May
17

On offensive slumps and frustration

By

(REUTERS/Mark Blinch)

I don’t know if there’s anything in baseball more frustrating than an underachieving team. If there is, I’m not sure I want to know. The Yankees have underachieved through their first 37 games of the season, but don’t confuse underachieving with being bad. They’ve played okay at best overall, but that’s not what they’re capable of. They haven’t played up to their full potential, specifically the starting pitching last month and the offense this month.

Last night’s 8-1 loss to the Blue Jays marked the eighth time in their last 16 games that the Yankees were held to two runs or less. That’s very hard to swallow. They’ve hit just .258/.323/.425 during those 16 games compared to a .279/.354/.479 performance in their first 21 games of the season. Their strikeout rate has gone up (15.7 K% vs. 18.4 K%) and their walk rate has gone down (10.2 BB% vs. 8.1 BB%) during those two admittedly arbitrary samples. Maybe the only difference between the first 21 games and the last 16 games is Derek Jeter‘s ridiculous hot streak. Who knows?

Is the offense going to come around at some point and start clicking on all (or at least most) cylinders? Yeah probably. It’ll be glorious when it happens but I don’t expect it to happen anytime soon. The Yankees appear content to just keep running the same ol’ lineup out there every night and hope that these problems will just correct themselves, which is fine I suppose. I wish they were a little more proactive with making slight changes — dropping Mark Teixeira in the lineup, moving Raul Ibanez and Nick Swisher up, etc. — but there’s value in patience. It’s just tough to expect improvement when no changes are made.

One thing that I do believe is very important right now is getting Curtis Granderson a day off. I don’t mean sometime this weekend or early next week, I’m talking tonight on the turf in Toronto. Granderson’s started every game of the season in center field and he’s stuck in a 5-for-36 rut at the moment (four of those five hits are homers, ironically enough), so let’s get the man off his feet for once. It may help re-ignite his bat or it may not, but I do know that fatigued players are less effective players. A day of rest for Curtis could end up helping the offense in a big way.

There are still 125 games to go this year and that’s great news because the Yankees are going need all the time they can get to figure this thing out. They’re lucky the AL East is so competitive right now because no team has really run away with the division yet. Sitting 3.5 games back in mid-May is nothing, not when there are so many intra-divison games left to play. The Yankees don’t need a shake-up or anything drastic, but they do need to start showing signs of improvement. Talk is cheap; it’s not all that early in the season anymore and the excuses are starting to run out. This is a results town and the results haven’t been there this month.

Categories : Offense, Rants
  • http://www.twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    “I don’t know if there’s anything in baseball more frustrating than an underachieving team.”

    Royals/Cubs/Pirates/[insert cursed franchise here] fans everywhere cry a solitary tear.

    • Jimmy McNulty

      They know what they’re getting into. It’s like if you marry Charlie Sheen, you gotta realize that he’s going to do a lot of blow and fuck a shitload of hookers.

    • rek4gehrig

      U really cannot be comparing the Yankees to Royals/Pirates/Cubs. Really?!!!!

  • JohnC

    Hard to sit Granderson with Gardner on the shelf. Unless they play Jones in CF to give him a day off

    • Strat

      Wouldn’t Wise be a better choice in CF?

      • JohnC

        NO, he’d be the WISE choice

  • Typical MIT Nerd

    Two thoughts on this season:

    1. The offense really does look old. When you’re replacing your youngest starter with a 40 year old, something is wrong. A-Rod looks old. Teixeira looks really old. Martin looks really, really old. Only Jeter is offering more, in the entire lineup, than could have been expected.

    2. How badly are they missing a guy like Halladay or Darvish. Great pitchers have been out there for the taking. Yet, this front office has neither developed the talent they had nor used that talent for a legitimate upgrade. Given Hughes and Joba, Pineda was a sideways move.

    • Jimmy McNulty

      How badly are they missing a young bat in the line up with upside. I mean you can count on Montero to get better, how much better do you think Teixeira will get? He hasn’t been an elite hitter since 2009. A-Rod? Historically great player, but the dude’s pretty fucking old. Darvish would be like water in the desert for this team. I wonder how much Hamels is going to cost.

      At least they didn’t sign Pujols to 270M.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      Yet, this front office has neither developed the talent they had nor used that talent for despite some very good efforts to make a trade with a partner that was truely interested and obtain a legitimate upgrade.

      Let’s be fair. Toronto was not interested or motivated to trade Halladay to the Yankees. While you didn;t mention it, Seattle with Lee was a similar situation. They chose not to pursue Darvish, which may prove to be a mistake, but a hot start by him won’t tell the whole story. We’ll need a few seasons to determine if they should have made a solid offer for him.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        These moves aren’t disasters yet, you’re right, and they did try to get a second elite starter…but this team’s track record has been shit lately. They signed CC, which…duh, and they’ve found a couple of good relievers. That’s fucking awful.

        • Ted Nelson

          How about a little context and analysis?

      • Typical MIT Nerd

        Looking back a package of Hughes, Joba, and Montero for Halladay would have been very fair (which was never offered). We overvalued the prospects. That would have been a better package than what the Jays got. Hughes+Montero wasn’t even on the table.

        For Lee, again, it just wasn’t a great package. If you leave it close, you give the other team a chance to take something they’re prefer more.

        You’re also forgetting the Haren deal which the Yankees could have easily topped.

