The Yankees were very active in the free agency period before the season, adding three starters to their everyday lineup; Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann. Although I was critical of the Ellsbury deal, so far he has been very productive. He ‘s tied for the team lead in hits with 9, has a .360 batting average and has 3 stolen bases. The other two big signings have yet to shine for the Bronx Bombers.
When news broke that the Yankees were bringing in McCann and Beltran I thought both players would put up big numbers in pinstripes, and I still do, but so far neither has performed the way that I, and Yankee fans, would have thought. Beltran and McCann have 12 hits and 8 RBI combined in the first 8 games of the year, Beltran is batting .182 with a .227 slugging percentage, McCann is posting .200 in both categories. Both were brought in to be productive, middle-of-the-lineup bats, and the Yankees will need them to be productive offensive players if they are to get back to the playoffs this season, after missing out for only the second time since 1995, last year.
I have no doubt that both players will break out at some point, probably sooner rather than later, and when they do the Yankees will be much better off for it. The Yanks are 4-4 on the season, nothing to panic about in any sense, but they haven’t faced top echelon opponents so far; The Astros, Blue Jays and Orioles all failed to make the playoffs last year (Houston and Toronto were both more than 20 games below .500 for the season last year), and when the Yankees are at their best they clean up against lesser opposition.
In the Bronx, anything less than a playoff appearance is viewed as a disasterous season, in my opinion if Beltran and McCann fail to produce this team will have a very hard time finding their way into October.