardner, Wade, Ford, and Tauchman combined for a total of 9.6 Wins Above Replacements in 2018. Judge, Stanton, Gregorius, Hicks, and Andujar combined for 21.5 WAR. That is more than DOUBLE the wins with barely HALF the number of players!

More from Yanks Go Yard

Here are a few things we have learned from the Yankees during this incredible stretch of baseball:

  • Their lack of ‘small ball’ is not from management rather it is from the players, as is evidenced by the fact that when the big players went down, the Yanks started moving over the runners, stealing bases, and overall playing ‘small ball’.
  • Luke Voit is the real deal.
  • Gio Urshela can be a legitimate starter in the big leagues and now has some serious trade value.
  • Clint Frazier really does have the star potential that Yankee fans have been dreaming of.
  • Their starting pitching was wildly underrated.
  • Their bullpen is not as ‘Otto’matic as we had thought.

Next. Yankees Report Card: Player Grades for March and April. dark

  • And finally, as the great John Sterling is wont to say- “That’s baseball, Suzyn”. Baseball is perfectly and excitingly unpredictable.