        And on Darvish, they’ll end up spending more on Hammels. Both would have needed to establish themselves in NYC and with the Yankees.

        • Ted Nelson

          Why are you evaluating trades using hindsight?

          “For Lee, again, it just wasn’t a great package. If you leave it close, you give the other team a chance to take something they’re prefer more.”

          So they should make a habit of overpaying for players?

          “You’re also forgetting the Haren deal which the Yankees could have easily topped.”

          Because you say so? Skaggs was pretty comparable to Banuelos, and they wanted an MLB starter on top of that.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        It’s McNulty and the MIT Nerd. Just ignore the entire thread. Nothing good is bound to come out of it.

        • Jimmy McNulty

          I don’t think anyone here is saying that they’ll miss the playoffs…you’re the one that thinks they’ll be so awesome that MLB will award them two WS titles this year.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            You read my mind. Unfortunately, it was at the expense of reading my actual comments on here.

    • http://yes jim

      Can’t fire the players, so: 1) Hire Mickey Hatcher. K-Long has only two players over .300. When they do hit, they don’t drive in runs….thus 3 for 33RISP. Grandys average is going south. They’ve all turned into long fly hitters. Less contact. I’m so tired of watching A-Rod’s faces when he blows yet another opportunity. The Blue Jays scored three different times when they had two out. For the Yanks….it would be a miracle. 2) Fire Larry Rothschild. The only success he’s had is pitchers giving up the long fly. He was hired based on two three hour meetings on how he’d fix AJ. How’d that work out? Kuroda, five homers last two games. Hughes, a homer a game. Nova, ERA rising like the temperature. He hasn’t worked with Andy, but, two homers in his game and a few in the minors. Even CC really doesn’t look like CC. Phelps gets by because he spends time in the bullpen away from our pitching guru. I’m also tired of the word stretching out. Bard and Feliz made the switch from bullpen to starter…It’s funny the only success story is Kennedy who got away from the Yanks. 3) New bench coach. If Pena’s job is to give advise, it stinks. Also, tell me where his coaching has helped the passed balls and the blocks. Montero couldn’t catch here and Stewart can? (Mauer and Wieters are 6’4″, but, Montero was too tall?) By the way, why didn’t we try to take a base on him? (Grandy on first, A-Rod swings at the first pitch..DP) Just some angry thoughts from an angry fan…maybe if I take a day off like Girardi gives his players in the second month, I can calm down. By the way Yankee hitters, it’s time to go the other way. Singles and baserunners. Maybe move the other team off the plate once in awhile. Maybe even take a pitch when the other guys walk in a run with the bases loaded? (Or even take a pitch when your guy has thrown thirty and been out there for 45 minutes) Or just take a pitch. Sorry and thanks!

    • Ted Nelson

      You know that “old” and “bad” are not synonyms, right?

      Every team would benefit from another Ace on their roster… Developing Ps is not something where you have complete control over the outcome. You’re going to fail a good % of the time.

      • forensic

        This from the same Ted Nelson who bemoans the Yankees inability to develop pitchers in nearly every game thread?

        So which is it? They suck at development because they can’t do it or suddenly it’s ok becuase it’s tough?

        • forensic

          Sorry, I may have crossed signals here, maybe that was Greg who does that.

          • Ted Nelson

            Yeah, that’s not me.

            I think that the current regime has actually done a pretty good job finding and developing Ps. It’s an inexact science. I would really give them an incomplete so far, because a lot of their work is just coming up or getting ready to come up. Hughes and Joba haven’t worked out, but it’s tough to isolate the cause.

  • Cris Pengiucci

    One definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    I say this partially in jest, as there are so many variables that do actually change from start to start, even if the lineup stays the same (or close to it). Yes, there is some value in patience, but it’s probably time for some minor tweaking of the lineup.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    Yeah, Mo and Pineda are gone and now Robertson and Gardner are too? I’m not really feeling this season. If they’re going to win the East they’ll need some kick ass production from A-Rod and Teixeira, which they aren’t getting. Cano’s not really hitting all that well either, by his lofty standards. Coltrane isn’t hitting either.

    I mean, honestly if you told us in February of the season that Teixeira isn’t going to hit again and they’d lose Rivera and Pineda for the whole year and miss Robertson and Gardner for a significant chunk of the season, and to boot that they’re going to need to rely on an Andy Pettitte comeback in the rotation you’d probably call it a mulligan. The Blue Jays are getting a hell of a lot better and we know the Rays are a powerhouse, Boston’s not going to be this bad all season either. The Yankees’ competitive advantage is waining, partly due to MLB’s new CBA rules regarding payroll and amateur spending, and partly because the rest of baseball are tapping into big new revenue streams and getting better scouting and analytics departments themselves. No, they’re not doomed but the days of them being a perennial WS favorite are coming to a close. I can easily see a third place finish and a struggle to get that final wildcard spot.

    • Strat

      “The Blue Jays are getting a hell of a lot better and we know the Rays are a powerhouse, Boston’s not going to be this bad all season either.”

      Based on what we’ve seen so far this season, I see no evidence that any of this is true. The Blue Jays are better, but a he’ll of a lot? Tampa is a powerhouse, really? And if the Yankees future looks so bleak, does Boston appear to have a brighter future?

      • Jimmy McNulty

        Can you even read?

