Since last May 3, Jeter has hit .257/.332/.333 with 6 HR — none in nearly 280 PAs — over 742 PAs. This is more than a slump. Sigh.
Just a little old. It’s still good! It’s still good!
Yeah, but in the “intangibles” category, he’s got at least a smiley-face.
We can’t bench him but Joe can certainly move him down in the lineup. With Gardner drawing more walks and getting on base more we can flip him and Jeter in the lineup. Jeter ain’t gonnna volunteer so Joe will have to make a bold move for once.
I’m not totally sure I’m in love with the idea of “Brett Gardner, leadoff hitter” any longer. He appears to be having better ABs from lower in the order this year. I’m certainly well aware that Gardner’s OBP is now higher than Jeter’s though. It hasn’t gone unnoticed.
He appears to be having better ABs from lower in the order this year.
Do you think this is because of where he’s hitting though? It certainly is a different mind set and could be a factor, but I think I’d still give him first crack at leading off.
I’m not totally sure I’m in love with the idea of “Brett Gardner, leadoff hitter” any longer. He appears to be having better ABs from lower in the order this year.
I’d still try him back at the top, though. Maybe whatever happened to Brett’s process at the bottom of the order (mental break from the spotlight at the top? less pressure and more concentration on his swing refinements? dumb luck?) is something that isn’t permanently related to batting order position that he can take with him back to the top of the order.
I certainly want to try first before throwing our hands up and assuming correlation equals causation and that Gardner axiomatically can’t hit well as a leadoff hitter.
He might pass the better than Jesus test though.
It seems to me that he just figured it out and got out of his slump, and it has nothing to do with his batting order position. In his first 7 games after being moved out of the leadoff spot, Gardner hit .105/.105/.316/.421. Why didn’t the new spot in the batting order help him then?
For reference, he’s hitting .583/.750/1.167/1.917 in his last 7 games.
It seems to me that he just figured it out and got out of his slump, and it has nothing to do with his batting order position.
I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say it had nothing to do with his batting order position. There’s plenty of scenarios where being lowered in the order could have jumpstarted Gardner’s slumpbusting.
I’ll agree with you, though, that Gardner now hitting well in the 9 hole doesn’t mean he couldn’t also now hit well at the top of the order.
One causal phenomenon (Gardner moving to the bottom of the order caused him to start hitting well) does not imply its reverse (Gardner moving out of the bottom of the order will cause him to stop hitting well).
This is more than a slump.
It’s Beyond Baseball.
Cue the montage of ground balls hit to shortstop, double play turns, and confused Jeter face while the piano music plays
Lol it pains me to see Jeter struggle but that was funny.
How about Brett Gardner being back to league average already? That was fast
I wish this were a choose your own adventure and we had the power to mix up the order mid-story.
With Jeter, it’s not just the lack of HR’s, we’d all be happy with 10 HR’s a season. It’s the quality of the struck ball. He does not hit a ball over the outfielders’ heads, does not line a ball with authority in the gaps and rarely pulls a solid single. There has been an overall quality- diminishment in his ab’s-not just the lack of HR power.
if you take out all the infield hits jeter has been getting…his AVG would be around the mendoza line. Hell jeter has 2 extra base hits this season….which nunez already has in 10 AB’s..
if you take out all the infield hits jeter has been getting…his AVG would be around the mendoza line.
If you take out all the surgical implants, Kim Kardashian’s body would look like Khloe Kardashian’s body.
I’m pretty sure jeter, even with all his money, can’t keep on buying luck
Ground balls are going to find holes and occasionally go for infield singles… that’s baseball. Not every ground ball you hit will find a fielders glove in a timely manner.
You aren’t even producing stats that show Jeter’s rate of infield singles is unusually high for a slap hitter. You have to at least substantiate your claim. Jeter’s BABIP is still only .278 and his production is still piss-poor, so unless you provide some evidence there’s not much reason to think he’s getting all that lucky from the surface stats.
25 hits, 11 infield singles. With a 10% line drive rate a .278 babip is expected when you’re not driving the ball. And it’s not like Jeter is scorching groundballs…they mostly have been weak grounders….look at the spray chart below.
No one is arguing that he’s a good hitter.
The question is whether he can be passable.
It may be as flukish and unsustainable that he’s hitting no line drives as it is that he’s getting infield singles. That he started out the season absolutely miserably is just not evidence that he can’t have a hot stretch or two and end the season with somewhat respectable numbers.
