4 Yankees players the fans have already lost patience with
By Adam Weinrib
Editor's note: This article was written before the Yankees decided to designate Aaron Hicks for assignment.
The 2023 New York Yankees have dug themselves out of a remarkably frustrating early portion of the season, but not all the way just yet.
This roster still displays significant inconsistency and, yes, while they're competing in the dangerous AL East without three projected starting pitchers and Giancarlo Stanton, it would've been nice to see them assemble quality depth instead of stumbling into Jake Bauers.
Oh, and they still broke camp this spring without a left fielder. Never forget that.
While the vibes are improving (standing your ground against the Jays and Rays while refuting nonsensical Aaron Judge allegations will do that), there are still a few names on this roster who come with automatic ire attached.
As the Yankees look to welcome back injured players (Sevy Sunday?) and pare down the roster, these four players have the most to lose. Apologies to Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Jhony Brito, who were miscast at first, but are now playing their roles much better, and have earned a promotion off the Frustration List.
4 Yankees players the fans have already lost patience with in 2023
Clarke Schmidt's recent run of starts has improved, but he's produced an awful lot of frustration already for a former top prospect trying to lock down a rotation spot.
The numbers are ghastly enough, and he's taxed the bullpen in nearly every outing, recently recording his first "win" of the season against the Oakland A's.
What's most frustrating, though, is we were assured that this season would be different for Schmidt, and that the cutter he developed in the offseason would be the key to his ability to handle left-handers and graduate from the bullpen.
Unfortunately, that cutter somehow decreased his ability to handle lefties this season. Through nine starts, they're hitting a ridiculous .369/.448/.667 against Schmidt with a 1.104 OPS. That would lead the league, by a significant margin; NL MVP threat Ronald Acuña Jr. is your current MLB leader with a 1.050 mark.
Last season, when lefties were a "problem" that needed to be addressed? They hit just .268/.358/.439 with a .797 OPS against Schmidt. Rumor has it that adjusting his grip to the cutter has neutered the effectiveness of all his other pitches and caused his rhythm to get out of whack. Whatever the cause, Schmidt had a golden opportunity to prove himself as a starter this spring, and instead proved that his fate may lie in the bullpen (at best) moving forward.
He was positively ... fine in Cincinnati on Friday (and still managed to create a jam and make the game closer than it had to be right before he left). That didn't change his ultimate fate, in our eyes.