The New York Yankees season was a failure for many reasons and there needs to be change. They were embarrassingly swept by the Houston Astros in the ALCS. The Yankees should have been able to at least win one game instead of getting swept.
Also, who knows if this would have made a difference or not, but the Yankees threw away their chances of having home-field advantage in the playoffs. The Yankees after the trade deadline had a rough stretch where they were 13-13 in July and a mere 10-18 in August which allowed the Houston Astros to pass them for best record in the American League.
Here are some of the reasons why the Yankees failed this season and were swept to the Astros.
- Aaron Boone
Yankees manager Aaron Boone is arguably the biggest reason why the Yankees lost as he was an awful manager. The Yankees hot start to the regular season was in spite of Boone not because of him. All season long, Boone has done a terrible job handling the bullpen, taking out starting pitchers too early, and not putting out the best lineup.
Game 3 of the ALCS was the most frustrating as they came home after two rough losses in Houston and the first game at Yankee Stadium was supposed to be a momentum shift. However, the Yankees skipper had outfielder Harrison Bader who by far was the best hitter that series, hitting sixth when he should have been hitting leadoff. Also, had second baseman Gleyber Torres hitting leadoff.
Also in that same game, ace pitcher Gerrit Cole was pitching pretty well for the most part until he ran into some trouble in the sixth inning with bases loaded and nobody out. Cole, who is the best pitcher on the Yankees staff should have remained there at least one more batter to try and get out of the jam. Instead, Boone takes out Cole and puts in bullpen pitcher Lou Trivino to give up two runs, putting the game out of reach.
Yankees announcer Michael Kay even ripped on Boone on the Yankees post game show on YES Network. YES Network is owned by the Yankees so it is not the best look to have their longtime announcer ripping on their manager on their own network.
- Batting Average
One of the most important ways to win a baseball game is to get on base and score runs. However, the Yankees struggled mightily to string together hits and get on base. In Games 2 and 3 the Yankees had four and three hits. It is very difficult to win a baseball game when your team cannot hit the ball and reach base safely.
Aaron Judge, who had one of the best offensive regular seasons of all-time, disappeared in the playoffs. In the ALCS Judge hit an abysmal .063 at the plate.
Other Yankees such as Josh Donaldson, Jose Trevino, and Matt Carpenter were also miserable at the plate. In Games 1-3, the Yankees struck out 41 times compared to Houston’s 19.
- Runners in Scoring Position
The Yankees lost this season due to their inability to hit in the clutch in timely situations. It happened at least twice in the series, one of them being in Game 3 where the Yankees had runners on first and second and could not bring home a run.
The Yankees front office has a lot of work to do this offseason including reassessing the roster and coaching staff in order to finally get over the hump and win a championship.
- Fire Aaron Boone
The most important on this offseason wish list is to fire Boone for many reasons. One of them being it is clear that Boone cannot get over the hump and take any of the very talented Yankees teams to the World Series therefore the Yankees need to bring in someone that can. They need a manager who actually has veteran managerial experience and playoff experience. Two guys that come to mind and check off both boxes are Don Mattingly and Ron Washington.
Another reason why Boone should be fired is in efforts to fire the team up and get them motivated before Game 4, he showed the Boston Red Sox 2004 hype video. For any that do not know, the Red Sox came back from down 3-0 to the Yankees and won in seven games. Granted none of the current Yankees players were on that team but that video should not have been shown to the franchise that let that happen.
- Re-sign Aaron Judge, Andrew Benintendi, and Anthony Rizzo
The Yankees need to re-sign Judge and some of their best lefty hitters in Andrew Benintendi and Anthony Rizzo. Judge as mentioned earlier had one of the best offensive seasons of all-time hitting 62 home runs with a .311 batting average and 131 RBI’s.
They also need to bring back their trade deadline acquisition in left fielder Benintendi. He hit .320 on the regular season but also excelled in the field defensively.
Rizzo needs to be re-signed as he is one of the better all-around first baseman in the league who is a great hitter and elite fielder. Rizzo tied his career-high in home runs and also had 104 hits this past season.
- Get rid of Josh Donaldson and Kyle Higashioka
On the other end of the spectrum, the Yankees need to cut ties with people that are not holding their weight. One of them being third baseman Josh Donaldson who is scheduled to make $21 million dollars next season. Donaldson’s game does not live up to his contract as he was inconsistent in the field and hit just .222 in the regular season with 148 strikeouts. In the ALCS, he hit .077 with ten strikeouts. With the emergence of Oswald Peraza and Oswaldo Cabrera there is simply no need for Donaldson.
Another player that needs to go is catcher Kyle Higashioka. He was supposed to be the starter and with his .227 batting average did not live up to expectations and catcher Jose Trevino is better than him offensively and defensively. The Yankees also have catcher Ben Rortvedt who they acquired as part of that Josh Donaldson trade who could be the new backup catcher.
- Acquire a starting pitcher
The Yankees need to add another starting pitcher preferably someone to backup Gerrit Cole. They will need to add an arm to replace Jameson Taillon who might retire. Nestor Cortes has been a lovely surprise this season.
However, there is no guarantee he can keep up the success as teams may start to figure him out since his fastball is only 92 miles per hour. Also, Luis Severino has always been injury prone so the Yankees can not count on him being healthy the whole season. Frankie Montas has not panned out since being acquired at the trade deadline but hopefully he can play better next season.
- Make a spark
Lastly, the Yankees need to make a spark whether it is a trade for a marquee player or a marquee signing for an elite player like Trea Turner. The Yankees need to break out the checkbook and use their payroll and bring in stars.
Another potential option is clean house from a management perspective and fire general manager Brian Cashman. Many Yankees fans have been pushing for Cashman to be fired since whether it is him or Hal Steinbrenner refusing to spend money and fire Boone.