From A-Rod to K-Rod

Thirteen excruciating innings later, Cano puts away the Royals
Game 124: Start of something big?

Over the last few weeks, as the Yanks have slipped in the AL East and Wild Card standings, Yankee fans, looking for a scapegoat, have found their favorite target in Number 13. A-Rod, as everyone knows by now, isn’t hitting well with runners in scoring position this year, and for some reason, this is reason enough to blame an entire disappointing season on the $27-million-man’s shoulders. While we’ve always been on Alex’s side, David Pinto points out a trend: A-Rod’s strike out rates with runners on base are significantly higher than they are with bases empty. With no one on, A-Rod strikes out 15.4 percent of the time; with runners on, that number nearly doubles to 28.2 percent. As Pinto writes, “He’s not even giving the runners a chance to advance 1/4 of the time.”

Thirteen excruciating innings later, Cano puts away the Royals
Game 124: Start of something big?
  • Steve

    What is most maddening to me is if you look at MOST of the players in the Yankee lineup, their #s with RISP aren’t that bad, some (Jeter-Damon-Abreu) are surprisingly consistently GOOD.

    But the two guys in the run generating #4 and #5 spots, A-Rod and Giambi have been bad and hideous, respectively.

    Why Giambi is still batting 5th I have no idea. Nobody could argue this lineup is working smoothly as is. And were running out of season, so the notion of “getting guys going” is bullshit at this point as well.

    • Anthony M

      I was thinking the same thing about Giambi yesterday. He can hit for power and get on base, but he is slow as shit and he is not hitting for a good average (.255?). I’d like to see Nady hitting 5th, backing up A-Rod. He is definitely more of a threat to do something with men on base.

      Getting on to A-Rod, is there somewhere in the lineup he would be better suited? Like what if they put him in the the three hole?

      This is just an idea, and I assume there is some logic behind not putting this out there, but what would be wrong with this:

      Damon
      Jeter
      A-Rod
      Abreu
      Nady
      Giambi
      Cano
      Whomever is Catching
      Gardner

      I understand that Abreu is not the same power threat A-Rod is but he has been much better this season with men on base. I also like Nady earlier in the lineup and while he might not always hit for power he will atleast HIT THE BALL, which no one else seems to be able to do.

      • Steve

        Nady is currently the best hitter on the team, and therefore should be batting #3. .945 OPS compared to Abreu’s .820, plus Abreu doesn’t walk as much as he used to, and strikes out more than people think. Though Bobby is leading the team in RBIs and has for most of the year.

        My lineup would be as follows-

        Damon
        Jeter
        Nady
        A-Rod
        Abreu
        Giambi
        I-Rod
        Cano
        Gardner

        I could even be talked into having Jeter lead off from now on to get him to think of getting on base more. But thats not a biggie.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

          If I had to do a lineup change, it would be this:

          Damon
          Abreu
          A-Rod
          Nady
          Giambi
          Jeter
          Cano
          I-Rod/Gardner
          Gardner/Molina

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

            Sorry, flip-flop A-Rod and Nady to look like this:

            Damon
            Abreu
            Nady
            A-Rod
            Giambi
            Jeter
            Cano
            I-Rod/Gardner
            Gardner/Molina

            • Old Ranger

              Like it. 27/09?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

    I don’t get why this is such a big deal, even A-Rod’s biggest supporters (like myself) have never tried to argue that he can strikeout a bit too much for a player of his caliber.

    • Steve

      What bugs people is how his ABs change in big spots. He’s much less patient, lunges at bad pitches way too often.

      A-Rod is a much bigger problem when the guy behind him is batting .210 with RISP.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

        He has a .391-OBP w/RISP compared to a .414 clip with no men on-base. I don’t think it’s his approach that’s the main issue, just think that he (along with the rest of the Yankees) is having a terribly unlucky year hitting w/RISP. His BABIP is .045 lower w/RISP compared to his BABIP (.340) with nobody on-base, that’s a big ass gap. Can anyone really explain why?

        • r.w.g.

          I think when you get this deep into the season, it’s slightly more than luck. I’m not saying luck is irrelevant or that this is going to be the status quo for every season going forward with these players.. but I think it should be clear by now that the whole RISP thing is in their heads and they are pressing.

          The game they won yesterday was ugly and if this was last season that game would not have been close. The later and extra innings of that game were especially disheartening. The team just seems like it needs a break out game or something fun to do off the field.. something to give them some space to breathe and not think so much.

        • ceciguante

          i don’t see how you can just chalk it up to bad luck when the season is this far in. maybe arod’s BABIP is lower with RISP b/c his approach is different (mentally) with RISP, and therefore his timing and selectivity are both worse with RISP. i consistently see alex swing at balls as if he doesn’t recognize them — a lot of swings and misses, and a lot of swings at balls way outside or in the dirt. this stuff screams “mental” to me, it looks the same as when the whole lineup implodes every october.

          the entire lineup is markedly worse with RISP this year compared to past years, and compared to the rest of the AL. i think they’re doing something wrong, and i think it’s probably mental. one thing i don’t see is guys shorten swings and try to hit the other way as much, too much swinging for the fences. this is a bad situational hitting team.

  • r.w.g.

    Alex just gets it into his head sometimes that he needs to put the team on the board all by himself. We saw last season that he is capable of getting past this sometimes and I sincerely hope that there was more to last year than just a contract drive.

    I know he was much younger during his days in Seattle, but I’d like to see some of his numbers from that period regarding RISP. They are probably better and I believe it is because he felt less pressure. In Seattle he was surrounded with Edgarr Martinez, Ken Griffey Jr., and Bret Boone in his prime. As good as the Yankee lineups have been during his tenure, they haven’t quite had another Griffey or Martinez among them.

    That being said, it’s not like the signs weren’t there before the team gave him 10 years. This season is going like a few of his seasons in New York have gone. And even if it’s not his fault or it’s sample size, luck, mechanical.. whatever.. the guy has 9 more years on his deal and I’m already absolutely sick and tired of not his struggles, but the media attention they create. All it takes is a small stretch and all the pundits are right back to “Here we go again” and you know what? Alex buys into it.

  • Adam

    on the flip side, golden boy derek jeter is making contact with runners on base and he is getting two out at a time. i’d prefer he would strikeout too.

    • r.w.g.

      I think Derek and Bobby’s reduced OBPs (aren’t they both down more than 20 or 30 pts from their career avgs?) as well Giambi’s even more dreadful numbers with RISP are having a direct effect on Alex.

  • Manimal

    You know you have it bad when there is a guy on first with Jeter batting and your hoping he strikes out because you know hes going to 6-4-3. Arod is hitting over .300 and he was clutch when he had to(angels games he had a few hr’s, the go ahead hr vs the twins) If anyone, Jeter is my scapegoat. Some Captain he is.

  • jsbrendog

    i know it not all arods fault, but like ive said on this board many times this year, i feel like everytime i watch arod hit he strikes out.

    and as i type this i hear michael kay say arod hit a 3 run homer….lol…thats nice..prob cause i wasnt watching…

  • Hitman

    Arod = Extremely overrated! I knew the second the yankees agreed to re-sign him he’d be back to his old ways.