Missing: The New York Yankees offense. Last seen: Game one of the 2012 Division Series. Last wearing: Road grays. If found please notify Hal and Hank Steinbrenner… there will be a reward.
Watching the Yankees this season has been a frustrating affair filled with wasted opportunities, constant RISP fail (a favorite hash tag of Bomber fans) and Alfonso Soriano swinging at pitches that are so far outside the box, the first baseman could catch them. Unlike last year’s team, which was decimated by injuries and as a result was a cast of unknowns and reclamation projects (yet still managed to eek out an 85 win season), the 2014 Yankees have some big free-agent additions. Sadly they are not getting a lot of production from them. Catcher Brian McCann is hitting a meager .224, Carlos Beltran’s power is diminished thanks to an ongoing elbow injury and Jacoby Ellsbury has been inconsistent showing both flashes of greatness and pure mediocrity.
While the team just came off a three-game sweep of the Mariners, it was the pitching and incredible outfield defense made possible by the roomy confines of Safeco that really sealed the deal. In fact, until Thursday night’s game, the Yankees hadn’t scored more than four runs since May 28. Also, coming into the Seattle series, the team had a June batting average of .220 — the third worst in the league.
It looked like things might be turning around as they headed to Oakland. Nope. They scored seven runs in the first game before reverting to their anemic ways.
GM Brian Cashman has implied that some heads may soon be rolling. Most likely second baseman Brian Roberts, who is one of this year’s rent-a-wrecks. Roberts is hitting a very sad .238/.318/.342. He is now little more than a seat filler until the Yankees feel comfortable promoting infielder Rob Refsnyder. The 23-year-old prospect has been on such an offensive tear hitting .430 in 28 games in the Eastern League, he just got promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Refsnyder is not the only kid who might get a call up to the Bronx. Rumor has it that the Rangers are so desperate for a first baseman they may want to trade for Kelly Johnson and his .226/.299/.398 line. That would open the door for Jose Pirela who was recently moved from second to first when Refsnyder was promoted. Pirela has been batting .329 with four home runs and 42 runs in 57 games. It certainly would be fun for the fans to see what these two young infielders.
It can’t hurt for there to be a youth infusion around the retiring Derek Jeter, who looked like he was slowing down until the M’s series. Perhaps coming back to Seattle, where he began his career, revitalized the Captain as he went 7-for-12 and overall hit .435 during West Coast trip.
The Yankees need to find their offense and soon. Otherwise they may find their entire season is also MIA.