When Alfonso Soriano came to the New York Yankees last season he almost played the role of savior for the team as he clubbed 17 home runs in 58 games. His bat infused power into a lineup that was relying on Lyle Overbay to be a major contributor. Entering this season, the Yankees were counting on Soriano to contribute to a revamped lineup that would feature Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran. However, Soriano has been a major disappointment and an absolute black hole in the lineup.
Through 66 games, Soriano was slashing just .225/.248/.374 with just six home runs and 69 strikeouts. His bat has looked much slower this season as even a mediocre fastball looks like it was thrown by Randy Johnson. Everyone expected a year similar to last season with perhaps a small drop off. However, Soriano has gone over the cliff and the Yankees’ offense has struggled mightily.
While Soriano isn’t the sole reason the Yankees’ offense has struggled he has been a major contributor. A day of 0-4 with at least two strikeouts is no longer a bad day but just another day at the plate. He hasn’t homered since May 17th and hasn’t had an extra-base hit since June 12th. He has been so bad he now carries a -1.7 WAR.
The Yankees need production and Soriano isn’t providing that. There are better options available, though they are limited. Zoilo Almonte is hitting .274/.322/.460 in AAA with 12 home runs and 11 doubles. He could be a better option at this point. There are also a few trade candidates out there but the Yankees are focusing on acquiring a starting pitcher first.
The Yankees can’t afford to keep Soriano in the lineup and, at this point, Almonte is an upgrade over Soriano. It is highly doubtful that Soriano will suddenly turn it around. Who knows? Maybe he goes to a lighter bat and that gives him some life again. But, right now, the Yankees need to do something as they can’t afford to keep trotting Soriano out there.