The New York Yankees need to make some changes. We’re not exactly sure what they should be, but we do know that this cannot continue.
Trotting out the same lineup that has now disappointed for the majority of 60 straight games is no longer the answer. At the very least, some temporary alterations should be considered to help guys get back on track.
One of those guys is DJ LeMahieu. Yankees fans love him. We love him! But after an historic 60-game stretch that saw him win a batting title and lift the Yankees to victory in the wild card series against the Indians, we’re now witnessing a 60-game regression with no signs of a rebound.
Is it time for manager Aaron Boone to move LeMahieu down in the lineup and try somebody else at the leadoff spot?
It might sound crazy — actually, it does! — but how can the team justify trotting him out there each and every day after witnessing a .253/.335/.321 slash line and a case of the rollovers that hasn’t yet dissipated?
It’s been over two months now. The first week of June is in the books. He’s hitting .200 with a .545 OPS with runners in scoring position in 50 plate appearances. He’s no longer battling and working counts. And he’s not getting any extra-base hits.
What should the Yankees do with DJ LeMahieu?
LeMahieu is the Yankees’ leadoff hitter. There’s no disputing that. But not every leadoff hitter is impervious to change. LeMahieu’s inability to get on base at least somewhat frequently to begin games has play a role in cutting the head off this lineup. He was the engine that made the offense go the past two years.
We’re not saying kick him down to seventh in the lineup, but maybe try out Gleyber Torres or Gio Urshela to kick things off. Bump DJ down to fifth so he has some protection around him in the form of Giancarlo Stanton/Gary Sanchez/Urshela. Maybe that’ll help him get back in a groove and help restore his abilities as the leadoff man.
This is an indictment on Boone, despite the fact the offense as a whole has been underperforming. There’s nothing evident that suggests a turnaround is in store. Trying the same thing over and over again will not magically get guys going. Yes, this assortment of players is among the game’s most talented, but there are many other problems plaguing the team, whether it be poor defense, base running, lack of awareness, etc.
If Boone wants to pamper his players in the postgame and provide arbitrary reasoning for a positive shift in performance, that’s fine. But there needs to be some major experimentation to try and work the team out of this extended, all-around slump.
That starts with moving LeMahieu into a different spot in the lineup and changing the complexion a bit. We didn’t expect The Machine to keep churning out MVP-like campaigns, but we also didn’t expect a major regression one year into his six-year extension.
It needs to be fixed, and fast, because the Yankees are running out of time with the trade deadline fast approaching.