Here’s something you do not need to worry about Yankee fans:
The Yankees are going to score a lot of runs in 2021. I promise you, if they don’t win the World Series, it won’t be due to offensive shortcomings.
This seems obvious, but many fans (and as usual, many journalists who get paid to know better) obsess over that which does not matter.
“But they’re too right handed heavy, they need some lefty power…” […yawn…]
“They have too many, all or nothing power hitters, they need more contact hitters…” […eye roll…]
Let me assure you of something, dear reader: The scoreboard lists how many – it cares not about how. And the Yankees will score many, many runs regardless of roster construction.
To wit: As the roster currently stands, Mike Tauchman, Tyler Wade and Mike Ford are the only lefties who’ll get some at bats in 2021 and frankly it won’t be that many, barring another injury epidemic. But guess what?
It does not matter.
Over 2019 and 2020, Tauchman, Brett Gardner and Didi Gregorius (in ’19) were the only lefties to get semi-regular ABs for the team. Gregorius was an automatic out in ’19 and Tauchman wasn’t much better than that in ’20.
And the Yankees still finished 1st in runs per game in MLB in 2019 and 4th in 2020. Let’s not forget that Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton both played in fewer than 50% of team games in ’20 and they only played in 120 games combined in ’19.
What about the “too many home run or strikeout guys” non-problem?
First – again – the scoreboard lists how many, not how. Whether you fill your lineup with nine Jim Thome types or nine Tony Gwynn types is irrelevant – your team will score a ton of runs either way. This “it has to be the right mix of both” is a nonsensical myth. It simply doesn’t matter.
And oh, by the way: “The Yankees need more contact hitters because they strike out too much” is also a myth. 22 of the 30 MLB teams struck out at a higher rate than Yankees batters did in 2020 and the Yankees’ K% was exactly league average in 2019.
The Yankees falling short in 2019 and 2020 had zero to do with any perceived offensive shortcomings, and if they don’t win a World Series in 2021, it won’t have anything to do with a lack of offense either.
You want something with which you should be concerned? The Yankees finished 11th in MLB in runs allowed per game in 2019 and 12th in 2020. That’s not bad per se, but there’s a lot of room for improvement. Moving up seven or eight spots in those rankings very well could be the difference between winning and losing.
But considering the pitching staff isn’t as good now as it was the past two seasons, and the defense is worse (no Gardner and Gleyber Torres stuck at shortstop), things are trending in the opposite direction. Fans, journalists, and most importantly – the Yankees front office – should be focusing their attention on that, not trivial minutia about “how” runs are scored.
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