Outside of the three walks he threw, Corey Kluber was lights out again this spring. It seems the Yankees’ rotation looks better than expected, and oh yeah, their entire lineup is raking right now.
Is this a sign that the New York Yankees will finally capture their 28th world championship–or is this just a mirage? Let’s discuss.
Leadoff shot for Tauch 💪 pic.twitter.com/tY6G1bd5D7— New York Yankees (@Yankees) March 23, 2021
This has really been the story of the Yankees since their breakout 2016 run to the American League Championship Series. They dominate the mound, they hit homers faster than you can blink, and they perform well against division rivals for the most part.
There’s only one problem:
They struggle against top-tier teams in the American League. Ever since the start of the 2017 campaign, the Yankees have essentially done their damage against below .500 teams. That usually indicates that a team has a lot of “good” players who lack the star power to get past the best teams in the league. Of course it’s not easy to simply acquire “stars,” but we did just watch the Los Angeles Dodgers get rewarded for simply acquiring Mookie Betts. LA figured they’d been to the World Series enough and needed an ‘A-list’ stud to cash in for the big trophy. It worked. Betts led the Dodgers to the Promised Land in 2020, while his old team the Boston Red Sox finished dead last in their division.
So what’s in the works?
Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and DJ LeMahieu will torch the American League during the regular season. That would be a great thing for ownership looking to make a profit. However, the Yankees will still manage to be a massive disappointment come October. That, of course, is the time when all the above .500 squads play at once.
The New York Yankees have struggled for years to keep their own stars healthy, and they lack elite starting pitching. It shows in the postseason.
So what I’m really saying here is that the Yankees need to find a dominant starter to slot behind Gerrit Cole. The offseason additions of Jameson Taillon and Corey Kluber will be perfect to topple the Orioles and Red Sox in July, but will be less powerful on an October night in an ALCS. Just one move in the rotation could take the pinstripes from “really good” to “who can stop us?” the way the Dodgers did last season.
Star shortstop Gleyber Torres looks like he’s already bouncing back nicely from a slow short-season, so it’s time for New York to find that missing piece. He could become available just before the deadline…