Despite the offense performing well for the New York Yankees, their pitching staff needs to quickly wake up and start performing.
After an unbelievable start to the season, the 2019 New York Yankees have started to come back down to Earth and the flaws of a team riddled with injuries throughout the lineup are starting to show—most noticeably in the pitching staff.
The Yanks entered the month of June on a 9-series win streak with a 38-19 record, a 2.5 game lead in the division on the Rays and a 9.5 game lead on Boston. Since then, the Yankees are 5-8, have lost or tied all 5 series this month and have watched their lead on the division slip away.
The struggles throughout the month have June can’t be attributed to one single aspect of the game but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned about the pitching staff right now. In the dog days of summer, you are going to go through stretches like this that scare you as a fan and make you overreact—fan is short for fanatic for a reason. However, I don’t believe it is an overreaction to look at this starting rotation and wonder if it is one that can hold up in October.
In June, the Yankees staff has given up 70 earned runs in 103 innings pitched for a 6.12 ERA that ranks second-to-last in all of Major League Baseball this month. Opponents are shelling the Yankees in June for a batting average of .286 that ranks third-to-last in the league in front of only the Tigers and Pirates. To put that into perspective, opponents hit .229 against the Yankees in May and .227 in April—both were good enough for the 6th best batting average against in the league. If all that wasn’t bad enough, the Yankees also lost their 2019 ace of the staff Domingo German to the 10-Day Injured List with a left hip flexor strain that you could tell had been bothering him over his last couple starts.
It has been easy this season to blame every struggle on the fact that we have had 18 players hit the injured list and that what seems like half the active roster started the season with the AAA Railriders. However, the truth of the matter is this pitching staff proved at the beginning of the season they have the talent to win. Yes, with the season German has had it was a nightmare seeing him land on the injured list but he has only missed one start since his injury—a start that would have come Friday night against a Chicago White Sox team that is clawing to even sniff .500 and the Yankees still got blown out 10-2.
Luckily for the Yankees, this sample size is only 12 games out of 162 and there is no need for desperate roster moves just yet. But with the status of Severino’s return being everything but certain, the recent struggles of the starting rotation really make you think about that July 31st trade deadline and what Cashman is going to be willing to give up for another arm—something the Yankees will need if they want to make a deep run this postseason.