Oct
09

Moving A-Rod down to … somewhere

By

(Rob Carr/Getty)

If you’ve been reading my stuff for the last few years, you know I’m a big fan of tinkering with the lineup throughout the season. Mark Teixeira stinks in April? Fine, drop him down a spot or three and give the hot hand a few more at-bats. Raul Ibanez is hitting well? Great, maybe bump him up so he gets a chance to do damage with more men on-base. Lineups aren’t all that important in big picture, but they can very important in one individual game or, by extension, a short playoff series.

The Yankees have used almost the exact same lineup for the first two games of the ALDS, which means a top six of Derek Jeter, Ichiro Suzuki, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher, and Mark Teixeira. Jeter and Ichiro have done a swell job of setting the table, going a combined 7-for-17 (.412) with a double in the two games. They generated a first inning run in both games and outside of the Cap’n's inning-ending ground ball to third with the bases loaded in the fourth inning last night, they’ve come up with some timely hits.

Teixeira has also produced well in the ALDS, with a pair of two-hit games (plus a walk thrown in). All four hits are singles, though at least two would have been doubles for someone with even average speed. Tex isn’t the fastest guy in the world to start with, but his calf injury has him in the Jorge Posada and miscellaneous Molinas pantheon of slowpokes. Cano has a run-scoring double in each game and Swisher reached base three times in Game One before coming up empty in Game Two.

And then there’s A-Rod, the most polarizing player in recent Yankees history and everyone’s favorite whipping boy. He drew a walk and struck out three times in Game One, then singled in struck out twice more in Game Two. Robert Andino stole a surefire run-scoring single away from him in the first inning last night with a diving stop at second, a hard-hit ball just hit to the wrong place. A-Rod is a career .271/.380/.484 hitter in the postseason, including .254/.381/.463 with the Yankees, but his failures get magnified more than anyone else’s.

So, naturally, after two disappointing games to open the playoffs there is talk of moving him down in the order or even benching him for the Eric Chavez. That second idea is a little ridiculous but the first one isn’t, yet Joe Girardi maintains that he won’t change the lineup because he “(believes) these guys are going to come through.” It’s the standard stock answer he’s been delivering all year, and on a number of occasions he switched up the lineup despite indications that no moves were coming. There’s no reason for Girardi to be truthful about this stuff, announcing that any hitter will be moved in the lineup serves zero benefit.

Now, there are valid reasons to move A-Rod down in the order for Game Three of the ALDS (and beyond), but you don’t need to focus on his recent playoff performance (.169/.282/.203 since 2010) for evidence. Frankly, what he or anyone else did in 2010 is pretty irrelevant in 2012. The case for moving A-Rod down comes from his performance since coming back from the hand injury, which features a .261/.341/.369 batting line in 129 plate appearances. I’ve mentioned this before, but hand injuries tend to linger. If he doesn’t have enough strength in that left hand following the broken bone, he won’t be able to grip or swing a bat properly. That certainly appears to be the case now as Alex just isn’t hitting for any power.

So the question now becomes where do you move him? Flip-flopping him and Teixeira seems like a fine idea if you buy into Teixeira turning it around following his slow return from the calf injury, or they could just move A-Rod down to sixth and bump everyone up a peg, allowing Cano to bat third. The generic lineup optimization answer is that the best hitter should hit fourth because the number three hitter will come up with the bases empty and two outs quite often, but as I said earlier, Jeter and Ichiro have been a two-man wrecking crew atop the lineup for the last four weeks or so.

Moving Cano up to third makes sense and it really doesn’t matter who the Yankees have hitting behind him because it won’t prompt the Orioles to pitch to him in a big spot anyway. Unless the Yankees reanimate the corpse of Babe Ruth, Robbie will be pitched around no matter what in a big spot. Finding someone to take advantage of those situations behind Cano is important and I have no idea who that is — Teixeira? Swisher? Ibanez? Russell Martin? Who knows. It’s not A-Rod at this point, who simply is missing hittable pitches and not really driving the ball when he connects. There are valid reasons to move him down in the batting order, and they stem from his hand injury and his performance since coming off the DL. Not his recent playoff history.

Categories : Offense, Playoffs

197 Comments»

  1. Ton Lon ton says:

    I never liked Arod and my crew and I always thought a healthy Aaron Boone at third might come up with more timely playoff hits

  2. UncleArgyle says:

    If only Girardi used that stupid Binder when making out the lineup card…..

