Giancarlo Stanton, Troy Tulowitzki, and Miguel Andujar have all suffered differing ailments in the young MLB season. This list of players does not include those that are already trying to return from injuries. Luis Severino, Didi Gregorius, Jacoby Ellsberg, and Aaron Hicks are still recovering on the Injured List. The Yankees are still flush with talent in their starting lineup and pitching rotation, but the constant worry of who will fall victim to the injury bug will cause agitation for manager, Aaron Boone.
The performance through the first ten games of the season has been inconsistent at best for the Bronx Bombers. The team managed a three game series sweep of the Baltimore Orioles prior to Monday’s and last night’s deflating defeat to the Houston Astros. However, the Yankees lost their first two series of the season both of which were at home. The current matchup against Bregman and the talented Astros team will be an important measuring tool for the state of the Yankees.
New York’s bullpen has arguably been the most disappointing component of the season thus far. Just in the last two games, the Yankees were in the lead when they turned to their relief pitchers, and on both occasions the Yankees lost the game. While the Yankees starting lineup is making do with the plethora of injured players, the bullpen has remained healthy, with the exception of Dellin Betances. It is no small task, however, to keep the Astros offense at bay, but the overall performance this year does not point to the bullpen’s struggles as simply down to playing the Astros.
Aaron Boone implied that there were no excuses for the Yankees two losses against the Astros this season.
“Got to be better, especially when you are playing a really good team.”
There were certainly an abundance of costly mistakes on the defensive side last night. Most notable of which was Clint Frazier’s diving attempt to catch a fly ball, which ultimately led to runs being scored.
The mistakes in combination with injuries will stifle even the greatest offenses. Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Gleyber Torres are all batting above or at .275, and Gary Sanchez has already amassed 6 home runs in 44 plate appearances. The New York Yankees simply need to reduce their blunders and hold strong until their key players are healthy.
There is little reason to be overtly concerned by the subpar start for the New York. With that said, the side must improve over the coming weeks to take advantage of the Red Sox’s equally disappointing first few games. Considering that both clubs are expected to be battling it out for the best record in the AL, winning the AL East will be vital in order to gain home field advantage in at least the Divisional Series. A win tonight against the Astros will go a long way to quell the disappointment of the season to date, and could foster momentum heading into a 9 game home stand.