New York Yankees rumors about the ugly state of the starting rotation have evolved. Now Yankees rumors also include the possibility of the current roster losing 100 games during the 2017 MLB season. Getting beat by the Tampa Bay Rays in the opening series was not how fans had envisioned the season starting out, but a stark reality may be starting to set in on MLB analysts. This Yankees roster may simply not be good enough to compete in an improved American League East.
On Wednesday night (April 5), the Yankees lost 4-1 to the Rays. Michael Pineda started the game for the Yankees, giving up four runs on eight hits in just 3 2/3 innings of work. The offense could only manage one run, which came on a second-inning home run by Jacoby Ellsbury. The Rays pitching proved to be too much and the Yankees quickly fell to just 1-2 on the season.
The Yankees did evade falling into last place in the AL East standings, as the Toronto Blue Jays lost their first two games to the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles are tied with the Boston Red Sox in first place, followed by the Rays, Yankees, and Blue Jays (in that order). Now the teams swap opponents, with two new divisional matchups taking place over the weekend.
There may continue to be New York Yankees trade rumors about possibly acquiring Jose Quintana from the Chicago White Sox, especially if a weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles goes poorly. The teams begin those games on Friday night (April 7), as the Orioles continue a homestand against divisional opponents. Luis Severino is on the mound against Ubaldo Jimenez.
Though there had been a lot of New York Yankees rumors about the team adding big names like Andrew McCutchen and Todd Frazier in the offseason, fans of the team had a lot of confidence that youth on the roster was ready to take a major step. Among the players who were receiving a lot of buzz was catcher Gary Sanchez. Sanchez came on strong toward the end of the 2016 MLB season, playing an important role in the final 53 Yankees games. He finished with 20 home runs, 42 RBIs, and a 0.299 batting average in that span.
Sanchez has started off the 2017 MLB season quite cold, going just 1-for-14 in his first three games of the season. Sanchez has three strikeouts and a 0.071 batting average to show for those first 14 plate appearances. This could be a sign of regressing back to how he performed in the minor leagues before getting promoted to the Yankees. Since joining the Yankees organization in 2010, Gary Sanchez never posted a season where he had more than 18 home runs before 2016.
Sanchez isn’t the only Yankees hitter who has been struggling. Greg Bird is just 1-for-12, Aaron Judge is just 2-for-12, Matt Holliday is just 2-for-11, and Ronald Torreyes is only 1-for-9 at the plate. As a team, the Yankees have a batting average of 0.248 with nine runs scored over the first three games. The numbers are only that high thanks to a hot start for Chase Headley, who is 7-for-11 so far, posting an impressive 0.636 batting average. Manager Joe Girardi may have to really start mixing stuff up in the Yankees’ batting order.
The New York Yankees rumors about the pitching staff aren’t going to go away either if the team doesn’t find some consistency in its starting rotation. As a team, the Yankees have a 3.96 ERA, but an ugly 1.36 WHIP through 25 innings. That includes allowing opponents to post a 0.263 batting average so far.
Masahiro Tanaka gave up seven runs in his first start, with Michael Pineda giving up four runs just two days later. Combined, they allowed 11 runs on 16 hits, lasting a total of just six and 1/3 innings. CC Sabathia did much better in his start, going five strong innings to pick up a win in Game 2. Despite the extreme struggles by Tanaka and Pineda, the bullpen has been a strength, giving up no runs in 13 and 2/3 innings pitched. A real danger is the bullpen getting overworked too early in the season.
The Yankees have a lot of work to do to become competitive in the American League East and provide any serious competition for the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, and Baltimore Orioles. Losing the opening series to the Tampa Bay Rays doesn’t help matters either. The risk of losing 100 games is a real possibility for a team playing in the tough division. 12 more games against the AL East are on the New York Yankees’ schedule for April, possibly showing that it may soon be time for a fire sale.
[Featured Image by Brian Blanco/Getty Images]