  3. Eddard says:

    Teixera is hitting better but he’s about the only one you could move up. Move Swish down below Granderson vs LHP. At least Granderson has a chance to hit one out in Yankee Stadium.

    • Eddard says:

      I meant move Swish above Granderson against RHP. That will give us a better shot at getting a clutch hit with runners on base.

  4. Luisergi says:

    “Frankly, what he or anyone else did in 2010 is pretty irrelevant in 2012.”

    Correct.

    The same applies to 2009 though.

    • Jim Is Bored says:

      No one is saying that because he was amazing in 2009 we think he’ll repeat that.

      Everyone referencing 2009 is either ignoring it, claiming it wasn’t as great as it actually was, or trying desperately to remind people that 2009 was one of the best postseasons we’ve seen ANYONE have.

      • jjyank says:

        This. Not a single person who brought up 2009 is using that as an argument to predict what A-Rod will do going forward. It has been used to get rid of these ridiculous notions of “unclutch”, “choker”, etc.

        A-Rod is playing poorly because he’s slumping, he’s older and dealing with injury problems that are possibly still lingering. Not because “old purple lips is a choker”.

      • Jimmy McNulty says:

        It seems like people bring up 2009 because they’re defending A-Rod against the “choker” claims, while it certainly does cast a different light on the “choker” claims it doesn’t really do much to say whether or not he’s horrible now. Regardless of what you think of A-Rod as a choker, it’s hard to argue that he hasn’t been god awful the past three months or so.

        • Jim Is Bored says:

          And I’m not arguing that at all. He’s been miserable. That entire discussion is irrelevant to 2012.

          • Jimmy McNulty says:

            Yeah I think a few fans still have battle fatigue from the 2004-2008 post seasons and all the Francessa and Daily “News” stuff. You can not think that A-Rod is a choking choker and still think that he’s abysmal.

            • Jim Is Bored says:

              Agreed. I’m idealistic that an off-season could maybe restore a fraction of his power, but I don’t have much hope for this year.

              I would really love for all of us to be wrong.

        • Luisergi says:

          +100000

          • GT Yankee says:

            Hear! Hear!

            I’ve never hated on A-Rod quite like everyone else except for when he opted out thus taking away the Rangers paid portion of his contract. However, I think that was attributable to Boras.

            As for now, it’s not like he’s even making productive outs. He seems to strike out in the majority of his PA, especially so if it the at bat is in a more critical spot.

            There was no problem moving Tex down, now it’s Alex’s turn. I’m not saying to bat him 8th or 9th ala Torre, but 6th sounds about right at the moment.

            • Luisergi says:

              Basically i agree.

              I was 0k with him leaving after 07′. I used to chat with some fellows about the yankees in a Hi-5 forum (shitty, i know), and i remember being all over for a Miguel Cabrera trade. A post here, a couple of moths ago, touched that point. Miguel would’ve racked at yankee stadium. But that and the contract issued is water under the bridge.

              And trough it all i don’t hate the guy, quite the oposite actually. Believe me, i ROOT for him, i expect good things when he is at the plate…
              But right now he sucks and i, or anybody else, shouldn’t be expecting those good things.

              You’re probably right, dropping him in the line-up might help (hell, he deserves it), i don’t know, but most importantly i don’t think Girardi will do it.

        • DT says:

          3 months? you mean thw two bad weeks he had. having a .800+ OPS doesn’t make you awful for the 3 months before injuries doesn’t make you awful.

  5. jim p says:

    ARod seems to me to be guessing, and guessing wrong, most of the time. Maybe his hand plays a role in poor contact, but he just swings at a lot of bad pitches.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Yeah, he just looks bad out there. It’s also magnified by, for some reason, nothing looking worse in baseball than Alex Rodriguez swinging or looking at a strike three. It’s like watching old people have sex.

    • CP says:

      A-Rod has always been a guess hitter and will continue to be a guess hitter. Nothing is going to change that now.

      • Slugger27 says:

        he used to be a guess hitter that could foul off tough 2 strike pitches when he guessed wrong. now when he guesses wrong, its a check swing, either resulting in a strike or a weak ground ball.

