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New York Yankees Summertime Blues

Aaron Judge headed to the IL

Photo Credit: San Diego Tribune

It's the beginning of summer months in the New York City area, which means two things: the weather's starting to heat up and the Yankees are far from heating up. The New York Yankees have entered their summer lull of poor baseball which has been a trend over the last few years. What's the cause this year, possibly the injury to the former MVP and captain Aaron Judge. Last year I asked, "Will the real Yankees please stand up?" This year I'm convinced this is the Yankees that we have grown to know and loath.

The Yankees were starting to turn the corner as they finished up a series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in LA to start the month of June. The last game of the series saw Aaron Judge on a home run tear and finished the series crashing into the right field wall to make a spectacular catch. But the catch cost the Yankees their star outfielder as he injured his toe. The date was June 4th and since then the Yankees have gone 5-10 to see their record drop to a 41-36 record. Owner Hal Steinbrenner shared the frustration of all Yankee fans and was quoted as "not happy at all" after being swept by the hated Boston Red Sox.

giancarlo stanton struggles a the plate

Photo Credit: Bleacher Report

A major part of the problem has been the ineffective lineups due to injuries and the lack of offensive production from their main guys. This is a long cry from the Bronx bombers that were used to seeing. So far this season. The Yankees average 4.38 runs per game, which is 18th in the MLB. But since June 4th, that average has dropped to 3.06 runs per game. It's hard to say one person can carry an offense, but with Judge being injured it's clear that he was carrying the offense. But even still, the other high priced players on this team are not hitting to the back of their baseball cards. Giancarlo Stanton is always the poster child for Yankees inefficiencies on offense. He was coming off of an injury himself, but since June 4th, Stanton has a .089 BA, driven in only one RBI and has a .389 OPS. You can add in Anthony Rizzo (.143 BA, 5 RBIs and a .467 OPS), DJ LeMahieu (.147 BA, 2 RBIs and a .436 OPS) and Josh Donaldson (.103 BA, 4 RBIs and a .533 OPS) and you have a pathetic offense.

DJ LeMahieu struggles at the plate

Photo Credit: GettyImages

DJ LeMahieu's struggles are particularly puzzling as he has hit to his normal standards dating back to last season. He was battling a groin injury last season, and just does not look like himself this year. He was hitting .276 through May, but hitting .160 the last 5 weeks with 27 strikeouts has dropped his average to .228. The Yankees need DJ back to the old DJ that was an All-Star at the top of the lineup to get this offense going again.

The pitching staff has struggled with either injuries or poor performance. Carlos Rodón has yet to make a start for the Yankees since being acquired in the off season. Rodón was supposed to be that solid number two behind ace Gerrit Cole, but he's working his way back to the majors with a few minor league rehab starts. Luis Severino has been up and down since coming back from injury less than a month ago. Through 6 starts, Severino has pitched 30 innings and to a 6.30 ERA. Last year's pleasant surprise, Nestor Cortez, has yet to regain that form he showed last year. Cortez' 5.16 ERA is characteristically high despite his 5-2 record.

Interesting note from, the actual salaries of players on the Yankees that are either injured or ineffective are as follows: Judge ($40 million), Giancarlo Stanton ($32 million), Carlos Rodón ($22.8 million), Josh Donaldson ($21 million), Anthony Rizzo ($17 million), DJ LeMahieu ($15 million), and Luis Severino ($15 million). That totals $162.8 million of ineffectiveness and wasted money. The Yankees need to get healthy, but they need their players that are playing to start earning their keep. If they don't, then this will be another one of those long Yankee summers.

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