        The Jays are a lot better than they have been, and the Rays are in first place they’ve made the playoffs four out of the last five years and went to the WS once. Where did I say Boston’s future was bright? Their future is brighter than it currently is, you honestly think they’re going to have a winning percentage around .460 all season? Look, playoffs aren’t looking too hot for them at all, but I think they’ll win more than 75 games, which is what they’re on pace for right now.

        • Strat

          Yes I can read. Reading you last post seems more realistic, now that you’ve softened your original position somewhat.

          • Jimmy McNulty

            I didn’t mean to imply that Boston was going to be good this season just better than what they have been, and if they win 84 games that’s quite a bit better than what they have been.

          • Jimmy McNulty

            Note, Boston still might actually have a good year. Who knows, crazier things have happend. Maybe Hughes will continue his streak of good starts too.

      • TomH

        The trend lines are distinctly against the Yankees and in favor of the Jays and Rays, no matter whether you agree with “powerhouse” or “hell of a lot.” They’re younger teams.

        Mike Axisa writes that “They haven’t played up [to] their full potential, specifically the starting pitching last month and the offense this month. The point is, though, that their “potential” is a declining quantity, compared to that of Toronto and TB, not to mention Texas. Worse, they seem to have a front office that is also in some sort of relative decline vis-a-vis these others.

        • Jimmy McNulty

          The team’s old and decrepit, they needed youth in the rotation but not at the expense of youth in the lineup. Five more years of A-Rod and four more of Teixeira. Where’s the infusion of young hitters in the line up going to come from? What we’re going to count on Austin Romine, Mason Williams, and a bunch of guys in A ball? Yeah Banuelos and Betances are disappointing and sucking this year, but at least they’re disappointing and sucking in AAA. The team’s going to face some big problems no later than 2014. Can you imagine A-Rod and Teixeira two years older and this team facing the possibility of losing on of Cano and Granderson…gross. I suppose I’ll order a 2009 DVD.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

            Where’s the infusion of young hitters in the line up going to come from?

            The same place it came from when they let Damon and Matsui and Abreu and Giambi walk.

            • Jimmy McNulty

              IIRC, in 2009 when Giambi and Abreu walked, Cano went into full whoopass mode and they got Swisher. When Damon and Matsui left, they got Granderson and Gardner went into full whoopass mode. I agree they’ll probably acquire someone else, but who’s the guy that will step up? Something about just acquiring a different guy to do the job leaves me feeling uneasy.

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                How are they supposed to change things if they don’t acquire different players? A-Rod’s not going to un-age.

                • Jimmy McNulty

                  Argh, I was unclear. I know they’ll have to acquire different players, but it’s not like having a guy like Montero (not to harp on that point) where you can count on him improving. Or a guy like Cano or Gardner a few years where there’s upside. Maybe it’s Miguel Montero, maybe Matt Weiters signs…or maybe Kenny Williams does something stupid again. Still feels a bit uneasy counting on acquiring a brand new toy. They are the Yankees though, it’s been their business model for years.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    The point is that they have to acquire new toys. Promoting Montero… would have been acquiring new toys. Probably the worst thing they can do is just keep the same players as they age. You’re complaining about an old line-up, and then you’re complaining about change in the line-up… if you don’t change the line-up, it’s going to get one year older every year.

                    Did you have any idea Gardner would break-out? There are definitely guys in the system with upside. They’re not consensus top prospects, but Gardner is living proof that guys who are not consensus top prospects do work out a certain % of the time. And guys like Montero don’t work out all the time, so even though I didn’t like the trade I disagree that we can count on him to improve.

                    • Jimmy McNulty

                      The point is that they have to acquire new toys. Promoting Montero… would have been acquiring new toys. Probably the worst thing they can do is just keep the same players as they age. You’re complaining about an old line-up, and then you’re complaining about change in the line-up… if you don’t change the line-up, it’s going to get one year older every year.

                      Again I as unclear, I am complaining about relying on importing new toys. Not much of a complaint though, more lamenting the unease of this feeling. I agree with you that the worst thing they can do is just keep the same guys, which makes for an interesting discussion about Cano and Granderson.

                      Did you have any idea Gardner would break-out? There are definitely guys in the system with upside. They’re not consensus top prospects, but Gardner is living proof that guys who are not consensus top prospects do work out a certain % of the time. And guys like Montero don’t work out all the time, so even though I didn’t like the trade I disagree that we can count on him to improve.

                      Did I? No, but the team sure did. I recall they liked him an awful lot and NoMaas was continually puzzled by the Gardner love. I guess they like Nunez a lot too, but it’s a bit different. Though I will say that you’re nuts if you’re not reasonably certain that Montero will improve. I think it’s about 70% that he gets better.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      I think they like most of their prospects. And pretty much by definition prospects have a chance to be MLB players someday.

                      I’m sure that they like Zoilo and David Adams (who was a legit strong prospect before getting injured) and Romine (also a former top 100 guy) and CoJo… Gardner was a prospect, he just wasn’t a consensus top 100 type prospect, or even regarded by many as a starting OF prospect. He was a guy with a chance to make it… and in his specific case it worked out beautifully. Over a large enough sample that will happen a certain % of the time. Of the 4 guys I mentioned (plus Mustelier, Nunez, Laird, Melky Mesa, Segedin, whoever else) you might get one or two contributors. Doubtful any will work out as well as Gardner, but certainly possible for a 2B like Adams or a C like Romine or SS like Nunez to end up an above average starter. If not maybe you get a useful bench guy or something in a trade.

