Are you sitting down for this? Good. Didn't want you to get shocked by this wild assertion: The 2023 New York Yankees need to improve their offensive output.
The cavalry, sadly, is not coming. Perhaps the 2023 trade deadline will be fruitful, but at the moment, Giancarlo Stanton is the only guaranteed difference-maker coming back from the injured list, and who knows when that will be. If Harrison Bader hits the way he did in the 2022 postseason, that will help tremendously, too, but let's cross that bridge when we come to it.
That means the Yankees are going to have to take some wild swings if they're going to get more production out of the Willie Calhoun/Franchy Cordero/Aaron Hicks/Isiah Kiner-Falefa/Jose Trevino/Kyle Higashioka/Oswaldo Cabrera/Oswald Peraza spots. Damn. That's a lot of spots.
Needless to say, Aaron Boone and the front office are also aware of this deficiency. According to Boone's musings on Wednesday, there's at least a chance they take an unorthodox route to fixing things. 27-year-old left-handed hitter Jake Bauers has caught the team's eye with his Triple-A performance, and while he might end up blooming and folding over the course of two weeks like Cordero, promoting him would certainly seem worth a shot.
Yankees could promote lefty-swinging Jake Bauers to MLB, per Aaron Boone
So far, Bauers' OPS would be the best on the Yankees by nearly 500 points; Anthony Rizzo is the current team leader, hanging out in the high .800s/low .900s depending on the day. Needless to say, that type of production would be welcome (Bauers, who came up with the Rays as a first baseman, has been playing the outfield in the high minors).
Unfortunately, in addition to pinpointing Bauers, Boone also said Andres Chaparro was "banging," which might be the kiss of death these days.
After all, Boone said the same thing about a struggling Willie Calhoun on Tuesday, who proceeded to not bang whatsoever in the game that followed. He also spent the whole offseason talking up Josh Donaldson's potential for similar banging. So far, so bad on that.
The Yankees shouldn't have built a roster that required an offensive spark from an unknown like Bauers, but here we are. If this team is going to succeed, they're going to need to get some unexpected contributions.
Calhoun hasn't provided them. Cordero has disappeared after dropping off a few bombs early. "Wildly pressing buttons" isn't a sound strategy, but it's the corner they've been backed into. Why not?