During the first three weeks of the 2020 season, Mike Tauchman established himself as a dependable bat in the Yankee lineup. In fact, Tauchman wasn’t just dependable, he was elite. When play concluded on August 17th, the Sock Man had some of the best offensive numbers on the team. Here are his stats for the 17 games he played between July 26th and August 17th:
47 Plate Appearances
15 Hits (.349 BA)
For a guy who came into the season as the club’s fourth or fifth outfielder, those numbers are fantastic. Tauchman’s exploits at the plate felt like further evidence of Cashman’s unique ability for finding diamonds in the rough (i.e. Luke Voit).
Things Fall Apart
Unfortunately for Tauchman, baseball can be a cruel game. In an instant, Mike went from doing everything right to doing everything wrong. Since August 18th, Tauchman has been absolutely abysmal, and he’s become a black hole in the Bombers depleted lineup. Here are his stats in his last 12 games:
39 Plate Appearances
4 Hits (.121 AVG)
There’s simply no way to get around how poor these numbers are. Tauchman’s regression at the plate has been shocking in its severity. For the Yankees, Tauchman’s slump couldn’t have come at a less convenient time. With almost all of their stars landing on the IL, the Bombers were in desperate need of some offensive firepower during the second half of August. Tauchman’s disappearance contributed to the team’s poor record.
Of course, the Yankees’ recent struggles are the product of numerous problems all coming together at the same time. Relievers have blown saves, starters have failed to get deep into games, and some questionable managerial moves have put people in the wrong place at the wrong time. Tauchman certainly hasn’t played well over the last two weeks, but he’s hardly the only underachiever.
A Flicker of Hope
As the Yankees’ schedule gets a little bit easier, I’m hopeful that Tauchman will be able to turn things around. The health of our outfield is still very much up in the air, and the Sock Man could still be an incredibly valuable member of this team in September. In this strange, shortened season, a slump can seem considerably worse than it would during a normal year. Things may look bleak for Tauchman at the moment, but a few games against Baltimore could be just what the doctor ordered. Let’s hope he and his teammates get going over the weekend.