In the first time in over a month ( the dominant 7-0 win over the White Sox), the Yankees won by more than four runs. After a 13 hit, 8-1 victory over the Royals, the Bronx Bombers have regained their confidence, and are the offense begins to click as the second half of the season is on the horizon. Some of the sparks can be credited to Luke Voit, who returned from the IL and Paternity duties just in time for the Royals series.
The first pitch he saw in his return was a monstrous swing that was a sure no-doubt home run. He almost collected a second one that night, but it turned into a triple. He had four hits, two home runs, 3 RBI's, and a walk-off hit during the weekend series. First base has been a whirlwind position this season. Remember Jay Bruce? Yeah, he was the opening day starter, lol. It is nice to have the former home run leader back in the Yankee lineup.
Then there is Gary Sanchez. When hot, he is considered one of the best catchers in the American League. However, when he is cold and streaky, the slander pours onto him harshly. At the beginning of the season, we saw Gary's cold spell. He was ultimately benched for Kyle Higashioka. Well over the past 23 games, Sanchez has smashed eight homers and 18 RBIs, while also vastly improving his defense, nixing a problematic leg kick from his stride at the plate. He is now considered a probable candidate for the Mid-Summer Classic.
Having Voit and Gary play at these All-Star capabilities is refreshing and much needed for the Yankees to have future success. The question is, will that be enough? The outfield has been a revolving door since Hick's departure, with the likes of Miguel Andujar, Clint Frazier, Brett Gardner, and Tyler Wade all splitting time alongside Judge. The infield has seen its fair share of injuries, which allows Rougned Odor and Wade to gain more playing time. And then the starting pitching staff, with Kluber down, guys like Taillon and King were expected to step up, but have underperformed. The team in its current form is not a World Series contender. A true centerfield would be ideal, and preferably a lefty bat. A starting pitcher with a sub-3 ERA would be a huge addition, plus more depth in the bullpen and infield. Now guys like Odor and Frazier, and heck even Wade, have shown glimpses of support, but also haven't provided what the team needs, consistency. There seems to be plenty of talent across the league who could fill those holes. Joey Gallo, Ketel and Starling Marte, David Peralta, and Corey Dickerson have been connected to the team. Same with pitchers Michael Pineda, Matthew Boyd, John Gray, and Mike Minor. Does Trevor Story or Max Scherzer become available at the right price?
Then there are internal minor leaguers who have been tearing it up. Hoy Jun Park is batting.360 with 6 home runs, so is outfielder Trey Amburgey. Nick Nelson and Albert Abreau have both been pitching fairly well, too.
The Yankees have sixteen games until the All-Star break, including the upcoming series against the AL East first-place Boston Red Sox. They are four games back from first and are starting to get some winds beneath their sails. Depending on how things go, which route will Cashman take? Will the Yankees improve the holes they have via trade? Or will they consider their internal promotions and returns their "deadline acquisitions"? Only time will tell.