                    • Jimmy McNulty

                      I think they like most of their prospects. And pretty much by definition prospects have a chance to be MLB players someday.

                      Not saying they don’t, weren’t we railing the Red Sox fans for saying that Lars Anderson was a reason to turn down Teixeira?

                      I’m sure that they like Zoilo and David Adams (who was a legit strong prospect before getting injured) and Romine (also a former top 100 guy) and CoJo…

                      Agreed but there’s a huge but after all of these guys’ names…like Kardashian huge. When was the last time Adams was healthy? Has Romine even played a game this year? (serious question) What are his numbers like after A ball?

                      Gardner was a prospect, he just wasn’t a consensus top 100 type prospect, or even regarded by many as a starting OF prospect. He was a guy with a chance to make it… and in his specific case it worked out beautifully

                      I’ve gravitated away from the media prospect rankings in all sports except for basketball really. The teams know more than the media does. The media loved Hughes and Joba…how’s that worked out so far? I think Gardner’s issue was the lack of power and people didn’t know how valuable his glove would be or if the walks would translate when despite the fact he can’t hit the ball out of the infield.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      There was a huge “but” after Gardner’s name too… like “but he can’t hit.” There are ifs and buts with every single prospect, some are just bigger than others. If Adams is healthy… he’s a beast. If Romine is healthy… he’s a C, so he doesn’t have to be an offensive beast.

                      Part of my point is that you don’t know what the team thinks. They usually praise all of their prospects. Some criticism, sure, but it’s in their interest to inflate all of their values. Trusting what they say is crazy because they have no incentive at all to tell the truth. They’re not going to blatantly lie in most cases, but they’re going to hype their prospects where possible. They didn’t acquire them because they don’t like them.

                      The Yankees didn’t love Hughes and Joba? Why’d they hand them the keys to the Ferrarri so quickly, then? Those are probably the two prospects they promoted most aggressively in the last 20 or 30 years, if not more.

          • Reggie C.

            I’m not sure Romine has played a game all season. LOL.

            I hear your skepticism about counting on guys in Low-A ball. Mason Williams and Gary Sanchez are three seasons (including this one) away before you can see them contribute. Even if one of those guys truly takes off, I dont see how the timetable shortens by fewer than a half season or one at most.

            I’m going to order the BluRay edition of the 2009 season.

            • Jimmy McNulty

              Maybe they’ll have a 3D version and we can jump in the 3D dogpile!

            • Ted Nelson

              Chances are that some of the Low A guys will be traded. That’s how you shorten the time-table.

          • Get Phelps Up (formerly Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat)

            Have you seen Banuelos’s stats since coming off the DL?

            • Jimmy McNulty

              Season’s been a disappointment so far for him, but at least he’s in AAA and he’s young and can still get better. My point was that while the pitching in the minors hasn’t been spectacular, at least it’s in AAA and is still relatively close to the majors, whereas most of the hitting is in A ball and a few years away.

              • Ted Nelson

                Manny has been the opposite of disappointing since getting off the DL…

                • Jimmy McNulty

                  So the innings before the DL don’t count?

                  • forensic

                    Not even just the innings before the DL. Just being injured is a disappointment in itself, especially a back which can linger.

    • jsbrendog

      yankees record on may 17 2009:

      20-17

      yankees record on may 17 2012:

      20-17

      2009: arod had just come back from the dl in the beginning of may. Posada, Xavier Nady, Chien-Ming Wang, Cody Ransom, Brian Bruney and Damaso Marte were all on the dl. Wang was a disaster and people were crying DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMM.. hr were flying out of the stadium!! DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMM…

      so yeah they sucked that season too so you’re right, fuck 2012. DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM. im not feeling it either

      • Jimmy McNulty

        As TJSC would say: /boversimplification

        Huge difference: the 2009 Yankees had a shitty start from CC and Teixeira and A-Rod missed a month. A-Rod and Mark Teixeira were three years younger, and they had some upside on the rotation and in the line up with Cano. Is Pineda magically going to come back and replicate his first half of 2011? Nady blew and everyone wanted Swisher instead, Ransom was fucking awful, and Bruney and Marte weren’t Rivera and Robertson. Stop being so dumb. Losing CMW was a bitch, but other than that they didn’t have the same problems.

        • jsbrendog

          ig’nant

          • Jimmy McNulty

            I guess if I don’t end every sentence here with “28 this year!!!!” that means I’m a dumbass.

            • jsbrendog

              no, you missed the point and insulted me. carry on with yourself.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          TSJC would have taken the world’s largest dump on you, and that’s with acknowledging that we romanticize the dude quite a bit on here.

          • Jimmy McNulty

            Way too much…he was one of the idiots saying “BRING ON CLIFF LEE!!!!!!” and thinking AJ would beat the Rangers in the CS in 2010. Whereas I was pointing out correctly that:

            Cliff Lee’s the fucking man

            and

            AJ fucking sucks.

            Also he was one of those guys that ignores CC’s non 2009 playoff performance.

      • forensic

        Just because they did it one year doesn’t mean they will do it this year. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t, but…

        The core of that team is still here, just three years older. Posada, Tex, and A-Rod were beasts that year. That’s not happening this year. They also got very solid contributions from Cano, Jeter, Damon, Swisher, and Matsui. Some of those could be matched but you’d be hard pressed to say all of them will.

