Yankees GM Brian Cashman joins team in Tampa Bay amid ‘struggle’

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has joined the struggling team for a series at Tampa Bay that started on Tuesday night.

The Yankees had lost 16 of 22 entering Tuesday, but remain 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 with the Rays. “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 that included being 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.

Cashman plans to remain to stay 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. New York manager Aaron Boone said Stanton might be ready for some game-type activity right after the All-Star break.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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