It's been a mixed bag out of the gate for the New York Yankees. They've gotten off to a 5-5 start that has featured plenty of highs and lows. From dropping two consecutive series to the Orioles and Tigers to absolutely clobbering Baltimore on the road, here are three things that we've learned about these strange Yankees in the first 10 games.
3. First Base is a Problem Again
The emergence of Luke Voit in late 2018 seemed to spell the end of the Yankees' first base woes, but it appears that the position might be an issue once more. Neither Voit nor Greg Bird has an OPS over .700, and Voit's other-worldly power on balls in play has seemingly evaporated. He's at a career-low 40.7 percent hard contact rate and his launch angle is down more than a full degree at 14.0. If those numbers doesn't come up soon, he won't be able to give the Yankees the production they saw out of him last year.
2. Aaron Boone is Still Too Eager to Use the Bullpen
Aaron Boone had a knack for keeping his starters on an extremely short leash last season, and that issue has continued here in 2019. In the Yankees' most recent loss to the Houston Astros, Boone pulled Masahiro Tanaka at just 78 pitches and opted for Zach Britton in a two-run game. He yanked James Paxton in the team's first loss of the year after just 5.2 innings and 82 pitches. If he keeps this pace, he'll overwork his bullpen while obliterating any trust between him and the starters.
1. They Will Live and Die by the Long Ball
It's no secret that the Yankees have built an offense predicated on sheer power, but these first few games have shown us that it will once again be the primary determinant of their overall performance in 2019. The Yankees have lost both of the two games in which they haven't homered so far this season, and during their series at Camden Yards, they scored an absurd 26 of their 29 runs on the long ball. They've got prolific power, but if it somehow disappears, they're going to have a tough time trying to push across runs.