Well I’m willing to give this particular claim a pass after having, you know, watched the games. Sometimes what our eyes tell us is in fact the truth. He has several – already, in a relatively short season thus far not marked by a preponderance of hits of any kind – dribbling infield singles.
Mixed into a 300/350/450 slash line it’s not worrisome at all. As part of the dismal line he *has* put together and it’s extremely concerning.
He is not hitting the ball with authority. He’s late. He’s guessing wrong. Added all up and getting to a 100+ ops+ is going to prove an extreme challenge for the captain, one he is quite unlikely to achieve. Ever again.
Again, no one is saying that he’s hitting the ball with authority.
Your eyes are pretty miserable at telling you who is getting lucky and unlucky over the course of 20 games… and more so your mind. You remember the dribbling grounders, but maybe not the grounder that will go for a hit, say, 55, 60% of the time but didn’t that time. Because unless you really study this stuff and have the data in front of you as you watch the game, you don’t know that ball will be a hit x% of the time. It’s just hard to say that infield singles are good luck, without acknowledging that some form(s) of bad luck might be creeping into his overall performance. Whether that’s two or three outs all season that will be hits more often than not, the mere fact that he’s not hitting more balls that will be hits more often, a nagging injury that’s negatively impacting him, etc.
It’s especially hard to logically get your head around being ok with a power hitter getting 11 infield singles in 25 hits and not a guy who hits a lot of slow grounders and has at least some speed. It’s more likely a guy like Jeter hits an infield single, not less. If your power hitter’s numbers are inflated due to some flukish infield singles I’m more concerned.
And no one is looking for a 100 OPS+. His wOBA and fWAR were both 10th among SS last season with 400 PAs. He was only at an OPS+ of 90. I think anyone will take that.
Fun with Arbitrary Endpoints time:
Starting with the 15-3 bangwagoning of the Orioles, where Brett hit his first longball over the fence and emerged from his coma of suckitude, he’s hitting .318/.423/.818 in these past 26 PA. That’s 7 singles, 2 doubles, 3 homers, 4 walks, and 8 strikeouts.
The abysmal Jeter? During that same stretch of games, he’s hitting an atrocious, craptastic, OMG bench that guy immediately… .321/.375/.357. No, seriously. 32 PA, 9 singles, one double, 3 walks, and 4 strikeouts (and a sac fly). Seems worse than that to our biased memories (because situationally, he’s generally getting hits when nobody’s on and making outs when guys are on), but he’s actually be semi-productive in a vacuum.
Sure, Jeter’s bat is now a hollow Luis Castillo model, and it’s a little shocking to see Gardner muscling up with the ISO and Jeter turning into a punch-and-judy, but be honest: Would you be happy with a sub .400 SLG from Jeter if he could maintain a .300ish average and a .370ish OBP? over a larger sample?
I think I would. No XBH sucks, but if Jeter can still knock in singles and work walks and get on base 37% of the time, I can convince myself to ignore the fact that he’s being paid two to three times his market value.
I can agree with this if he’s getting on base I’ll take it over less OBP and more power
Would you be happy with a sub .400 SLG from Jeter if he could maintain a .300ish average and a .370ish OBP? over a larger sample?
At this point I’d be thrilled with that. Add that to his gold glove defense and….nevermind. But yeah, I’d sign up for a .300/.370 line in a second.
Yeah, the fact that he’ll eat up most of that .370 OBP value with poor defense sucks. But he’s almost a sunk cost at this point.
I’ve given up on wanting Jeter to be a 4 WAR player anymore, I just don’t want him to be a subzero WAR player. Bad defense + no power + a .300/.370 BA/OBP is probably an approximation of league average.
Any port in a storm.
That’s about as half full a glass as can be poured right now! Unfortunately I don’t think that’s where this is all headed.
Someone get him guitar lessons and Bernie’s recording deal.
I have absolutely no problem with a powerless Jeter if he’s getting on base at a .375 clip. The problem are his GB% and batted ball tendencies. The spray chart is sort of ugly:
[also counts balls that didn't reach IF dirt]
[throws up on Mister Delaware]
[accepts this with calm eyes, evokes comparisons to Derek Jeter]
You can’t just say jeter is batting .300 there he’s fine. In that span Jeter has had 4 infield hits, ONE line drive, 21 ground balls, 7 flyballs to 3 walks…basically yes he is hitting .300 but it’s been on completely weak contact.
Gardner on the other hand has hit 3 line drives, 6 fly balls and 7 ground balls while drawing 8 walks. basically we believe in Gardner because he has looked worlds better than jeter at the plate. Gardner putting up those types of batted balls might be able to sustain his performance, jeter with his…will most definitely not.
