Yankees’ fatal flaw that will derail hot start to 2024 season

Will the Yankees be able to maintain their hot start to the season?

Yankees' Juan Soto, Yankees' Aaron Judge both in image. Have Judge saying the following: Oh no...

The New York Yankees are in first place in the American League East as of this story’s writing. It has been a strong start for the Yankees, a team that missed the postseason in 2023. Can New York sustain their success though?

In all reality, this Yankees ball club has what it takes to make a playoff run. However, continuing to lead one of the best divisions in sports is going to be challenging for a number of reasons, especially the one reason we will discuss in a moment.

Let’s take a look at the Yankees’ fatal flaw that will derail their hot start in 2024.

Yankees’ offensive uncertainty

New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (99) during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. John Jones-USA TODAY Sports
Does a team whose nickname is the “Bronx Bombers” have offensive question marks? The answer is yes.

There is no question that Juan Soto has made a crucial impact thus far since being acquired by the Yankees during the offseason. Aaron Judge has struggled in 2024 but we know he is going to get back on track.

Beyond Judge and Soto, however, there are not many reliable offensive presences.

Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo are not the same players they once were. Alex Verdugo may hit for a decent average, but he does not provide a game-changing bat for a lineup. Gleyber Torres has been inconsistent over the years and he has struggled mightily to begin the new campaign. DJ LeMahieu has not even played in a game yet this season because of injury.

Can this offense produce positive results? Sure, but it is difficult to imagine them finding consistent success throughout the 2024 campaign.

The Yankees lineup has produced fairly mediocre results up to this point. They are 13th in OPS, tied for 11th in home runs, and 15th in runs scored.

In the end, it is difficult to trust this offense despite the star-power of Aaron Judge and Juan Soto.

Is there reason for optimism?

New York Yankees right fielder Juan Soto (22) celebrates with center fielder Aaron Judge (99) after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Yankee Stadium.Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
The Yankees may still be able to compete for a playoff spot. I don’t believe they will lead the American League East all season long, but that does not mean they will not play a competitive enough brand of baseball to make a run at an AL Wild Card spot.

New York’s starting pitching has been quite impressive despite Gerrit Cole’s injury absence. The bullpen is reliable as well. Even if their offense declines as the 2024 campaign continues, the Yankees pitching could keep them in contention.

Yankees fans expect the ball club to compete for a World Series every single season, though. And that is understandable, as New York holds the most World Series championships (27) by a landslide. It is a historic organization that has developed a reputation as one of the most successful franchises in sports.

Throughout the years, offense has often anchored the team. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, and Joe DiMaggio are just a few of the legends who wore pinstripes in their careers.

So the fact that the offense is the Yankees’ fatal flaw in 2024 will frustrate some fans. But if you take an in-depth look at New York’s lineup, there is far too much uncertainty to express unquestioned confidence in it.

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