        They also had beast-mode Rivera, reliever Hughes, and 10-win Aceves in the bullpen, not to mention pre-implosion Burnett being solid in the #2 spot of the rotation and pre-retirement Pettitte pretty solid in the #3 spot. I don’t see those things being duplicated either.

        • jsbrendog

          allow me to translate this for you since people seem to have trouble following these comment threads:

          original commenter:

          i dont feel this year.

          my comment:

          a lot of people didnt feel it in 09 and look what happened. relax guy. anythign can happen

          your response to my comment:

          just cause they did it then doesnt mean theyll do it again (no shit, which is why i didnt say that.) in fact you said what i said, it could happen.

          jesus.

          • Jimmy McNulty

            You missed this part:

            No, they’re not doomed but the days of them being a perennial WS favorite are coming to a close. I can easily see a third place finish and a struggle to get that final wildcard spot.

            Implying that I think that in all likelihood they’ll at least get that 5th WC.

          • forensic

            You were not going for ‘anything can happen’ with your DOOOOMM and other useless immature comments.

            Anything can happen could include the Twins suddenly goig on a 40 game winning streak to run away with their division, but if you analyze it realistically and objectively, you know that’s not going to happen. What’s the point of even comparing them to 2009 in the first place? What happened that year has nothing to do with this year and it’s just typical of some of the pinstriped glasses wearers around here.

            What’s the point of a comment section on a blog if you’re not going to discuss or debate anything, and instead rely on sarcasm, veiled (or not veiled) insults, and history which has no bearing on this year to attempt to make arguments?

            • Jimmy McNulty

              Anything can happen could include the Twins suddenly goig on a 40 game winning streak to run away with their division, but if you analyze it realistically and objectively, you know that’s not going to happen

              Is it just me or does the first round of the playoffs usually go poorly when they don’t play the Twins.

              • forensic

                1-6 in their last 7 playoff series against non-Twins AL teams. 2-7 in their last 9.

                • Jimmy McNulty

                  What were non-Twins AL temas that they beat in the playoffs? The Angels and the Red Sox?

                  2011 lost to the Tigers
                  2010 lost to the Rangers, beat the Twins
                  2009 beat the Phillies, Angels, Twins,
                  2008 fuck.
                  2007 lost to the Indians
                  2006 lost to the Tigers
                  2005 lost to the Angels
                  2004 season was cancelled
                  2003: Lost to the Marlins beat the Red Sox, beat the Twins.
                  2002: Lost to the Angels

                  Playoffs in the last ten years. Seems that our second favorite team should be the Twins.

  • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

    Fire the hitting coach!

    Sincerely,
    Albert Pujols

    • Nick

      Not quite sure how you can hold this guy responsible for Pujols and others being that bad. I mean sure, if he’d suggested a swing adjustment or something that caused it but, come on, the guy’s earning $25m a year!

      • Nick

        ‘you’ being anyone who does btw not anyone specifically.

      • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

        Being sarcastic. Sometimes you have to shake things up and you can’t fire the 25M a year guy.

        I’m talkin’ about you KLong!

  • JohnC

    One thing. These performances are making it alot easier for the Yanks to let guys like Swisher and Martin walk next season. Martin was a fool for reject that 3 year extension offer. Now he’ll get nothing!

    • Reggie C.

      Meh … the team likely saves alot of dough with Swisher. He hasn’t played poorly. He’s supplied enough power from his corner OF spot to merit a contract extension. The OBP should creep up to the mid .300s by season’s end.

      Swisher is the exact kind of hitter that makes the lineup dangerous after the “thumpers” who aren’t exactly thumping.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      The problem is not with a guy like Swisher. Over the course of 3 seasons with the Yankees, he’ll have very solid numbers. If he can have an “average” season (for him) this year, that will be difficult production to replace, especially if Teix can’t turn it around along with ARod. Also, while Jeter’s hot start (even with his current cool down) has been fun to watch, can we expect the same in 2013? ’14?

      I’m not willing to say the same about Martin. He provides great defense, but his offense drags down his value and may make him more easily replaceable than Swisher.

      • JohnnyC

        Great defense? Slightly above average is like it. And his pitch-framing “prowess” is more open to interpretation than his supporters would have you believe.

        • Ted Nelson

          Please elaborate on how it’s more open to interpretation… how else would you interpret the data?

          I don’t think Martin is anything great, but he’s a solid MLB C. It’s still really early in this season. He’s got his wOBA up to .300 on the season. A good month and he could easily be at his .325 number from last season. That’s solid offense for a C.

  • forensic

    It’s almost like some people expected something like this to happen as they looked at things more than just ‘Oh, they’re 3rd in runs scored’… Once Jeter and Granderson stopped carrying the team, which was inevitable, there was going to be a serious downturn until they figured out other ways to score or actually taught some of their other players how to hit again. Even Swisher, who was hitting well, has been invisible since returning from his injury.

    Without Gardner and Nunez it’s an extremely one-dimensional offense, and it’s not even like they’re balancing it out with low offense-great defense guys. They not even very good defensively either. It’s a double whammy with an older, largely inflexible roster, which does not bode well for either short or long term.

