Yankees: 3 easy lineup changes NYY can make to boost offense
By Adam Weinrib
2. Move Mike Ford (and Gary Sanchez) Down
The Yankees need to be less reliant on Mike Ford moving forward, too.
The burly Mike Ford is not the same bat in 2020 as he was in 2019, either.
One of the leaders of the “next man up” ethos, Ford’s powerless ’20 campaign should be far more relevant in his everyday standing than his surprise ’19 was.
Seemingly cursed by an ill-fated ESPN Babe Ruth graphic, Ford entered Sunday’s game slugging a remarkably depressing .299 and still batting fifth. That’s down from an impressive .559 mark in 2019, when he became a patient and powerful threat off the Yankees bench.
Gary Sanchez has long been the obvious candidate for a benching or lineup demotion, but even on the day when Boone finally gave in and banished the Sanchize out of the top nine on Sunday, there was the deadened Ford, still in the five-hole.
We understand that his theoretical power-patience combo is a bonafide fit for the middle of the order if everything is clicking, but as of now, all Ford’s offering is the ability to bog down the second inning with non-threats.
Until anything changes in his season line, the Yankees can’t afford to have a now-deficient threat hitting behind Clint Frazier when Luke Voit needs a day off from playing the field, something that has become a more constant occurrence during the dreaded “foot stuff” complications.