Yankees GM Brian Cashman joins struggling team at Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — General manager Brian Cashman has joined the struggling New York Yankees for a series at Tampa Bay that started Tuesday night.

With owner Hal Steinbrenner in attendance, things didn’t get better as the Yankees lost 5-3 to the Rays, the team’s 17th loss in 23 games . Still, New York remains in one of the AL wild-card spots.

“Because of how we’ve been playing I’ve decided to join us,” Cashman said before Tuesday’s game. “It’s been a struggle, obviously. Thankfully we got out of the gates really strong, so hopefully that cushion will allow us to work through this hopefully sooner than later on because it’s gone on long enough.”

The Yankees completed a homestand on Sunday in which they went 1-5 and were swept by Cincinnati.

“There’s concern,” Cashman said. “It’s my job to be in a position to never assume anything. Ultimately today’s a new day. We’re hoping to get back on track today.”

Both pitching and offensive issues have emerged over the skid.

“It was a tidal wave of success here for the first two months and then you closed out June into July in a really rough patch for an extended period of time,” Cashman said “We got to be playing better than we currently are right now.”

After three games with Tampa Bay, the Yankees play at AL East-leading Baltimore in a three-game set before the start of the All-Star break. The Orioles have a three-game lead.

“It starts with me,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after Tuesday’s defeat. “I filter into the coaches, and it’s about us trying to get these guys prepared the best we can, setting a tone with how we present ourselves.

“It’s on us as coaches to put our players in the best position possible to go out there and be successful,” Boone added. “We got to continue to try and do that to the best of our ability and and trust that the ball is going to start to bounce our way a little bit and we can get it rolling here.”

The Yankees’ 5-16 record since June 15 this the worst in the majors. New York had the best mark through June 14 at 50-22.

Cashman plans to remain in Florida following the Rays’ series to work out of the team’s complex in Tampa to prepare for next week’s player draft. He will also continue working on potential trades with the deadline to make deals coming at the end of the month.

“We’re going to be open-minded to a lot of different things,” Cashman said, “I’m not going to point out anything specific, but we definitely have areas to improve upon and we’ll do our best. We just got to figure our way through this ourselves and hopefully we can add some outside pieces at some point.”

One key internal piece that could help is designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton, who has been out since June 23 with a strained left hamstring. Boone said Stanton might be ready for some game-type activity right after the All-Star break.


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