Offensive is the best word to describe how bad the Yankees have been hitting, Awful is just not strong enough anymore. When you can only manage 1 run against the Royals with your Ace CC Sabathia on the mound you need to do something to create some offence fast.  Lets break it down to the good the bad and the ugly. Not much has been good about the Yankees offence but you have to give credit to someone so of course it starts with Robinson Cano, who will be starting at second base during the All star game and is batting .294 with 20 HR and 59 RBI’s . He will demand a kings ransom when he hits free agency this year and deserves it. However the Yanks need to be careful not to give him a ridiculous contract like the one they gave A-Rod that they will be regretting later in his career. I think seven years and 180 million is what he is worth. with a vesting option for an eighth year that could take it to 200 million if he remains healthy. I am a big believer in incentives for MVP awards and gold gloves and the like that could make the total contract well over 200 million. I don’t mind them paying more money for less years but  I don’t want to see them get stuck with a 40 year old broken down guy. We could go on an on about Cano but in the spirit of brevity lets move on. Brett Gardner is having a decent year at the plate and in the field, batting .272 with 7 HR (a career high) and continues to hold runners put with his strong arm. However he is striking out way to much with 80 strike outs in 340 AB (he is leading the league in this department) Also for some reason he is not stealing bases nearly as often as he needs to. He has 11 and has been caught 6 times, this is about half of what he should have in order to keep pace with his 2011 season total. Also proving that he was money well spent has been Ichiro who is batting .278 and has 5 HR and has 12 stolen bases. Ichiro is not known as a power hitter and his career best in HR is 15. That personal record is probably not in jeopardy but for a half season at 38 years old they are good numbers.Rounding out the Yankees success stories for this season so far is Rookie Zolio Almonte who had a great spring and could turn out to be a special player for the future. He is only 24 years old and in 20 games is batting .284 and has 19 hits and 3 stolen bases and 4 doubles. It seems like the kid gets a hit almost every day and shows no fear at the plate as well as being a decent defender. That is all  you can say good about the Yankees offence.

Here is the Bad

Travis Hafner 2 million dollars to bat .224. Ok he has decent power numbers with 12 home runs but most of them were in April and May. Lately he has been awful going 6 for 30 so far in July with more strikeouts than hits

Vernon Wells is making 24 million dollars to bat .237 and of late has been so bad he has been banished to the bench

Lyle Overbay is batting .244 and although is having a strong year defensively is completely useless against left handed pitching with a .188 BA

Luis Cruz is batting .147 and Alberto Gonzalez .204 Eduardo Nunez has just returned from the DL and is definitely an upgrade over the two of them and is batting .375 since his return .

Chris Stewart is batting .255 but has been good defensively . Austin Romaine his back up has been horrible and will most likely be gone before I am done typing this.

Worse news arrives today as it looks like Arod may face a 100 game suspension and Cervelli a 50 game suspension for their roles in the latest steroid scandal.

So Whats next? First know that  help is on the way. It seems that Jeter is ready to go (at least in his eyes) and may return to the bombers as soon as the Twins series but more likely the Red Sox series. Look for him to be an immediate boost to the line up and his presence  and his leadership will make everyone better. You can take that one to the bank. This however wont be nearly enough to push them over the hump.

At 2.5 games out of the  Wild card and 5 out of the division  the Yankees are definitely not out of it yet. Especially with series against the Red Sox,Rangers and Rays coming after the All Star break this will be their opportunity to make or break the season. Eventually Granderson will be returning as well and may help bolster the line up for the stretch run but by that time it will all but be decided if the Yankees have a shot. Right now they need to upgrade at Catcher, First base and Third base in order to have a shot. The need will be a right handed batter that must be an upgrade over what they have now.

First Base Options; External  Michael Young, Justin Mouneau, Carlos Pena, Justin Smoak or Jesus Guzman are possible trade candidates. I personally am leaning toward Michael Young who should be available on the cheap and can play first or third. He is a right handed bat that is currently hitting .289. Also the Phillies have shown some interest in Joba Chamberlain. I have also heard Ty Wiggintons name tossed around a bit as he is a free agent and the Yankees have expressed interest in him in the past.

Internal options: The Yankees have Dan Johnson down in Scranton who is currently batting .251 with 12 Homers and 44 RBI. Unfortunately he is a lefty and really doesn’t provide an upgrade offensively over Overbay and is certainly going the wrong way defensively. Also down at Trenton is Andrew Clark who is batting .308 but is not currently on the 40 man roster and is not considered ready for major league pitching.

Catching options external:  Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies would be an upgrade over what they have now but not much over Stewart. Of course anyone is better than Romaine at this point. Also Ramon Hernandez is a free agent but I don’t think the Yankees have much interest. Other possibilities for trade could include Brian McCann if the Braves feel that they wont be able to retain him next year.

An Internal candidate seems the most likely move which would be  calling up JR Murphy. He has been tearing it up in the minors with his .307 batting average and is throwing out 43 percent of the runners who are attempting to steal on him.

I think one final thing you will see is Michael Pinada will get called up  in the beginning of August or perhaps sooner if the Yankees deal Phil Hughes. This is what I am thinking of as a line up

1,Gardner

2. Jeter

3. Almonte

4. Cano

5. Young

6. Ichiro

7.Overbay

8. Hafner

9. Murphy

certainly seems better than what we are putting out there now. and The rotation should look like this

1 CC

2 Kuroda

3 Pettitte

4 Pineda

5 Nova

Seems like just picking up Young and calling up Murphy would allow you to bat Hafner/Wells in the eight spot where they belong instead of fourth or fifth. Or do you think that the Yankees should be sellers????

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