CHICAGO – The New York Yankees season is beginning to appear.
Compared to every other day in a wounded spring and dominated by a multitude of little-known backups, this new day will be very different. With two of the biggest tests that the Yankees will face this year and are looming at the time, their reshaped look is timely and necessary.
Do you remember B-teamers? That's good was their team. But now their reign is over. They served their purpose. But it is time for them to withdraw. Why?
Because "Big-Boy Season" is about to start.
He will officially start Monday night in the Bronx when the Yankees, before tackling the enemy of the key division Tampa Bay, will present to the crowd of Yankee Stadium an Edwin Encarnacion wearing fine stripes. This introduction will mark the moment when the organization enters the last and perhaps the last phase of its season, when power becomes a truly powerful and viable weapon.
As the Rays and Astros travel to the Bronx this week, the Yankees are about to let their big boys play.
"We have a lot of talented guys in the room, and a lot of talented guys coming back, which will only strengthen our team," said veteran champion Brett Gardner said Sunday following the Yankees' 10-3 win over the Chicago White Sox. "Whenever you can add someone as good as Edwin, it's a guy who will make us better."
In addition to the arrival of Encarnacion, the leader of the American League with 21, the Yankees will again welcome Giancarlo Stanton, limited to eight hits this season but who led the big leagues in the circuit there are two seasons. Stanton should be activated from the list of injured on Tuesday. Aaron Judge, another great injured bopper player who has been in his league for a long time, is also expected to join the formation over the next few days.
The arrival of the three sluggers caused Yankees coach Aaron Boone to lose the fate of his club.
"Encarnacion, Stanton and Judge – these are three elite hitters connected to our lineup," he said. "I hope it's something that, over time, creates a considerable advantage for us."
One would think that these additions would lead to extremely advantageous situations for the Yankees. After all, with three of the league's top power hitters in the same lineup, no lead should be considered safe.
Not to mention Gary Sanchez (second in the AL), the mighty Luke Voit, the always dangerous Didi Gregorius, the strong Gleyber Torres, the constant DJ LeMahieu and Gardner, the patient Aaron Hicks and the clutch Gio Urshela. Gather everything and there really is no room for a pitcher to catch his breath.
Remember the days when the Yankees' offense rested on largely inexperienced people. Mike Tauchman, Tyler Wade and Thairo Estrada? Certainly, the Yankees have won matches with these guys from the training, as evidenced by the 32-10 runs in April and May, when all three contributed at one time or another. However, with all due respect, who would you rather have when an extra shot could end a game? They or the big boys?
Against tough opponents this week, the Rays and Astros, Stanton has 13 homers and a .237 batting average in 76 games. The judges have an average of .263 and 11 homers in 56 regular season games against them.
Regarding Encarnacion, the 36-year-old designated hitter has 43 homesticks in 178 regular-season games against both teams. He has been particularly prolific against them these past two seasons, enjoying the best home run rates of his career during those years.
Encarnacion dominated in 9.3% of his matches against Rays and Astros in 2017. In 2018, he played in 8.2% of the time. Throughout his career, he spent 5.7% of his time in the striking area.
As the Big Boys season begins to take effect, the Yankees are already seeing the byproducts of a crunch list. Viable options such as Estrada and the booming RBI machine, Clint Frazier, have already been rejected while the Yankees are healthier. In the coming days, Tauchman should also return to the minor leagues.
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"It's the reality of things," Frazier said Sunday. "So suppose I'm dealing with reality right now."
The reality is also that Frazier himself owns a big boy's bat, but as a strange man stemming from a changing rotation of the outer field, he was expendable in this series of displacements.
Of course, the real alignment that the Yankees will have to do in the coming weeks will be the one that will help them in their starting rotation. Although they finally got a good job thanks to the first match Chad Green and longtime striker Nestor Cortes Jr. on Saturday, as well as James Paxton on Sunday, the Yankees have not got the desired regularity of their rotation in recent weeks.
Currently, the departing Yankees have an ERA of 4.13. Before June, however, they had a 3.76 rate of return that was more acceptable.
Expect the beginner's mistakes to be corrected before the trading deadline, but in the meantime, do not be afraid to gape at the power the new Yankees offensive is about to show. This week gives them an excellent opportunity to show it.