Yankees Exorcise Early Season Demons with Convincing Sweep in Baltimore

Prior to the Yankees’ three-game weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles, you would have thought that the season was already unraveling. Three wins and fourteen team home runs later, and the Yankees are above .500 for the first time since an opening day win and look to have remedied, for the time being, their early season woes.

When you look at just how many players on the Yankees’ roster are injured, their dominant series sweep is even more impressive. While Giancarlo Stanton, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks, Troy Tulowitzki, Miguel Andujar, C.C Sabathia, and Luis Severino have all been sidelined, other guys have been stepping up. Let’s take a look at some of the standouts from the weekend series in Baltimore.

New York Yankees designated hitter Gary Sanchez (24) celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run in the third inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Will Newton)

Gary Sanchez

After starting the series 1-7, Sanchez mashed three home runs Sunday, a career first, and led the Yankees to a commanding 15-3 win. He now has six home runs in the first eight games of the season, which means he is already a 1/3rd of the way towards tying his 2018 home run total. With the absences to key parts of the lineup, the Yankees need Sanchez to continue being the force at the plate that he’s capable of being.

BALTIMORE, MD – APRIL 7: New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) is congratulated by New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) after his solo home run in the second inning during the game between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles on April 7, 2019, at Orioles Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, MD. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

Gleyber Torres

Torres has been the brightest spot on the Yankees’ roster so far. Through the first nine games, Torres is batting .371 with a .436 on-base percentage and three home runs, which all came in the weekend series against the O’s. Hot start aside, it will be interesting to see how Gleyber’s leadership role on the team takes shape. With some of the veteran leaders on the roster missing time, Gleyber has a chance to assert himself as one of the leaders of this team. That will only really happen, though, if he plays at a consistent level for the time being. Someone as young as Gleyber must lead by example in order to garner leader status, so keep an eye on both his play and how vocal he is on the bench.

New York Yankees’ Clint Frazier (77) celebrates with third base coach Phil Nevin (88) after hitting a home run during the ninth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Will Newton)

Clint Frazier

Clint has basically been begging for an opportunity to make an impact for the Yankees, and this weekend we saw why. Frazier has recorded a hit in four straight and has been an immediate sparkplug out of the Minors. He went 6-11 from the plate this weekend smacking three home runs, two of them on Sunday, and driving in seven. If Frazier continues to prove that he belongs on the major league level then it’s going to be awfully difficult to send him down once Stanton and Hicks return from their respective injuries. He has used the whole field in his at-bats and looks like the most locked-in player on this team. One series doesn’t mean much, so Frazier will need to string more good games together. As far as good starts go, however, Frazier is having quite a productive one.

It’s still early, but the Yankees seem to have found a way to combat the injuries that hampered them in the first six games. With Gary Sanchez appearing to have found his power stroke, Gleyber Torres already building off of a strong rookie campaign, and Clint Frazier proving himself early, the Yankees still have the firepower to be one of the best teams in baseball despite how crowded the infirmary is. The Yankees will travel to Houston for a three-game set starting Monday, and it’ll be interesting to see if they can keep it going against one of the best teams in the league after beating up on one of the league’s worst.