Jun
22

Hip, Hip, A-Rod!

By

Photo credit: Frank Franklin II/AP

By the end of the Yanks’ 6-3 victory over the hapless Orioles on June 3, it seemed as though Alex Rodriguez had finally arrived this year. He went 2 for 5 that night with a home run had reached the magical .300 plateau. Over his previous 26 games, A-Rod had hit .347/.409/.594 with 6 home runs — a pace that would translate to 38 dingers over a full season. It’s been all downhill since then.

A-Rod has now gone 49 ABs since his last home run. If he fails to homer tonight in the first or second innings, it will be his second such stretch of 50 homerless ABs this year. During that span, he is just 8 for 46 (.174) with only two walks in 12 games. And, oh yeah, the hip that sidelined A-Rod for four games is still bothering him a bit.

“It’s just one day at a time right now,” he said last night. “I’m definitely feeling better. It’s a slow process. I’ll be back out there tomorrow and I’ll tell you how I feel tomorrow. I hope I can start all six games on the trip, but I don’t want to talk about best or worst or six. I’ll definitely be out there tomorrow and then hopefully the next day.”

For the Yankees, A-Rod’s hip presents something of a problem. They’re currently amidst their final NL swing of the season and do not have the luxury of the DH until they return home next Tuesday. With the offensive malaise that has overtaken the club, the team cannot afford to stack Ramiro Pena above the pitcher’s spot and, in effect, give away two out of every nine outs.

The team, however, is putting a happy face on it. Both A-Rod and manager Joe Girardi liked what they saw from A-Rod last night, and I provisionally did too. By the end of the game when he was driving the ball, A-Rod seemed to be swinging more freely from his hips. In games last week, the Yanks’ third baseman appeared to be trying to drive forward with his torso instead. He needs a healthy hip to generate power.

“His at-bats were good tonight,” Girardi said. “Even in his first two at-bats, he just missed a couple of pitches. So I do sense he’s getting more comfortable. The more at-bats he gets, the more his timing will come back. He works very hard at everything. The pitch away, he works at all that stuff. Obviously, when you’re driving the ball the other way you’re staying on the ball, and that’s a good sign.”

Yet, despite these assurances, the hip is a problem that doesn’t go away overnight. A-Rod is on pace for just 20 home runs right now, and his triple-slash line of .276/.348/.459 is the worst since he was 19. A-Rod also suffers from the same problem the rest of us do: He’s not getting any younger. Expecting the 40-home run A-Rod to return might leave us grasping at straws.

Last year, Nate Silver’s concerns about A-Rod’s decline led us to note how the Yanks have to keep him healthy for the long haul. As long as they do that, the Yanks will be OK. But handle with care.

Categories : Musings
  • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

    does he still break the hr record?

    • the209

      (waiting for ‘A-rod’s hip’ to weigh in…)

      • arod’s hip

        moi?

        • the209

          who else?

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            WHO BUT!??!?!?!

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      I think the sooner he becomes a full time DH the better, though I don’t think that will be required any time soon.

    • vin

      Including this season, he has 7 more years under his contract. He started the year at 583. The record is 762, a difference of 179. He would need to average about 26 HRs per year for the rest of his contract. Barring any major injury he should still do it. Not sure if he’ll get to 800 though. That would probably require him to shift to DH full time within the next 2-3 years.

      • Chris

        He has 8 years counting this season left, not 7 – his contract runs through the 2017 season. That reduces the average to about 23 HR per season.

        For comparison, Griffey averaged 24 HR per season from 2001-2009 despite all of his injuries. (That starts in his second year in Cincinnati)

    • Jonathan P.

      Yes, he still does.

    • alightiningrodfan

      592, and counting. Go A-Rod!

  • JohnC

    If there was one positive in last night’s game, it was those 2 drives Arod hit to right center. Thats usually a sign that he is getting his stroke back. lets hope that carries over at least into tonight.

  • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

    get well soon arodimus prime

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

    Last year, Nate Silver’s projections of a decline for A-Rod were met with scorn. Alex, many reasoned, was simply a better and healthier athlete that his comparables, and PECOTA is only as good as the data it has from the past. If he’s an all-time great, how can we shoehorn him into a role? Yet, today, that decline may be more apparent than we or the Yanks would want it to be.

    So what, after two months were all ready to eat shit on this one? Please. He probably should have had the hip surgery in the offseason, and right now he’s not completely healthy…but you don’t just have an amazing year (followed up by a stellar October) and turn into what he’s turned into for good. Is he playing like shit right now? Yes, and it’s not all bad luck…he’s legitimately struggling. However, that isn’t to say that he can’t turn it around…or that a three bad weeks from a player experiencing injury issues is indicitave of an all time great’s ability levels.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

      Three months*

      • Frank

        I wouldn’t be surprised if he has another surgery after this season.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

          Yeah…maybe it’s for the best, he showed last year that he can still play with the bad hip. Hopefully when he gets it fixed he’ll be fine.

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

          I wouldn’t be either, but on the other hand, his doctor, who I’m willing to bet is a pretty darn good doctor, said he didn’t need it.

          • vin

            Yeah, but who do you trust more… Dr. Philippon or Captain Jack?

