New York Yankees: Fewer ‘Slumps’ Will Be Key in Short Season

New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The New York Yankees need to limit their slumps when MLB returns to play.

Over the course of a 162-game season, all players go through hot and cold stretches. The best players in baseball are able to make adjustments quickly, allowing them to maintain a high average and gaudy numbers.

In a modern-day lineup filled with countless sluggers, the high home run rates are counteracted by numerous strikeouts, leading to long droughts for pure power threats at the plate. For the Yankees, their ability to stay out of these slumps will be crucial over the course of a 60-70 game season which will require teams to keep their foot on the gas pedal every single game.

It is no secret that the Bronx Bombers possess one of the most formidable lineups in all of baseball. With power found in all spots of the order as well as in the reserves, both on the bench and in the minors, opposing staffs have had a miserable time counteracting the plethora of lethal bats. When hot there are few who can match the power and home run rate of Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Judge, but when cold, those same bats are as feeble as Bill Bergen.

Lengthy Slumps

Over the course of 2018 and 2019, the Yankees’ premier bats were repeatedly marred in brutal slumps that seem to slow down their cataclysmic offense. As a refresher, here are a few Yankees slumps from the 2018 and 2019 seasons that cannot happen when 2020 kicks off:

  • Gary Sanchez went 6 for 59 (.102) during July of 2019.
  • Giancarlo Stanton went 5 for 35 (.143) from May 21, 2018, to June 1, 2018.
  • Luke Voit had just one hit in his last 32 at-bats (.031) to end the 2019 regular season.
  • Aaron Judge went 12/81 (.148) during a 21-game span in the summer of 2019.
  • Brett Gardner duplicated Stanton’s 5/35 (.143) from May 26 – June 8 of 2019.

For perspective, Judge’s 21-game skid this past season would be a third of what the MLB has proposed to be the entirety of the 2020 campaign. The common phrase is that the MLB season is a marathon, not a sprint, but under the unique circumstances brought to us by COVID-19, this season will be more comparable to that of a 100-meter dash.

New York Yankees
Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees strikes out (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton must limit their slumps in 2020.

MLB teams go through a lineup on average of 3-4 times per game, meaning that each player will get approximately 210 at-bats during the proposed 60-game season. For a player to hit .300 in that span of at-bats, they will have to record 63 hits. It does not seem like a lot, but if a prolonged slump comes into play, that mark will be nearly impossible to achieve.

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Any slump is detrimental to a player’s numbers as well as the team’s numbers in a short time frame. In the postseason, each plate appearance carries weight, a weight that will be similar to that of a season which sees 100 fewer games played.

The New York Yankees have the rare lineup that accepts the strikeout with the long ball. In 2020, that mentality will have to shift, as the Bombers should follow in the footsteps of DJ LeMahieu and prioritize average over power.