    And anyway, how can you drop Tex in the lineup? He’s fourth in the team in RBI’s…

    • Jimmy McNulty

      And anyway, how can you drop Tex in the lineup? He’s fourth in the team in RBI’s…

      Nevermind the .299 wOBA.

      • forensic

        I was being sarcastic. That was actually Girardi’s reasoning a day or two ago for why he can’t drop him…

        • Jimmy McNulty

          This team has killed my sarcasm meter.

    • JohnnyC

      Doesn’t help when the only reinforcements your GM can come up with are Jayson Nix, Dewayne Wise and Chris Stewart. LOL that’s your organizational depth at the highest levels?

      • jsbrendog

        have you looked at other teams and who they start, let alone who their depth is?! god yankee fans are awful.

        • Jimmy McNulty

          They’ve known that they’d need to find a sub for Jeter/A-Rod for the past five years and the best they’ve came up with was Eduardo Nunez. Granted that’s a hard player to find, but still…come on. The ML depth isn’t the greatest, but the team’s been shithammered by injuries. Yes, the Yankees aren’t terrible but when they were a WS favorite in March thinking that they’ll struggle for that 5th wildcard spot in may is frustrating. It seems that there’s three categories of Yankee fans:

          Those in on the circle jerk, everything’s always okay with these guys, they’re always good bets to win the WS no matter what!!!! Facing Cliff Lee in Texas is no big deal, he lost nine games during the season!!! They’ll get to him!!! Pineda gets hurt and misses a year, no big deal!!! There’s still four years left for him to be an ace!!! Montero wasn’t that great anyways!!!!!!!!

          The pessimists: YANKEES FUCKING SUCK!!! SEATTLE KNEW PINEDA HAD CANCER, A TORN LABRUM, AND A PROLAPSED RECTUM!!!!! CASHMAN COULDN’T TRADE HIS WAY OUT OF A NUTSACK

          Then there’s the realists, those who realize yes there’s things that suck but they’ll probably still make the playoffs…only to be eliminated in the first round. It seems both camps think that they’re in this category, and it also seems that both camps exercabate each other the homers make the pessimists bigger pessimists and the pessimists make the homers bigger homers. Though there’s certain things that both the other sides need to realize:

          When you lose Gardner and Robertson for significant chunks of the season and Rivera and Pineda for the whole season you can’t feel just as good about the season as you did before hand. You can’t do stupid shit like compare this to 2009, or anything like that. The expectations have to be significantly lower after this.

          That being said, they only have to be better than three of the BJs, Angels, Boston, or the 2nd best team in the Central to make the playoffs. After that they have a chance. A pretty bad chance, definitely worse than the chance that they thought they had in March, but still a chance.

          When the team trades it’s best prospect in years for a pitcher that’s going to miss at least an entire year, pays AJ Burnett 70M for one good season, signs Carl Pavano, signs Jarett Wright, signs Rafael Soriano for 35M, signs Marte to only get a few outs in the WS, pays Pedro Feliciano 8M to not pitch a single inning, trades for Javier Vazquez (twice), blows up Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes, out of Hughes, IPK, and Joba…they trade IPK, trades Clippard for Albaladejo, and only has CC and a few relievers to show for their successes….there’s something wrong with the way that they evaluate pitching. Yes, all of these individually were justifiable but when you miss on all of your moves it’s not just bad luck.

          That being said despite not being able to evaluate pitching for shit, they’ve still won plenty of division titles.

          • jsbrendog

            you’re saying you think they’ll go out in the first round of the playoffs. how can you say that when a good amount of the previous ws winner were the most flawed teams going in? st louis last year fucking sucked. once youre in all it takes is a hot streak, or a couple bad games by someone else. every team that makes the playoffs has a chance to win the world series. just look at how many wild card teams have gone and/or won

            • Jimmy McNulty

              Flawed teams can win a WS, duh…no one said that they can’t. Here’s the things flawed teams often don’t end up winning the WS. Usually every team in the playoffs have a flaw, this year it looks like baseball is Texas and everyone else so 90% of the playoff teams will have flaws…meaning that odds are one of them will win a WS. Yes, most of the teams that win a WS in the past have been flawed…though most flawed playoff teams don’t win the WS. It always pisses me off when people say MOST WS TEAMS ARE FLAWED!!!! Yes, clearly that’s the goal then.

              Yes, I think the most likely outcome is a first round exit in the playoffs…that’s been the most common outcome for the Yankees in the past

              Five of their last ten playoff berths have resulted in a first round exit, two have resulted in losses in the CS, one resulted in a WS victory, and two resulted in a loss in the WS. Obviously, if they get the 5th WC spot they can still win the WS, but the odds are against it, heavily. They also might finish in last place, but you don’t see anyone bringing that up. Why is it that the only unlikely scenarios that we bring up are positive?

              • jsbrendog

                the worst team in the playoffs won the world series last year and more so in the past 12 years than anyone would have expected. granted it isn’t the norm but it is possble. im not saying your opinion is wrong, cause well, it is an opinion, and opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. plus yours isn’t based in fantasy land. i just think you’re discounting the randomness of the playoffs/injuries while also dooming this team to a first round exit when they haven’t even played 40 games yet. every team goes through atrocious awful horrible periods where they look done, including the eventual WS winner. the yanks are notorious for doing this early and then crushing. you can’t really say, based on anything but your opinion of a SSS 37 games that they won’t win the division/make it to the CS/win the WS. the team in august/sept/oct won’t be this team personnel wise, performance wise, etc. this is why i can’t get worked up about anything until end of june-july-ish when there is a larger data set to go off of.

