There is obvious concern after the New York Yankees dropped the opening two games of the ALCS against the Houston Astros over the weekend.
Dropping a pair of 2-1 games that could have been turned into wins had it not been for some questionable decisions or defensive brilliance from the Astros, it’s understandable if there is frustration surrounding the Yankees camp.
But with a triad of games in the Bronx approaching and the team’s ability to pull out wins in difficult situations, there should also be an abundance of belief.
In order to come back and make this a series though, the Yankees simply cannot rely on the home-field advantage provided in the house that Jeter built. There have to be some adjustments made in the lineup.
Move Aaron Judge down
While there has been this new fad of putting power hitters up toward the very top of the lineup, I’m still a firm believer that the top-two spots in the lineup should be reserved for high on-base-percentage players.
Aaron Judge simply has not been that. In fact, it’s been a nightmare postseason for him so far.
In the ALDS against the Cleveland Indians, Judge went 1-for-20 with an MLB-record 16 strikeouts in the series.
It hasn’t gotten much better through the opening two games of the ALCS, as he’s 1-for-7 with three strikeouts.
You can’t bench Judge. He’s meant far-too much to this team throughout the season and you have to go with the horses that got you there. But it is time to move him down to the No. 6 or 7 spot in the order to take a little bit of pressure off him.
Make Gary Sanchez the DH
Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez is in the major leagues because of his bat and a cannon of an arm.
His defense is a flat-out liability.
A slow glove and an inability to properly keep the ball in front of him, Sanchez limits his pitcher’s ability to use all sections of plate, including the area in front of it. Instead of being able to waste pitches in strikeout situations, Yankees pitchers at times are forced to keep the ball near the zone, presenting hittable options to the opposing batter.
Then there was the ending of Game 2 when he was unable to reel in the relay throw from Didi Gregorius that would have gotten Jose Altuve out by a mile at the plate. Instead, Houston was walk-off winners.
Austin Romine provides complete defense at the position while putting Sanchez at DH ensures his bat stays in the lineup.
The offense takes a bit of a hit with Romine in the lineup, but with the way the Yankees have pitched, they could survive at home.