As of Monday afternoon, the New York Yankees are sliding in the American League East standings due to a poor stretch of play.
They are 33-32, one loss away from being a .500 team, believe it or not.
The Bombers have dropped seven of their last nine contests, and lost important divisional games against the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays recently.
The Yankees, a team that was widely expected to contend and be the best in the AL, is currently nine games out of first place in its division and without a playoff spot if the season ended today.
What has happened?
Why are the Yankees sliding so much in June?
3. Poor Baserunning
Christmas isn’t even close, yet the Yankees are gifting way too many outs on the basepaths in the 2021 season.
They have made 31 outs on the basepaths this season, by far the most in the big leagues.
MLB-high 31st out on the basepaths for the Yankees this season. The next-highest team has 23.
— Seth Rothman (@SethDRothman) June 13, 2021
The second-place team has 23.
Several of those outs have come at home plate, and they have been especially painful.
If the team wants to start a turnaround, they have to do a better job and stop being so careless and reckless on the bases.
2. Key Injuries
Corey Kluber, however, is out for at least a few more weeks with a significant shoulder strain.
Luis Severino, recovering from Tommy John surgery, recently suffered a setback in the form of a groin injury.
However, the most impactful injuries have come on offense.
Luke Voit, the Yankees’ starting first baseman, has had two prolonged stints on the injured list with knee and oblique issues.
He recently started a rehab assignment and could be ready next week, but he has lost too much time and the Yankees haven’t had a stable first base situation.
Aaron Hicks, the starting center fielder, was lost for the season with a wrist ailment, and the Yankees haven’t been able to replace him either.
1. A Surprisingly Bad Offense
The biggest reason behind the Yankees’ struggles, however, has been a comically bad offense.
The mighty Bronx Bombers, the ones with the terrifying lineup to begin the season, are 27th in MLB in runs scored with 252.
A 27th rank out of 30 clubs isn’t going to get the team too far.
The Yankees offense posted a 116 wRC+ in 2019 and 2020.
The Yankees offense is sitting at a 97 wRC+ this season.
Almost like the Yankees should stop hitting into double plays, hit more home runs and doubles and drive in runners with no outs.
— Dillard Barnhart (@BarnHasSpoken) June 14, 2021
Aaron Judge has been the only consistently great performer, with a .289/.388/.532 line and 15 homers.
Clint Frazier (.182/.301/.308), Brett Gardner, Gio Urshela, Gary Sanchez, and others have performed below what is expected from them, while Giancarlo Stanton, who has 12 homers, has spent some time on the injured list and doesn’t play games in National League venues due to the lack of a designated hitter spot.
The Yankees offense won’t finish the season ranked 27th in runs scored, as all these hitters are too talented to struggle for too long.
But they are the main reason behind the team’s lackluster performance.NEXT: Why Yankees Should Not Fire Manager Aaron Boone