These five Yankees need to step up and help save season

Don’t look to the nerds for help with these 2021 Yankees.

Sometimes the underlying numbers, as we nerds call them, can offer hope to a team with a bad record, or a warning to a club to a good record. We’re talking team figures, such as run differential, or individual metrics, such as exit velocity and FIP.

This Yankees group, though, largely is what it is at 33-30. Their run differential, 245 runs scored against 244 allowed, indicates they actually have outperformed their expected record by one game. Those succeeding and flailing largely belong where they are.

Hence, fundamental change must occur if these Yankees, who resume their season Saturday against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, are to steer away from a dark fate. With 99 games remaining, if they don’t face 99 problems, they’ve got plenty … although none of them is No. 99, Aaron Judge, who has avoided the injured list and put up excellent numbers.

Here are the five people whom the Yankees need to step up, to reach previous or expected heights, in order to make this thing work.

The Yankees focused their entire winter strategy around his return and paid him $90 million over six years, but he sports a .653 OPS, an astounding 358-point drop from last year’s 1.011. That the infielder hasn’t faced more wrath must speak to the goodwill he built up the prior two seasons, not only with his numbers,…

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