It may have taken more than half the season, but Brian Cashman and the New York Yankees front office finally realized that having a right field fence sitting just 314 feet away from home plate should be a factor considered when constructing a lineup.
As the trade deadline approached, the Yankees made two big splashes, acquiring Joey Gallo from the Texas Rangers and Anthony Rizzo from the Chicago Cubs.
“Everyone obviously talks all the time about us and how right-handed we can be,” head coach Aaron Boone said Thursday morning. “Obviously to be doing what we’ve done here for the last month or two has given us a little bit of balance, a little dynamic, bringing the guys up that we brought up. … So we’ve been a little more balanced of late.”
It’s flooring that an organization so hyper-focused on analytics took this long to realize that having a few lefty power bats in the lineup just might be a benefit, but at least they got there.
Before the moves, Yankees’ lefties had hit a combined 22 home runs on the season. Gallo himself has 25 home runs on the season and Rizzo brings 14 of his own to New York. The short porch in right should only help in increasing the two lefties’ power numbers.
#Yankees‘ left-handed hitters this year: .197/.297/.338, 80 wRC+, .284 wOBA, .141 ISO, 22 HR, 67 RBI, 142 H, 22 R.
All those numbers are among MLB's bottom 5.
Joey Gallo this year: .223/.379/.490, 140 wRC+, .374 wOBA, .268 ISO, 25 HR, 55 RBI, 69 H, 57 R.
— Gary Phillips (@GaryHPhillips) July 29, 2021
Rizzo brings a .248 average with just 59 strikeouts to New York, and the four-time Gold Glove winner will be an instant upgrade at first base.
“I’m just focused on going to be a Yankee now,” Rizzo said of leaving the Chicago Cubs. “It’s just another really cool opportunity to play for another historic franchise. This will always be home for me, but like I’ve said, my best friend leaving, Jon Lester, he did the same thing. He has two special places in his heart. But for these next three months, it’s going to be fun. You go right into a race. Seeing the Yankees pull the triggers like this – get (Joey) Gallo, me now, obviously – that’s what they do. And they’re excited.”
Rizzo will also bring significant postseason experience to New York, having helped finally bring a championship to Chicago in 2016. Not to mention the guy screams “Yankee.”
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 30, 2021
Gallo is more of an “all-or-nothing” addition, third in Major League Baseball with 127 strikeouts. But he also leads the league in walks (75) and provides defensive versatility.
Both Rizzo and Gallo made their Yankees debut Friday night, with Rizzo immediately providing a spark for the offense.
Rizzo went 2-3 on the night, including a monster 449-foot home-run in a 3-1 victory over the Miami Marlins.
RIZZO'S FIRST BOMB AS A YANKEE 🚨 @BRWalkoff
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 31, 2021
This should be Cashman and Boone’s last gasp at attempting to keep themselves off of the chopping block. Though, with Hal Steinbrenner calling the shots, you never know. The Yankees have disappointed, playing some of the most lackluster and fundamentally unsound baseball in all of the league.
They currently sit 7.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the American League East but are just 3.5 games behind the Oakland Athletics in the Wild Card race. There’s an opportunity for the Yankees to make a run, but it wasn’t going to happen without significant moves.
“Part of the reason why I’m here is, Hal [Steinbrenner] always goes for it and so does Brian [Cashman],” Gerrit Cole said Thursday. “That’s why I really feel fortunate to be in a spot where the club’s going to make a fantastic move like that and continue to push chips in.”
Cole better hope the additions add a little pop to the lineup, especially after giving up 7 earned in 5 1/3 innings in a 14-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays Thursday.
The Yankees have made their moves. Now we’ll see if they can move up in the standings.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected]
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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