Giancarlo Stanton is 2 for 24 with 12 strikeouts in his return from a quadriceps injury. He has not played in the field since 2019 and is signed through 2027. When he is healthy and hot, Stanton, 31, can carry a team, and he hits the ball harder than anyone else in baseball — an average of 98.6 miles an hour off the bat.
But you have to connect to make that matter, and Stanton strikes out in more than 30 percent of his plate appearances. The Yankees as a team fan at a 25.3 percent rate, higher than the major league average (24.1 percent) in this whiff-happy season. Even the reliable D.J. LeMahieu is striking out at nearly double his rate from last season, and he has gone 16 games without an extra-base hit.
“I don’t think he’s that far off; some balls he’s stinging are right at people,” Manager Aaron Boone said of LeMahieu, who is hitting .253. Boone reaffirmed his faith in the rest of the hitters, too.
“I see the work they’re putting in, I see the adjustments certain guys are making,” he said. “I feel like I’m seeing, with a number of guys, the quality of contact and the at-bat quality picking up, especially this last week. We’re seeing some guys gain some traction. Now we’ve got to get everyone involved though, because for our lineup to be heavy, it’s got to be one that wears you down.”
The lineup is too light — and too right — these days, and too many hitters have similar profiles, ripe to be exploited by rival game planners. Unless Cashman can make a trade or two, the Yankees’ hopes rest mostly on their past.
“It has to do with the history, the talent that my teammates have, what I’ve seen them do over the years,” Sanchez said through an interpreter Sunday, explaining his confidence in the team. “I’ve played with them for a long, long time. There’s no doubt that we’re going to be able to get out of it.”