Brian Cashman holds ‘rare’ meeting with free-falling Yankees

Brian Cashman planned on traveling to Buffalo for the Yankees’ three-game series against the Blue Jays at Sahlen Field before his club went into a deep funk that could cost it a ticket to the expanded postseason.

Cashman arrived Monday and had private discussions. Tuesday he felt a need to address the struggling team as a group, and the message was positive but stressed the sense of urgency facing a 21-20 team that had dropped 15 of 19 games entering that night’s action.

“Every now and then, when I feel it is appropriate, I won’t be afraid to gather the troops and have a discussion. Obviously there are things you want to touch on,’’ Cashman said.

The GM’s message was a reminder that the man who brought the players to The Bronx wasn’t abandoning them.

“Just remind them, first and foremost, that I believe in them. I put the club together with my staff, and everyone is here for a reason,’’ Cashman said. “Making sure they know where they have to get back to. I have taken the opportunity to do that from time to time and see if it helps. The bottom line is we are on our own, there is no help coming, and the challenge is to find a way to get through this storm.’’

In 2009, Joe Girardi’s team was struggling and Cashman flew to Atlanta to talk to the players. Whether or not hearing the GM talk helped, the Yankees immediately started to play better.

“When there is an in-season problem, I do it when it is necessary,’’ Cashman said of addressing the team. “But it is rare that I have to get the whole group together, but the circumstances we find ourselves in right now are clearly rare, too. It is not something we are accustomed to, having a slide like this. We are used to better baseball than this, and our fans deserve better baseball than this. Just try to get a shock to the system to try and get us back on track.’’

Cashman sees the effort, but it is a results-oriented business.

“The effort is obviously there, the results haven’t followed. The touchpoints are making sure their pregame checklist, their preparation process, is still in play, and if they continue to apply, that has served us well over time. We can get back on track,’’ Cashman said. “We just need it sooner than later in this short season. In a 60-game sprint, there is no margin for error, whether it is injuries playing a role or underperformance playing a role, in our case it is both. We have to navigate it ASAP.’’

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