"In reality, Masahiro Tanaka’s injury is not a catastrophic event that sends the Yankees from division contenders to hopeless losers. It’s not going to cost them 10 games in the standings, or even 5 games. And it shouldn’t be the prime mover that tells ownership to switch on a dime from ‘win now’ mode to rebuild mode. But if that’s what it takes — if Tanaka’s fall acts as a signal or the shedding of a psychological barrier, then so be it.
The reality is that Tanaka was just the best player on a bad team. His injury will likely cost the Yankees 2 or 3 wins over the remainder of the regular season. On a team whose run differential puts them behind 11 other AL clubs, Tanaka was the water wings that gave the Yankees hope of keeping their heads above .500 the rest of the way."
The Yankees are a shockingly bad offensive team:
-- The team on-base% is .314.
-- 371 runs in 92 games. 4 runs per game ... while playing their home games at Yankee Stadium. From what I can tell, most of those runs occur on solo HRs or errors.
-- Ready for Yankee cumulative DH stats? .202 batting average. .262 on-base%. .365 slugging%. May as well let the pitchers bat for themselves.
-- Two outs and RISP: .205/.288/.296. With 6 HRs in 361 at-bats. This is even more embarrassing when you consider the multiple Yankee batters who refuse to take the gimme RBI with the infield shift on.
Pitching is not really the problem here. The Replacement Pitchers have done quite well. Tanaka is the best player on a lousy team, but there is simply no reason his injury (short-term or long-term) should change the Yankees' overall strategy.
It's not impossible that they will win the World Series this year, but it's foolish and irresponsible to turn pipe dreams into strategic decisions.
I like Gardner and Robertson. Every Yankee fan does. But Robertson is going to be a free agent and a team can't really have two closers for the long term. They both will demand closer salaries and they both needs saves to demand closer salaries.
There is really no reason to hold on to Robertson just so the Yankees can win 79 games instead of 77 ... just so he can get his 40th save in front of a bored and half-empty Stadium in September.