The New York Yankees historically have been known for their impressive lineups. Players such as Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, Reggie Jackson, and Mickey Mantle all have their names etched into major league history. Aaron Judge has continued to carry that torch into the modern day. The Yankees still have those powerful bats.
But those powerful bats are becoming fewer. Far too often, their lineup is the Aaron Judge Show, with him providing most of the offense. Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton (when healthy) have done their part, but the lineup may be worse than it has been in decades. The presence of Willie Calhoun hammers that point home.
Willie Calhoun shows how bad New York Yankees lineup actually is
There was a time when Calhoun appeared ready to break out as a star. He was a highly regarded prospect and a key part of the deal that sent Yu Darvish to the Dodgers. He showed his potential in 2019, belting 21 homers in 337 plate appearances, looking like he could be a fixture in the middle of the lineup.
Instead, Calhoun struggled, being designed for assignment by the Rangers and spending most of the 2022 campaign in the minors. He signed a minor league deal with the Yankees, but due to injuries and ineffectiveness, has gotten another look at the major league level. In fact, in five of his seven starts, Calhoun has batted fifth in the lineup (he has slotted in the sixth spot the other two times).
The problem is that Calhoun just is not that good. He has posted a -2.7 fWAR over his career, posting a mediocre .239/.298/.399 batting line with 32 homers and 35 doubles over his 964 career plate appearances. Calhoun has cost his teams 15 runs in the field, even costing the Yankees one run in his one appearance in right. He is even terrible running the bases, costing his teams -6.9 runs due to his baserunning.
And this is what the Yankees have in the middle of their lineup. They have the likes of Calhoun, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Franchy Cordero receiving critical plate appearances. Their offensive ineptitude is wasting a pitching staff that has more than done their part. That is highlighted by the fact that Willie Calhoun is hitting fifth in their lineup.
The New York Yankees are known for their powerful lineups. These days, they have one of the worst active players in the game batting fifth.