You can’t just say jeter is batting .300 there he’s fine.
Is that what I said, though?
Well you kind of implied that if jeter can maintain his performance from over this span…to which i say…if you look at the type of hits he’s getting…he can’t. I would love for him to hit .300/.370… it’ll still require a vast improvement from jeter for him to do so. The way he’s hitting now he’s running on mainly luck over getting hard singles.
This. These particular results aren’t reflective of the larger reality at play here. Gardner’s may not be either. But Gardener’s output is certainly closer to expectations given the set of inputs outlined above.
You can’t just look at a few infield singles in a small sample and assume Jeter has not had as much or more bad luck this season as good luck. Ground balls (according to Mister Delaware below) go for an average BA of .238… Jeter is at .250 on the season. Doesn’t seem like his luck is that amazing on grounders. And he may be having a bit of bad luck not getting more liners that is as unsustainable as the occasional infield single.
He’s probably not a .300 hitter right now, but if he can mix in the occasional liner his BA could be higher than it has been so far this season. Add some walks, and .270/.340 is right where he was last season. The occasioanl liner and perhaps he can replicate last season: 2.5 fWAR, 10th among MLB SS.
Groundballs actually turn into hits quite often – more than flyballs. If all Jeter hits are ground balls, then he’ll do pretty much what you need out of a leadoff hitter – get on base.
The line drives and flyballs are nice, but the question is whether you’ll take the OBP due to groundballs even though he has no power.
Generic flyballs are still better than generic ground balls. Since the start of 2007 …
Ground balls: .238/.238/.258
Fly balls: .220/.215/.582
They might be better, but all Chris said was that ground balls get you on base. You basically just proved his point.
Popups get you on base at a better than 0% clip. .238 doesn’t work as a batting average or an OBP.
It works better than .220/.215, which is all he said. “Quite often” is debatable. More often than flyballs is not.
To approximately quote Cashman via Ian O’Connor – “If you want what’s fair, how much higher than everyone else do we have to be?”
To which Jeter replied “Let me talk to Levine and work this thing out.” This last part is hearsay.
The thing is his average is fueled largely by infield hits, can you realistically expect 37 year old legs that play SS every day to continue to leg out all these infield hits in the summer when there are fewer offdays?
In terms of forcasting sustainable 2011 production, though, the good luck of a few infield singles could easily counterbalance bad luck of a few more solidly hit balls than normal finding fielders gloves. I think it’s worth pointing out that he’s still not hitting the ball with authority, but I just have a hard time with people throwing out good luck as necessarily unsustainable. More often than not I think luck tend to even out. For a poor hitter like Jeter (today’s Jeter) that could be a bad thing as a IF singles stop rolling in, but his BABIP of .278 could actually mean that his luck evening out means a few more grounders find the OF grass. And sometimes luck never gets around to evening out and you have a fluke season of either good or bad luck…
[counts balls that didn't reach IF dirt]
[wishes he'd doubled checked that "REPLY" was clicked under the spray chart]
B-Ref is awesome. I could spend hours on that site and when I’m bored I sometimes even do it
Hate to embarrass the captain but the 5 infielder shift is the way to go based on the spray chart.
49 singles to go to 3,000 hits!
At this point I don’t think you hate to embarrass the captain. Unless you just keep doing things you hate over and over.
Think of it this way, if Jeter hits lead off then he can’t possibly ground into a double play his first AB.
More importantly, and less sarcastically, we all know the changes within a batting order are relatively negligable over the course of a season, so I don’t think we should get too upset outside of the decline itself.
Also, Jeter only hitting singles isn’t so bad if the guys behid him are driving him in. As far as I can tell, he hasn’t lost a significant amount of speed, so he can still move around the bases.
If you don’t like Gardner at the top of the lineup why not try Granderson, Swish, Tex, A-Rod, Cano, Posada, Jeter, Martin, Gardner?
“More importantly, and less sarcastically, we all know the changes within a batting order are relatively negligable over the course of a season, so I don’t think we should get too upset outside of the decline itself.”
In 2010, the leadoff position hit 15.9% more than the 7th hole, 19.5% more than the 8th and 23.2% more than the 9th. Each step down in the order is about 18 PAs over the course of the season on a generic team (so more on the Yanks).
How many runs does that translate to for the offense, though?
