5 Yankees responsible for the team’s sluggish start

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 17: Giancarlo Stanton
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 17: Giancarlo Stanton /
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Giancarlo Stanton isn’t the only New York Yankee struggling. These five players are responsible for the team’s slow start.

Coming into the season, many New York Yankees fans felt like their team was destined to win the AL East. It’s safe to say that a 10-9 record through 19 games wasn’t the start those fans envisioned.

Unfortunately for Yankees fans, there’s plenty of blame to go around. There are quite a few players who are performing well short of their potential. Aaron Boone’s issues aren’t limited to just one or two big-name stars. Instead, he’ll need to iron out quite a few things if he wants to catch the red-hot Boston Red Sox.

Even more frustrating for Boone is the fact that his club has issues all over the diamond. He has pitchers and hitters who he needs to get on track. Some might see that as encouraging, because there’s a lot of room for the team to grow, but it has to be frustrating for a first-time manager like Boone.

If you are a Yankees fan hoping to see the team make noise in postseason, you need to watch the production of these five stars. Boone’s ability to get the most out of this quintet will go a long way in determining how good the Yankees can be this season.

TAMPA, FL – MARCH 19: Neil Walker
TAMPA, FL – MARCH 19: Neil Walker /

5. Neil Walker

In fairness to the veteran infielder, Neil Walker didn’t enter the campaign with sky-high expectations. Walker was just expected to be a steady presence in the bottom of the Yankees lineup. Unfortunately, he’s failed to live up to those modest expectations.

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The former Mets infielder is currently sporting a putrid batting average of .179. That contributes greatly to his offensive WAR of minus-0.6. If that mark holds, it will match the worst mark of Walker’s career.

It’s not as if his defense is anything to write home about, either. He’s an adequate first baseman but his range at second is solidly below average. To put it simply, he needs to hit at an above average clip to justify his place in the starting lineup.

At 32 years of age, it’s possible that Walker is simply too far past his prime to be a meaningful contributor this season. His spot in the roster could easily be something Brian Cashman looks to upgrade as the year progresses.