Aaron Boone proved himself wrong with Saturday's huge Yankees lineup change

Maybe some change is good, Boonie.
New York Yankees v Milwaukee Brewers
New York Yankees v Milwaukee Brewers / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Would you look at that! The New York Yankees had one of their most effortless wins over the last few years when they opened up a can of whoop on the Milwaukee Brewers Saturday night. The final score of 15-3 featured 25 baserunners, four home runs, and a 6-for-14 showing with runners in scoring position.

It sure did help that the lineup faced Joe Ross, who is pitching in MLB for the first time again since 2021, but how can we overlook any offensive barrage from the Yankees? They've been destroyed by no-names and first-timers plenty times before. This is the first time they scored 12 runs or more against a team that wasn't the Athletics since last April.

And it's hard to ignore the changes manager Aaron Boone made to Saturday's lineup that may have sparked the signs of life.

Boone moved both Anthony Rizzo and Gleyber Torres down in the lineup as the two continue to underwhelm, and he shifted Alex Verdugo to the cleanup spot. Dugie delivered in a massive way in his first at-bat.

On the first pitch, deposited a three-run homer over the right-center field wall and finished the night 3-for-5 with two runs scored and four RBI.

Aaron Boone proved himself wrong with Saturday's huge Yankees lineup change

What else? Both Rizzo and Torres recorded three-hit nights. Rizzo drove in two more -- belting another homer -- while Torres contributed a bases-clearing, three-run double to extend New York's lead to 6-1 early.

Nobody's been asking for drastic lineup alterations, but there's been a widespread feeling a few tweaks with slumping guys could really change the complexion of the Yankees' offense. We don't know if this will last beyond Saturday, but Boone certainly proved himself wrong by refuting the need to make adjustments when players are struggling in the early going.

Here was Tuesday's exchange with Boone on the Talkin' Yanks podcast:

"When you moved Gleyber off, you thought he was pressing at the leadoff spot and you wanted to give him a different feel down in the bottom of the order," Jomboy, one of the hosts, said to Boone. "[Anthony] Volpe's at-bats were good in Cleveland and he got a bit unlucky in Toronto. He has been swinging out of the zone a little more up top now and is just being attacked more. Do you have any thoughts? Are we changing? Is anything up in the air?"

Boone's response? "Yeah, no. I'm not ... Volpe hasn't not hit the last two days because he was hitting seventh, or first or sixth. Volpe's just fine. Frankly, when you move a guy, because you know it's going to be a story that as soon as somebody goes 0-for-8 or 0-for-10, 'well it's because of this, that' ... well, it's baseball."

But back came Jomboy with the receipts: "But to be fair, the reasoning you gave was Gleyber early in the season pressing in the leadoff spot, so I don't think it's unfair to question if you have the same thoughts for Volpe."

Boone's decisions weren't as drastic as taking leadoff duties away from Volpe, but there was something to be said about Rizzo and Torres weighing down the lineup considerably, especially as Aaron Judge works his way out of the early-season doldrums.

Even with the burst on Saturday, Rizzo only has seven walks on the year to accompany a very bad .693 OPS. Torres? He notched 60% of his RBI on the year with that one double. And he's still slashing .210/.294/.238. With the amount of protection these players have in the lineup, such performances are unacceptable. One-sixth of the season is already in the books. Enough is enough.

So it was understandably time for a lineup shift. Verdugo isn't necessarily a cleanup hitter, but he's been rising to the occasion when tasked with big moments. It's time for the Yankees to start riding the hot hand and switching up the vibe a bit. And if that means pushing under-performing players further down the lineup, then so be it.

There's no time to waste in a World Series-or-bust season when the AL playoff picture is wide open.