Bottom Of New York Yankees Batting Order A Big Win For Boone
So many things have to go right for a good team to beat another good team in Major League Baseball. New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone is faced with two of his strong defensive positions, shortstop and catcher, being light on the offensive side. Going into Thursday night's game, shortstop Isaiah Kiner-Filefa and catcher Kyle Higashioka were a combined 2 for 35 on the season.
Those numbers constituted 22.2% of the Bronx Bombers batting order, the bottom of it. Boone knows you can't survive in Major League Baseball penciling in two high-percentage outs in-a-row night after night. The bottom of the Yankees order has always been strong with hitters like Brett Gardner anchoring the 9-spot. The number 8-hitter, Kiner-Filefa, proved on Thursday, he isn't going to hit .059 all season long, going 3 for 3 and raising his batting average to .200.
With shortstop, Boone has few options. That is a bat that they Yankees will carry this season, if they have to. However, the 27-year-old from Hawaii is a .264 lifetime hitter and should hold his own in the 8-hole in the Yankees line-up. That brings us to the catching position.
If you ever want an example of the significance of Spring Training numbers, here you go. Kyle Higashioka hit .423 with 7 home runs and 11 RBI's in 26 at-bats in Spring Training this year. In his first 18 at-bats following the Grapefruit League match-ups, he has one hit. Higashioka is hitting .056. Is the 26-year-old Californian a .400 hitter? No. But MLB evaluators do think he will hit with some power given regular at-bats.
On Thursday, back-up catcher Jose Trevino got the nod behind the plate for Luis Severino's second start of the season. Trevino went 1 for 3 in his first start for the Pinstripes on Sunday against Boston. In the final game of the four game series against Toronto, Trevino delivered 2 more hits, driving in a pair of runs. Heck, the swift backstop even stole a base in the 5th inning!
The bottom of the Yankees batting order saved the day for the Pinstripes. The 3-0 victory over the Blue Jays gave New York a split with the team that all of the experts predict will win the American League. So, after 2 games and 3 hits should Jose Trevino displace Kyle Higashioka behind the dish? No, of course not. However, he does give Aaron Boone a nice option to give Higashioka a rest, especially if he is slumping.
Overall, the bottom of the order did the job for the Bronx Bombers on Thursday, going a combined 5 for 6, with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI's. They are going to need more of that this season, if the Yankees expect to be the team on top in the American League.