Could be a win, depending on who you flip the extra 100 PAs with. Like right now, in just about 100 PAs each (less than the difference between leadoff and 7th), Granderson has been worth 18.7 runs to Jeter’s 7.7, so that’s a full win. Martin’s at 17.3, so almost a full win there as well. Obviously extrapolating the first month over the whole season isn’t all that smart, but its pretty safe to say Jeter isn’t currently one of our top 6 hitters and won’t be unless something drastically changes.
Obviously you can’t waste easy wins, but I think that sort of falls in line with it not being all that huge a deal. One win might cost you the playoffs or home-field, certainly, but not necessarily and it’s not going to take you from 95 to 85 wins or something.
Don’t get me wrong, I would also like to see Jeter dropped in the batting order. As you say, though, SSS returns are not necessarily something a manager should act on at all or at least not too quickly. In Girardi’s defense, if you expected Jeter to rebound a little bit from his .320 wOBA of 2010 (to say .330)… that’s a lot better than Martin’s 2009 and 2010 and not far behind Granderson’s 2009 and 2010. Obviously a hot or cold streak can end at any moment. I do think we’re past that point and he needs to move Jeter. At least he has moved Granderson and Martin up to the 1 or 2 spot occasionally and not been totally dense about it… of course one could argue that Gardner was more likely to turn it around (which he has recently) and therefore Jeter should have been the one moved… If the gap between Jeter and other hitters maintains itself for a bit longer, maybe we’ll see a change.
Hasn’t lost a lot of speed? He’s slow as hell. Joe won’t hit anyone other than Jeter or Gardner at the top so it might as well be the better player, Gardner.
It’s a good thing that 1B isn’t to his left out of the batters box…
I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I don’t get this post… why are we spit-out-my-cereal surprised? Are we surprised that Jeter has led off so many games? We already knew that, we’ve been watching.
(not trying to be obnoxious or anything, just asking what this post was getting at. Is it saying: “Isn’t it crazy that our worst hitter is our leadoff man?”)
And it’s not even our worst hitter. While it would never happen, even less likely than Jeter being dropped to 9th, we could have Jorge hitting leadoff!
Seriously, though, we’re still in the SSS mode. Is Jeter really beginning to turn his luck around? He’s certainly not hitting the ball with authority, but at least he’s getting on base.
And is Gardner really turning it around or does he turn back into a pumpkin in the next week? Look what happened to ARod.
As much as these changes seem to make sense to us, it ain’t gonna happen, so it’s all just desires on our part and good fun to discuss.
“And it’s not even our worst hitter. While it would never happen, even less likely than Jeter being dropped to 9th, we could have Jorge hitting leadoff!”
Using wOBA, Jeter is still our worst hitter by a safe little margin. That’s just how tragic of a combination a .313 OBP + .020 isoP is.
Would you REALLY prefer Posada leading off over Jeter? Based on stats, it would seem so, but there’s NO WAY I’d look only at the stats for the leadoff spot.
What else would you look at? Baseball is a really easily quantified game. You’d have to look at more than just OPS or wOBA, but if every stat you looked (hitting + baserunning, number of pitches/PA, etc.) all combined to tell you your offense would be better off with Posada leading off than Jeter… you would really just rely on conventional wisdom to say Jeter looks like a lead-off guy and not Posada? Of course, the point is not to lead-off Posada… the point is that there are other alternatives who look like better hitters than Posada so far this season and don’t take 10 seconds between bases.
Looking at this comparison, speed and base running skills have to be considered. There’s no way in the world I’d have Posada bat leadoff over Jeter this year simply based on metrics. The gap between the 2 would have to be miles to make up for his inability to break up a double play or go from first to third on a single, or score form second.
Yeah, but how would you compare speed and baserunning skills without quantifying them (turning into stats)? I specifically mention baserunning as one stat you’d look at outside of pure hitting production.
“There’s no way in the world I’d have Posada bat leadoff over Jeter this year simply based on metrics. The gap between the 2 would have to be miles”
So you’d rather just make a baseless decision than actually quantify how far the gap is in terms of hitting and how far it is in terms of baserunning? Jeter is a cool 0-for-2 on stolen base attempts, so the gap might not be as huge as you think. It might be. I just don’t understand why you are so bearish on statistical analysis. As I see it, what you would do would require statistical analysis to do correctly.
why don’t we just have a race around the bases between jeter and posada to see who starts… how close would it be?
So we should just always take Olympic sprinters and make them lead-off hitters because speed is the only important skill? No. I am not saying I want Jorge to lead-off, I am questioning RL’s comment that he would not use stats to figure that out. There are baserunning stats. Baseball is a game where a whole lot can be quantified.
dude i was joking… that race would be hilarious…
I do agree with you that there are probably better options than Jeter. I was simply saying (joking really), that there would be a worse choice. Regardless of the metrics, Posada would be worse than Jeter in my opinion.
