Entering Sunday's contest with the Toronto Blue Jays, the New York Yankees hadn't lost a single series in 2023.
Entering Sunday's contest with the Toronto Blue Jays, Yankees rookie shortstop Anthony Volpe hadn't made a single error as a major league ballplayer.
Since then? Volpe has made one error in each of his past three games. In each of those games, that error has led directly to an unearned run. The Yankees lost each of the first two games in sleepy fashion. Surely, fans will handle this reasonably.
Volpe's error on Tuesday came on a grounder up the middle to open the third inning. He attempted to stab Michael A. Taylor's semi-hotshot near his hip pocket, but was felled by a bounce. One batter later, Donovan Solano rocked a double into the left-field corner, and Taylor scored easily to tie the game.
Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe makes 3 errors in 3 games
None of Volpe's errors have been catastrophic, insinuating that he doesn't have the talent to play the shortstop position. None of them have come with significant traffic on the bases, indicating he has some sort of phobia of pressure. There's no grand conclusion to be drawn from any of them -- other than it's extremely annoying they all led to runs, and it's extremely annoying they all came in consecutive games, leading to increased fan chatter.
If the Yankees offense had any semblance of cohesion right now, the Volpe Errors would be glossed over. They'd be par for the course for a 21-year-old rookie. Hell, Volpe's not even close to biggest Problem Child among 2023 Rookie of the Year contenders; Cardinals slugger Jordan Walker's getting benched, all of a sudden, and no one really knows why.
If this weren't the Yankees, no one would notice. If the Yankees weren't slumbering offensively, absolutely nobody would notice a few additional cheap runs.
Unfortunately, Volpe's defensive blunders coincided with a team-wide slump and Clarke Schmidt's reversion to the mean (as well as Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s trip to the plate).
It means absolutely nothing that Volpe, who made 13 errors last year, clustered his first three career errors together (one throwing error, two bobbles, FWIW). It means absolutely nothing that he made a few fielding gaffes while his bat heated up (2-3 with a line drive out to start Tuesday's game, FWIW).
Unfortunately, to some vulture-like Yankee fans, it means absolutely everything. It means we're entering a toxic portion of the season. And it means the calvary had better be coming off the IL soon to remind everyone the year is long.