Yankees off to slow start: Should fans panic?

Even though we are roughly three weeks into the season, is it time for Yankees fans to worry about their team? I would say no, but they should still be concerned.

The team is sitting with one of the worst records in the American League (AL) East as well as in the entire league at 6–11. This is also the worst start to a season for the Yankees in 24 years.

With other teams emerging and paving their way as a serious contender in the AL East like the Rays and the Blue Jays, the Yankees are slowly running themselves out of a playoff spot.

It doesn’t help that the Yankees have a part of their core struggling. With outfielder and designated hitter, Giancarlo Stanton isn’t even able to hit .200, and catcher Gary Sanchez hasn’t been a scary threat in that lineup for a couple of years.

Speaking of Sanchez, there has been talk around the league about removing him from behind the plate. Throughout his career, Sanchez has been known to be a “lazy” behind the plate. Since becoming the Yankees starting catcher in 2017, Sanchez had led the league in passed balls 3 of the last 4 seasons.

Luke Voit using a crutch to support his team on Opening Day

On the pitching side of the ball, you can’t help but focus on the newest Yankee pitcher Corey Kluber. Kluber has been abysmal for the Yankees since signing with them this offseason. In just 4 games with the Bronx Bombers, Kluber has an 0–2 record with a 5.40 ERA. When asked about his performance, Kluber said, “As frustrated as I am with some of the results — free passes and things like that — I do honestly feel like I’m moving in the right direction. Things are really close to being at the point I’d like to be. Just wish it would arrive a little bit sooner.” Hopefully, for Yankee fans, it does happen sooner than later.

But like every team that is in a slump, injuries are a big component of it. The same goes for the Yankees, with first baseman Luke Voit being the big name on the injured list (IL) for the Yankees. Since joining the Yankees in July of 2018, he’s been one of the most consistent hitters in that lineup. Voit is hitting .279 with 57 home runs and 147 RBI’s in his three seasons with the club. So not having his bat in the lineup every day really hurts the Yankees' offense.

But it’s not just the Yankee core of offensive players, pitching, or injuries. It’s also some of the “experiments” the team has tried throughout this season. Some of the more notable ones are veteran outfield/first baseman Jay Bruce and veteran infielder Rougned Odor.

Bruce, who the Yankees signed this offseason to the minor league deal, and made the team thanks to a Luke Voit injury. In just 10 games, Bruce slashed a mere .118/.231/.235. Then just like the Yankees did with first baseman Mark Teixeira in my opinion, by forcing him to retire. Then after Bruce retired, they traded two minor leaguers for Rougned Odor. The plan was for Odor, and D.J. LeMahieu would split time at first. However, just like Bruce Odor wasn’t helping fill that void as much as the Yankees front office would’ve liked. In just eight games, Odor posted a batting average of .120.

So once again, is it time for Yankee fans to panic? No, however, I do think they should be concerned with how the team is performing. However, we are still early on in the season, and Voit is expected to return to the team in mid-May, so there’s still hope for this team. It just depends on if the fans are willing to wait for it.

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