The Yankees' season is only a week and a half old, but they're already the best at one thing: committing errors. Through the first nine games of the season, the Yankees have made 11 errors, giving them the outright lead in all of baseball, one error ahead of both the Nationals and Rangers. That puts them on pace to make about 198 errors, and while that is improbable (the most errors any team made last season was 116 by the Indians), they have looked really bad out there. The Yankees' record is 3-6, they have yet to win a series, and part of winning means they're going to have to field better. While the offense certainly needs to improve, it seems like the defense can't possibly get any worse.
General Manager Brian Cashman spoke to ESPN New York on Thursday and he echoed the sentiment of the fans, saying, "Our defensive mistakes have been shocking." He acknowledged that the team has played very inconsistently, going from no offense one night, to bad base running the next, but the poor defensive plays have been present in just about every game. Cashman concluded by saying that although the Yankees have looked poor defensively, that the team is better than that. "That's not what we are or what we will be." Fans have to hope that he's right or it will be a very long season.
The odd thing is that this team really should be better defensively on paper than last year's team. In 2014, the Yankees made 92 total errors, which was actually good since 97 was the league average. 39 of those errors were committed by Derek Jeter, Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson and Yangervis Solarte alone. Considering that all of those players have left the team, and the fact that the Yankees didn't add any horrible defenders over the offseason, the team should be better. Going into today's game, everyone in the infield had made at least one error except for Mark Teixeira, who has actually saved a couple of errors. Stephen Drew and Chase Headley lead the team with two apiece. It's worth noting that Drew had never played second base before the Yankees traded for him and forced him into that position last season, so it isn't really fair to expect him to be an excellent second baseman.
Although Didi Gregorius may not be leading the team in errors, he has looked like the team's worst fielder. Gregorius has made several questionable plays, but he's only officially been charged with one error. The interesting thing is that Gregorius wasn't charged with any errors at all during spring training. That's 110 innings with zero errors. Cashman spoke specifically about Gregorius and said that he thought he was rushing and trying too hard to make something happen. Hopefully the off day gave everyone the mental break they needed and the team will play with clearer heads moving forward.
Are you concerned that the team will struggle defensively all season, or do you think they'll improve as the season goes on?