What we’ve learned so far about the Yankees’ throwing and batting

After ten games into the season, the Yankees arrived on their first day off Monday and were sitting straight at .500.

The positive feelings that came from a 4-3 homestand against the Red Sox and Blue Jays were tempered over the weekend when the Yankees lost two of three to the Orioles.

“We’re 10 games in [it], we’ve got 162,” Aaron Judge said Sunday as the Yankees packed their bags for Detroit. “We just have to react.”

As the Yankees wait for their offense to become the version they think it can be — and hope they get more of it from their pitching staff — here’s what they showed in the small sample size who will face off against the Tigers in Tuesday’s series opener:

arms ahead

As of Monday’s start, the Yankees possessed the fourth-best ERA in MLB at 2.53. That included a 3.00 ERA (fifth in MLB) from her starters, two full turns through the rotation, and a 2.08 ERA (second in MLB) from her bullpen, which had a heavy load early on, both innings as well as high pressure situations.

No Yankees starter has conceded more than three earned runs in a game, even if they haven’t been able to offer much length — although Gerrit Cole should have almost a normal workload if he gets the ball to start the series. Though Cole is yet to serve like a shutdown ace, the Yankees need encouragement with what they’ve seen from Luis Severino and Nestor Cortes Jr.

Luis Severino

With rotation averaging less than five innings per start, the bullpen was enforced early and often and for the most part.

“They’re evil,” said Josh Donaldson.

While the Bullpen was charged for losing two of the three games against the Orioles, the Yankees’ offense often required them to walk a tightrope with little to no margin for error. As of Monday, an MLB high of 20 of the Yankees’ 45 backup appearances have occurred in high-leverage situations, according to Baseball Reference.

Clay Holmes, Michael King and Chad Green were particularly hot early on.

Bats are still waiting

The Yankees hoped Saturday’s 5-2 win over the Orioles could serve as a springboard for their offense, but they were shut out on Sunday.

What was particularly devastating about the series was how quiet the Yankees were against the Orioles’ bullpen. Not counting Saturday’s late breakout, the Yankees only fielded two base runners over 9 1/3 innings against the Baltimore Relievers.

DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks looked productive and healthy, each showing promising signs of a recovery season.

But Joey Gallo was a glaring black hole in the lineup, with just four singles in 29 at-bats, and the Yankees have averaged just three runs per game while only .190 (15-to-79) with runners in the Rating achieved position – a major weakness in the past season.

Joey Gallo
Robert Sabo

“I’m betting on the track record of some other guys who are going to have the kind of seasons we’re used to assuming they’re healthy,” manager Aaron Boone said.

In the field and on the base trails

Two other areas the Yankees looked to improve this season were their defense and base running.

Defense has been solid from the start — FanGraphs ranks the Yankees with three saved defensive runs (10th in MLB), while Baseball Savant has them with above-average zero outs (19th). They like what they have with their defensive catching tandem of Kyle Higashioka and Jose Trevino. LeMahieu excelled at third base while Anthony Rizzo was impressive at first base, his footwork saving his infielders at least a few misses.

The base running, meanwhile, was a bit iffy. In the Orioles series alone, Rizzo ran into a ground ball going from second to third, Hicks was caught stealing third by a pitcher, and Rizzo and Isiah Kiner-Falefa were thrown out at home. What we’ve learned so far about the Yankees’ throwing and batting


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