                • Jimmy McNulty

                  I agree, that the playoffs are pretty fucking random. Playoffs in any sport are that way. Though the way I’d see the playoffs are probably: Texas and nine other teams, of which the Rays, Yankees, Cardinals, and Dodgers will probably be a part of. So lets assume the playoffs are as follows:

                  ALE: Tampa
                  ALW: Texas
                  ALC: Detroit
                  WC1: Yankees
                  WC2: Cleveland

                  NLE: Atlanta
                  NLC: St. Louis
                  NLW: Dodgers
                  WC1: Washington
                  WC2: Who gives a shit?

                  Each team should have a 10% shot of making it right? Well the WC teams have less of a shot since they can get eliminated with just one game and they don’t get the extra rest. So lets say each WC team has less than a 10% shot of winning. Lets call it 8% chance at winning the WS. Not good odds. Though first round exits happen, and it’s been the norm over the past ten years…it’s not the NFL where draft positioning is especially important so is losing in the first round that big of a deal?

              • thenamestsam

                The most common outcome for all teams that make the playoffs is a first round loss.

                50% of the teams lose in the first round, 25% in the second round, 12.5% in the WS, and 12.5% win the world series. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that most often you’ll be eliminated in the first round.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            I’m sorry. I’m still laughing my ass off at what you define a “realist” as.

            • Jimmy McNulty

              How is that not realistic? How is anything more or anything less a realistic opinion? Over the past decade the most common playoff outcome for this team has been a first round exit. In the past ten years that’s happened five time, they’ve won a WS once, made it and lost once, missed the playoffs once, and lost in the CS twice. If every decade was that good we’d all take it in a heartbeat.

        • JohnnyC

          Sorry, I should do my best to emulate you and not have any opinions not sanctioned by your royal highness, the bestest Yankees fan in the whole damn world. You’ve got some nerve.

  • Reggie C.

    Its pretty crazy that nearly 40 games into the schedule, DJ looks like he’s the sole live body out there. DJ’s one of the oldest guys on the team, yet, his athleticism has not failed him as he’s pacing the AL in hits.

    Thats the good news.

    Mark Teixiera and Russell Martin … ayyy. I couldnt care less what Martin does bc he’s playing his way out of NY. Hello Miguel Montero. Teixiera’s continual multi-season long slump at the plate will keep up at night if it continues into June.

    • forensic

      I’ve come around on Montero a bit, but it’s not like he’s a sure thing either. He’s not hitting for any power this year and striking out like never before. Hopefully it’s just a slow start, but who knows.

      He’s also going to be paid as a full-time catcher while he’s really only 2/3rd’s of a player since he’s completely unusable against lefties. It’s not as big a deal for a catcher if you can place some of his off-days well, but still, it’s an issue with all the lefties in this division.

      • Reggie C.

        I hear you. I didnt bother looking up Miguel Montero’s numbers before my post. Your right. M.Montero hasn’t hit for power and the strike outs are high. Contract year nerves perhaps?

        M.Montero isn’t killing the team at the plate however. That’s the good part and i’ll make a note to keep following this guy as the season progresses. I’m very intrigued to see where he’s at by the end of the June.

  • pat

    Yankees could really use a guy hitting .248/.277/.398 and a league leading 4 passed balls in 15 games.

    • forensic

      Yankees could really use a guy hitting .248/.277/.398

      Teixeira: .234/.290/.397

      One of them is 21, a rookie, making the league minimum salary, and doing it in an extreme pitchers park.

      I’ll let you decide which is which.

    • Nick

      You saying you turn down a Martin for Montero trade right now? I get that your saying JM wouldn’t exactly be the teams saviour (sorry!) but it would be great to have that youth and future on the team and not just vets.

    • JohnnyC

      He’s got a 1.044 OPS in 18 games at catcher and a .435 OPS in 20 games a DH. Parse that if you can.

      • Will

        He’s faced a disproportionate # of LHPs in games he catches?

      • thenamestsam

        I’m pretty sure they call that randomness.

  • Tim

    Great piece as usual, Mike.

    Two things you stated in your article my buddies and I were just talking about last week. 1. Grandy needs a day off. I was thinking this even before this recent cold streak. When Gardy went down, I knew Joe would be reluctant to take him out because of he lack of personnel to cover CF. But now that Wise is up, he can play there for a game. Also, I am big believer in the old adage “If nothing changes, then nothing changes” Now, I understand baseball is a little different because it is a game of repetition. But the Yanks have a real problem on their hands. This current lineup, with Gardy on the shelf and Nunez working out the yips in AAA, has no “get it up and go” guys in it to spark the offense and more importantly rattle the pitcher on the base paths. They rely primarily on the HR. Joe rarely, if at all, puts a sac bunt to get runners over even in tight games in the late innings.

    Way too early for drastic measures but if this continues hopefully someone in the brass will have the gonads to threaten to shake these guys up if they don’t get themselves going.

    I prayed last night that the Good Lord would summon the Boss to haunt the dreams of each and every player (particularly Robinson Cano after seeing him grinning ear-to-ear in the dugout while his team is being embarrassed 7-1) and let them know he is still watching and right now he is DAMN MAD

  • Stevis

    it seems to me that A-Rod looks like he is almost relieved when he walks!Anyone else feel that way???

