The New York Yankees were 19-9 in May. Their form is astounding. If the batters are off-the-pace, then the pitchers are phenomenal. And vice versa. If the starter crumbles than the bullpen is everything they need to give them the opportunity to get back in the game.
Occasionally, the run support is not there for the pitchers – as indicated in our table, where 10 batters had batting averages below .230 on the month.
Let’s see where the strengths amongst the batters lay:
|Rob Brantly c||1||3||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.333||.333||.667||1.000|
|Aaron Judge of||27||103||25||32||4||0||12||25||2||13||31||.311||.378||.699||1.077|
|Giancarlo Stanton of/dh||20||73||10||22||2||0||7||21||0||11||20||.301||.388||.616||1.004|
|Miguel Andujar of/if||8||31||2||9||1||0||0||2||2||0||4||.290||.290||.323||.613|
|Jose Trevino c||21||52||8||15||1||0||3||10||0||3||9||.288||.327||.481||.808|
|Josh Donaldson 3b/dh||17||61||9||17||3||0||3||10||0||8||13||.279||.371||.475||.846|
|Gleyber Torres if||27||97||14||25||3||0||7||15||1||5||19||.258||.294||.505||.799|
|DJ LeMahieu if||22||83||9||19||6||0||1||12||1||9||12||.229||.312||.337||.649|
|Isiah Kiner-Falefa ss||27||92||13||21||2||0||0||6||3||7||16||.228||.287||.250||.537|
|Marwin Gonzalez if/of||16||44||4||9||2||0||0||1||0||3||14||.205||.271||.250||.521|
|Kyle Higashioka c||13||31||2||6||1||0||0||1||0||2||7||.194||.235||.226||.461|
|Joey Gallo of||20||62||8||11||1||0||3||4||0||10||24||.177||.292||.339||.631|
|Anthony Rizzo 1b||27||96||14||16||6||1||2||8||1||12||20||.167||.268||.313||.581|
|Matt Carpenter 3b/dh||5||13||4||2||0||0||2||3||0||2||5||.154||.313||.615||.928|
|Aaron Hicks of||24||71||6||9||1||0||0||3||3||11||24||.127||.253||.141||.394|
|Estevan Florial of||4||11||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||4||.000||.083||.000||.083|
|Tim Locastro of||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.000||.000||.000||.000|
With Kyle Higashioka unavailable for a few days starting on the 22nd, the Yankees utilised three catchers this month. Both Higashioka and Jose Trevino had been solid defensively in April but both had struggled at the plate. This month, Trevino was massively improved hitting .288 with 3 home runs which with one double led to an OPS of .808. When fit, Higashioka gave the team more of the same with only .194 and a double for his efforts.
The spot catcher was Rob Brantly who had 6 games for the Yankees last season, but has only 9 major league appearances across the last 5 seasons. His season debut was enough to put a smile on his face but four days later he was sent outright back to Scranton.
DJ LeMahieu and new signing, Matt Carpenter have featured occasionally at first base, but this is very much still Anthony Rizzo‘s territory. However, May was not Rizzo’s month. His power hitting was reduced but not as drastically as his ability to simply get to first base. His batting average dipped to .167 on the month, taking him down to .214 on the season. Thankfully, he is patient at the plate and the amount of walks he drew, made him second in that category in May.
LeMahieu (who we will come to in a moment) was also 2nd most used player in the second base booth, but Gleyber Torres, released from his torturous tenture at shortstop, is doing very well there, thank you. He batted a consistent .258 on the month, which could stand a little improvement, but more importantly he was second in extra base hits, and just needs to find a little more patience to improve on a mere 5 walks on the month.
DJ LeMahieu was also the second most used player at the hot corner, and given the importance he has for this team, he desperately needs to improve on the .229 he hit in May. He also contributed six doubles and a home run, but after showing more in April, he needs to show more in June. The most used player at third base was, as expected, Josh Donaldson. Donaldson’s .279 with six extra base hits is a substantial improvement on what he showed the previous month, but he could stand a little more increase in his performance quality if he is going to give the Yankees value for their money.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa continues to be a solid investment for the Yankees on the defensive side of his game, but he took a substantial dip in his batting performance this month. He doesn’t have power to contribute and consequently his .228 and 7 walks needs to be returning back towards his April figures.
Marwin Gonzalez is proving to be a great utility man. He played in 5 positions already this season including three infield roles – first base, third base and shortstop. However, he is struggling at the plate and needs to improve as the season progresses.
Aaron Hicks remains a real quandary for the Yankees. He collects $10.5m this season from the Yankees, and they are tied to him at similar figures until 2025. It would be great if it seemed he was earning anything like that. April went well for him until he was excused to go onto parental leave. May was a disaster. He produced a mere 9 hits in 71 at bats. He added to this a solitary one extra base hit to give a slugging percentage of an appalling .141. It is difficult to understand what the Yankees plan with Hicks can be.
Joey Gallo is substantially better than Hicks, but that is not saying much. 4 extra base hits and a .177 batting average are another problem.
But as you would expect given the Yankees excellent win-loss record, there are others who are setting the pace. Primary amongst these is Aaron Judge, who if he can maintain this standard and steer clear of injuries, could just be a 2022 MVP. Amongst 16 extra base hits, he hit 12 that would clear the fences. His defence is solid and he played in as many games on the months as any of the Yankees.
And then we turn to Giancarlo Stanton who was also doing exceptionally until a right calf strain put him out of action on the 25th of the month. Still, by then he had collected 21 RBIs on a .301 batting average, and an OPS of 1.004. His 7 home runs moved him to 11 on the season, but, oh, those injuries.
Injury problems and absences meant there was time for Estevan Florial, Tim Locastro and Miguel Andujar to be added to the roster. Florial and Locastro’s contributions were brief and negligible, but Miggy did well, but it becomes clear that he is still the odd man out. Despite his solid performances, he quickly found himself back at the Railriders (Triple-A), much to his dissatisfaction as he quickly demanded a trade – something which his status means he cannot insist on no matter how much he blusters. The exceptionally weak part of his game is his inability to gain walks. in 8 games, he drew no walks during this stay in the Bronx.
Giancarlo Stanton remains the most used DH (designated hitter), and that late month injury may increase his use in that role. A number of players rotate through the position occasionally, but the new addition to the role is Matt Carpenter. Carpenter spent many years in St Louis, but couldn’t find a major league for 2022. He found himself at Round Rock Express in the Texas Rangers organisation. He took his release in May and joined the Yankees who had been keeping an eye on him. The Yankees plan to use him mostly for his power hitting and he began well with 2 homers and 2 doubles in May.