No speed in the early going

RISP woes be gone
Posada set to make ceremonial stadium visit
Nothing on bases, so far. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The Yankees have scored at least five runs in four of their five games, including six runs in two of their three losses. The one exception was a shutout. Despite the complete lack of hitting with runners in scoring position — .189/.333/.321 in 70 PA — the Yankees have still scored the seventh most runs in baseball. They’ve hit four homers and roughly a billion balls to the warning track, and more than a few of those will leave the yard once the weather starts to warm up.

The other element of the offense, the speed element, really hasn’t been on display just yet. The Yankees stole the fourth most bases in baseball last year but only have three in the early going. One of those three was Raul Ibanez after he took off in a full count last night, and that’s an anomaly. Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez have the other two steals. Baseball Reference says the Yankees have run in just four of their 89 stolen base chances this year (4.5%), roughly half of last year’s rate.

We’re only five games into the season, so it’s hard to get worked up over the lack of running. In fact, I’m willing to bet that a very big part of the lack of stolen base attempts has to do with the opposition. Jose Molina and Matt Wieters are two of the three best catchers in baseball when it comes to throwing out base runners, and the Yankees have yet to play anyone other than the Rays and Orioles. Another factor in the whole lack of speed thing has been Gardner’s playing time. He’s only started three of the five games because of the platoon situation, so more of him will result in more steals.

The Yankees aren’t a club that relies on the stolen base, so the lack of speed has hardly been noticed so far. The offense still isn’t clicking on all cylinders — either with the bat or the legs — and it’s tough to watch at times despite the consistent run scoring (minus the shutout). A little more Gardner and a little more Eduardo Nunez will get the running game in gear and open things up for the bats. This early in the season, the lack of speed is hardly a concern.

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RISP woes be gone
Posada set to make ceremonial stadium visit
  • Monterowasdinero

    Show that pic and you only need the words “no speed’.

  • Steve

    Release the Hounds!!

  • Mike HC

    Does the offense ever click on all cylinders though? I feel like every year we talk about how the offense hasn’t really ever got it going at the same time, and then by the end of the year we look up and we are a top 3 offense. This is just how it goes. Some aspects of the offense are working when others are not and some players are hot while others are cold.

  • LiterallyFigurative

    Gardner hasn’t played everyday and Granderson isn’t hitting or getting on base. I’m not a fan of batting Granderson 6th, even against lefties. He gets fewer PA’s and is in less of a position to use his speed.

    SSS

    • Needed Pitching

      I would think batting 6th would put him in more of a position to use his speed. Less worry about risking getting thrown out with bottom of the order coming up than with middle of the order coming up should enable him to be more aggressive.

    • jjyank

      That’s true, but I like Swishers OBP numbers in front of the heavy hitters as well. Maybe Girardi and the other coaches aren’t convinced Grandy’s numbers against lefties last year isn’t sustainable, I dunno. I would think that they think they are sustainable though, since it was K-Long that supposedly fixed the problem.

      In either case, I’m fine with it. I think at some point either Swisher or Granderson will force the issue by some combination of slumping or catching fire. For the beginning of the season though, I approve of lineup tinkering.

  • Bil

    Swisher is horrible in all aspects of the game, he only gets meaningless hits.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Wow, we’ve never heard that one before.

      • small sample size

        The truth hurts

        • ROBTEN

          Thanks for remembering me.

          Sincerely,
          Carl Williams

    • Monterowasdinero

      I laughed at Reimold not going from first to 3rd in the 9th inning on the hit to rf. Is Swish’s throw still bouncing on its way to third?

  • 42isNotMortal

    Didn’t see the A-Rod steal. Was this a straight steal or the back end of a double steal? Nunez is capable of 25-30 with enough PAs, which seems likely with Joes left side rest fest.

    • jjyank

      I was going to supply the information you requested, and then I saw your handle. Blasphemy!

      • pat

        I think you might have misread it.

        • jjyank

          heh wow I feel stupid.

    • Ted Nelson

      Nunez stole 22 last season.

  • Ted Nelson

    Didn’t realize they were 4th in SBs last season.

  • LiterallyFigurative

    Between Gardner, Granderson, Martin, Jeter and Nunez, you’ve got speed and basestealing around your core power guys.

    They’ll get it ramped up soon enough.