            • http://www.twitter.com/stophamm3rtime Dela G

              i prefer to trust Dr. Hibbert

            • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

              I choose option c. Captain Ron:

              http://filmgrounds.files.wordp.....in-ron.jpg

              • pat
              • vin

                Look how poorly photoshopped those heads are in that poster. They honestly couldn’t have gotten those actors together in front of a green screen?

                Side note:
                My friend’s actor/waiter ex-roommate would stand in for celebrity photoshoots. He and a black guy posed as the bodies for Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac for the 2005 classic, Guess Who. The guy was all excited when he saw 95% of himself on a billboard.

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

            I’m not going to speculate on what happened, but you’d think for something like that he should get three or four opinions. Maybe he did, who knows…maybe something else is wrong with his hip. The point is, that he’s not fully healthy right now and I’m not going to suggest that he’ll slow down based on a few injured months.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              I’m not going to speculate on what happened,

              … and you call yourself a Yankee fan. You have let me down, Captain Jack.

    • deuce bag poster

      I agree.

  • bonestock94

    All is not well in Yankee land. I might have to go from a 9 to an 8.

  • ADam

    I think your looking at the Yankees DH from 2012 – 2017.

    • vin

      And that’s not necessarily an awful thing. He hasn’t been very good defensively for a few years now. He has a front-loaded contract, which means he will have gotten paid the biggest bucks when he was a 3B, rather than just a DH. Although I’d like to see him remain productive while playing the field for a few more years, it may not happen. It still beats the rotating DH idea (as long as Ramiro Pena doesn’t become the full-time 3B).

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        2015 Yankee Opening Day Lineup:

        C-Jesus Montero (mind: blown)
        1B-Mark Teixeira
        2B-Robinson Cano
        SS-Melvin Croussett
        3B-J.R. Murphy (mind: re-blown)
        LF-Derek Jeter (in the final year of his contract
        CF-Slade Heathcott
        RF-Nick Swisher (the kids love him)
        DH-CentWAR Centaur™

        Bench: Gary Sanchez, Corban Joseph, DeAngelo Mack, Johnny Damon

        • A.D.

          Bench: … Johnny Damon

          This I enjoyed.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            He’s got the body of an 18 year old Kalahari bushman warrior.

        • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

          melvin? ss? yeah?

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            I made an adjustment.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Ah, crap, I forgot about my main man:

          C-Jesus Montero
          1B-Mark Teixeira
          2B-Robinson Cano
          SS-Cito Bashton (I would have crossed out Melvin, but that’s typographically impossible)
          3B-J.R. Murphy
          LF-Derek Jeter (holding the seat warm for Angelo Gumbs)
          CF-Slade Heathcott
          RF-Nick Swisher
          DH-CentWAR Centaur™
          2nd DH (special league exception)-Melvin Croussett

          Bench: Gary Sanchez, Corban Joseph, DeAngelo Mack, Johnny Damon

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

            No Romine…for shame.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              I’m planning on using him, along with Kelvin DeLeon, in the trade to acquire Zack Greinke.

              • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

                Great so he can go 1-9 in the first half in the Bronx. Fuck that.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                  With that offense, I expect him to win 15 games and lose -3 games.

                  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

                    Oddly enough, I think whomever trades for Zack Greinke will end up overpaying, aside from his sub human 2009 he’s just been merely a very good pitcher…nothing otherworldly or anything.

              • Rose

                What are the chances that Romine has a better career than Mitsubishi Miguel Montero?

                I wouldn’t say it’s all that far fetched. Not likely, maybe…but not far fetched.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                  Who cares, Miguel Montero is a stupid punk assmunch. Screw that jerkface.

                  Sincerely,
                  Jose Valverde

        • thurdonpaul

          tommie, i thought you were serious, until i saw Johnny Damons name :)

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            I can see him totally sticking around until his mid 40s (if a team will have him), trying to add more hits to his résumé.

            • thurdonpaul

              but isnt he in his mid 40s now ?

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder
              • the209

                his birth cert down in Latin America says as much…

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                  … Why doesn’t Johnny Damon just post a copy of his birth certificate online so we can put this controversy to rest?!?!?

                  Sincerely,
                  Orly Taitz

        • Rose

          Bench: DeAngelo Mack

          So I’m back up in the game
          Running things to keep my swing
          Letting all the people know
          That I’m back to run the show
          ‘Cos what you did, you know, was wrong
          And all the nasty things you’ve done
          So, baby, listen carefully
          While I sing my come-back song

          /Mark Morrison’d

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            YOU LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIED TO ME

            • Rose

              Can’t believe it came out in 1996…sounds so 1991.

      • Chris

        Defensive metrics have him as about 2 runs per season worse than average over the last 6 years. Most of the negative comes from 2006 and 2009, and most of the positive from 2004 and 2010. Basically what it says is that he’s an average defensive 3B, and has been for the last few years.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

          Speaking of his defense, he still has a really really strong arm…perhaps he should be playing further back?

  • yoo-boo

    Edited by RAB: Why do people insist on posting off-topic? We say it often enough. Do not post off-topic. Thank you.

    • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

      repeat offender

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Habitual line-stepper.

  • Mike HC

    I get the feeling that he and Tiger (and many others) may be looking for a new doctor now that Galeo is in deep shit.

    • Mike HC

      *Galea