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Yes, he’s clearly afraid to hit.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        I hear he shits himself during BP.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I’ve seen the team go through shitty offensive periods every year I’ve been a fan. I don’t know what to say. Either the little things work, or a less hellish version of the usual expressed concerns on here turn out to be correct.

    • jsbrendog

      but seriously, arod would be a huge gate draw in SEA so why not trade him there?

      and teixeira’s from maryland so let’s trade him there. NTC be damned. he’ll waive it, duhh

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Holy fuck. They were the same guy all along.

        For McNulty’s sake, w-h-a-t I a-m s-a-y-i-n-g i-s t-h-a-t it actually is clear that there are aging and perhaps, overrated players in this lineup, as well as players who are overtrying themselves into worse players offensively. However, it still remains to be seen whether what we’re seeing now, this very second, is something which the usual “move this guy in the lineup,” or less, kind of thing will fix, as well as the acknowledgement that we go through this sort of frustration at least once a season, if not much more.

        For narrative and fuck’s sake, though, yes, this team is so good they will award it THREE WS rings at the end of year, plus the Stanley Cup and Intercontinental Championship.

        • Jimmy McNulty

          How is that any different from what I’m saying? The line up is old and overrated, the team isn’t the best team in baseball. Teixeira and A-Rod need to start hitting better, and Gardner needs to get healthy.

    • Jimmy McNulty

      So you’d be the guy at OTM saying they’ll still win the WS then, right?

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I’m going with the under today on whether you’re older than thirteen.

  • Frank

    Besides resting Granderson a game, why not sit Texeira a few games? He’s not hitting and has a bronchial infection. Just let him sit a few days and get better physically. I just don’t understand why they are running him out there every game. Swish?Chavez can man 1B for a week or so until he gets better.

    • Jimmy McNulty

      Forgot about Teixeira’s bronchitis, yeah he should be sat. He deserves to be at full strength before I bitch about how awful he is. You’re absolutely right here.

  • http://nope Scarlett’s bounce

    Very disappointing year so far and no one to bring up from da miners but we could always trade for da throwaways like melky or tabata joe girardi sucks Kurosawa sucks igawa still sucks Jeff weaver still sucks kevin brown was awful

    • jsbrendog

      kurosawa, nice.

    • Randi

      This is 2012, not 2004.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      andy hawkins sucks

  • Now Batting

    This team is 3.5 games out of first with 125 left to play and people are talking about how they “feel” like they are a 2nd wildcard team already. Lol give me a break

    • Ted Nelson

      It never ceases to amaze me… but it’s inevitable. People are stupid.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        At the beginning of the season, when both teams were at full strength, ON PAPER Tampa was about a game or two worse than the Yankees…perhaps even better. Now that they’ve lost Gardner for at least a month maybe longer, Rivera and Pineda for the full season, and Robertson for a few weeks…how is it stupid to suggest that Tampa is the better team? A

        nswer, it’s not…you’re stupid for thinking that they’re still better than Tampa. Yes, Price could tear his Labrum and Hellickson could get hit by a bus, and Evan Longoria might get AIDS and miss the season…though in all likelihood Tampa’s the better team. However, it’s more likely that the Yankees get hit with an injuries. They’re an older teams and guys like Jeter, A-Rod, and Nova have all been injured recently.

        Second, because Tampa is the better team it’s likely that they will win the division, leading the Yankees to fight for one of two wildcard spots. WHAT I SAID:

        I can easily see a third place finish and a struggle to get that final wildcard spot.

        Ask fans of other teams and they’ll say that’s a pretty fucking reasonable expectation for the Yankees. Maybe third place was a bit harsh, but the playoffs aren’t going to be a cakewalk. If A-Rod magically stays healthy for 150 games, Phil Hughes stops sucking for the whole season, and Mark Teixeira’s slump is bronchitis and not declining skills then yeah…they might win the East. I don’t see how it’s dumb saying that you can see a third place finish or that you think Tampa will win the East. It’s like you people live in a bubble where nothing but positive news about pitchers with a torn labrum and reasons why Teixeira will be fine get in, and first place predictions get out.

        It’s not like anyone here is saying Baltimore will win the East…sheesh.

        • Ted Nelson

          You point is not even remotely related to mine. Bravo.

  • Rich in NJ

    I’m not sure where patience leaves off and stubbornness begins, but I think the manager has passed that point in his lineup construction.

  • Greg

    I think that only two players have underachieved this season. Tex and Russell Martin.

    Kuroda is an NL pitcher coming to the AL. The fact that his ERA before last night was in the mid 3’s was surprising to me.

    The main problem is injuries. Rivera, Robertson, Pineda, Gardner, Swisher (for a time). But the first three of those are killers.

    I think this season has been more about injuries than underachieving.
    Plus I think the Orioles and Blue Jays have stepped it up this year to make this division, from top to bottom, the toughest division in baseball.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I like daytime Greg. He’s even more optimistic than I am.

  • Randi

    Please disregard… just testing

    :x ;-)

  • Midland TX

    Put up a Chicken Little/”Wahhh, I’m frustrated” post, and you invite a diarrhea smear of similar comments. Could’ve led with the insightful Granderson comment and skipped the first three grafs.