Again, I don’t see how you could do this with any accuracy without quantifying it statistically. What you are saying is quantifiable. How much does it help your team that Jeter can steal the occasional base (maybe… 0 for 2 this season), go 1st to 3rd, go 2nd to home… etc.? How much does it hurt your team that Jeter will get the most PAs and can’t hit the ball out of the infield? I am not saying Jorge would be a better lead-off hitter. I am questioning your dismissal of using any statistics to make that call.
You’re misunderstanding my point. I’m not dismissing the value of statistical analysis of speed and base running IQ or skill. I’m just not aware of it, so I can’t point to it. If you are aware of these metrics being available, I suspect it would show Jeter as a better choice for leadoff hitter than Posada.
This is probably right. If your lineup was 7 sub-replacement players plus Jeter and Posada, you’d hit Jeter 1st and Posada 2nd since it allows Posada to knock Jeter. I only brought up wOBA to say Bad Posada has been better than Bad Jeter, not that Posada would make a better leadoff hitter.
Seriously, though, we’re still in the SSS mode. Is Jeter really beginning to turn his luck around? He’s certainly not hitting the ball with authority, but at least he’s getting on base.
I can’t agree that “at least he’s getting on base.” He’s not. Plus, he’s not doing it in key situations. If you tell me that in the 6th and 8th, both innings he ended by stranding runners in scoring position, he was going to do anything but make a weak out, I’d say you were either lying or delusional.
His hits have been mostly of the bloop and infield variety. Once opposing teams realize he hasn’t hit a ball anywhere near the warning track all season, they’re going to play shallow and the bloop hits disappear, along with the points off his average.
“I can’t agree that “at least he’s getting on base.” He’s not.”
This is a relative comment. That recently he’s at a .370 OBP. If you don’t think that’s getting on base… not sure what you’re looking for.
“Once opposing teams realize he hasn’t hit a ball anywhere near the warning track all season, they’re going to play shallow and the bloop hits disappear, along with the points off his average.”
You realize that opposing teams employ advanced scouts and have access to far more data than we do, right? They already know damn well what his spray chart looks like. If you know it, why would you assume people whose job it is to know it don’t?
There is no defensive alignment that can take luck out of the equation. Playing 6 or 7 IFers or a softball depth OF against Jeter literally might be the best alignment, but when he gets lucky and hits a pop-up or a line-drive it’s going to be an XBH. There’s always going to be spots on the field where balls will squeak through and fall in. More seriously than 7 IFers, if you play the IF in he’s going to have more grounders go through… back and he’s going to have more IF singles… it’s just inevitable.
“he’s not doing it in key situations.”
This is a joke. Please tell me this is a joke… Looking at a tiny sample and saying he isn’t hitting in key situations? He got two outs in two ABs… you know who else does that sometimes? Albert Pujols. He’s going to get out more than 50% of the time he gets up. Crazy stuff… obviously Pujols can’t hit because he might make two weak outs in a row. You don’t have to resort to comical logic like this to prove Jeter can’t hit. Just list his hitting stats.
I will be very happy if jeter hits around 285/.355/.375. That is in my opinion, based on what we’ve seen over the last year and a quarter, way optimistic.
Realistically, im expecting .275/.340/.375
Which is fine if he is hitting in the bottom third of the order.
I do not see a >.700 OPS in Jeter’s future over any meaningful course of time. Love to be wrong though.
An optimized lineup can push across anywhere from 5-15 additional runs, or about one or two more wins a season.
It’s not a huge deal that he’ll get 20 more PA’s than the seven hitter. They’ll still win 90+ games.
I guess I’ve sort of come to terms with Jeter batting 1st or 2nd. I mean it’s horrible, but what can I do about it? The only way he gets dropped to the bottom third is some ridiculous prolonged slump – like an inverse-Dimaggio no hit streak of 56 games.
But the thing that could be done is reduce his at-bats by giving him more days off. Nunez may or may not be better than current Jeter, but he won’t complain about batting 8th or 9th. The bench needs a captain too.
1. I labeled myself the Bench Captain back in HS. It worked as well as something like that can work.
2. I love the handle “Grit Storage”.
I can only imagine the reaction people would be having toward Jeter if the Yankees weren’t in first place playing .650 baseball.
I imagine it would involve far too many capital letters.
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