      • MannyGeee says:

        define ‘always’…

        if you mean since the balky hip, then I have to agree. Age has not been kind to Alex, and he will be remembered alongside guys like Griffey, Chavez and Hafner as “what if” guys of this generation. Alex would have been the greatest of all time if he didnt fall off a cliff over the past 3 seasons… now top 20 seems like a reach.

        That said, there was a time in 2005-8 where he didn’t miss a fat pitch – EVER. and you can’t “Guess” that well for that long and be THAT good at it.

    • bjn says:

      Guessing is used by most good hitters…at times. However, it becomes the staple for aging players with reduced bat speed, like A-Rod. Pitchers see this and capitalize on it. This will not get better with time, only worse. We can look forward to enjoying this sprctacle of decline for 5 more years (he’s signed through 2017)!

  6. TheOneWhoKnocks says:

    Why is benching A-Rod for Chavez ridiculous? I realize there’s absolutely no chance it will happen, and maybe that’s all you mean. But I think it’s a legitimate question in terms of are we fielding the best team possible? Chavez was a better player this season, he’s younger and his biggest downsides (Injury and platoon splits) are not a problem in a short series where we could bring in A-Rod off the bench if they bring in a lefty.
    There’s no room for ego’s in october, and if we have a better chance to win with Chavez in the lineup than A-Rod than that’s what needs to happen.

    I don’t care about A-Rod’s postseason track record or anything like that, or any of the bogus narratives. I care about what is each player capable of RIGHT NOW, in 2012. I think starting Chavez against RHPs gives us a better chance to win games.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      I don’t think it does give them a better chance to win. Chavez fell apart when they asked him to play 3B semi-regularly when A-Rod got hurt. Had the great series in Detroit and then just completely stopped hitting until A-Rod came back and he moved back into a bench role.

      • Hoss says:

        Mike, If Joe says that Alex squared up 2 pitches last night and he lines into an infield DP and singles, is that what you expect from your 3B batting in the middle of the order? He’s not the same “2009 Alex” and in spite of Eric’s fatigue after being played every day, given the rest, I think that he’s a better option against the righty Gonzalez at this point. Alex seems to be guessing at pitches every time up.

      • TheOneWhoKnocks says:

        He had a .908 OPS versus RHP this year, and actually performed better in the 2nd half than the 1st half. Alex Rodriguez had a .717 OPS versus RHP and was worse in the 2nd half. I’m sure you already know these stats but for whatever reason are choosing to ignore them.

        So I’ll just agree to disagree with you on this one.
        I think A-Rod is an above average player and I think he can still help the team, but I think we have a better option on the bench and having them split time would benefit A-Rod, Chavez and most importantly the team.

      • Chilango says:

        Quoting aggregate statistics of ARod’s performance is not valid. You have to discount the juice years or at least asterisk them. After 2010, he has underperformed, which to be fair, you also pointed out. In any event, maybe you’re overthinking this one. Playing Chavez and sitting ARod for two or three games can’t do any harm. They should give it a shot.

      • Jimmy McNulty says:

        While I agree with you I’d hardly call the idea ridiculous. A-Rod has a bum hand and Chavez is injury prone. Right now A-Rod has a sub .400 OPS and it’s hard to see A-Rod doing worse than that in a meaningful fashion. I’d say stay the course with A-Rod, but I wouldn’t be opposed to the idea of letting Chavez play third.

  7. Graham Hunter says:

    we have this discussion every year, but it seems like there is some stupid entitlement associated with a-rod’s contract – that or girardi afraid to piss him off

  8. Drew says:

    This this this this this this this.

  9. mikeymikeee says:

    1. Jeter 2. Ichiro 3. Cano 4. Tex 5. DH Chavez 6. Swisher 7. Arod 8.Granderson 9. Martin WIN!

  10. mikeymikeee says:

    1. Jeter 2. Ichiro 3. Cano 4. Tex 5. DH Chavez 6. Swisher 7. Arod 8.Granderson 9. Martin WIN!

  11. Eddard says:

    Would people stop saying bench A-Rod for Chavez? That’s not going to happen for one. Chavez hasn’t exactly been playing that much and he hasn’t lit it up when he has played of late. Why is he all of a sudden the knight in shining armor?

    • TheOneWhoKnocks says:

      Both you and Mike implied Chavez was getting weaker down the stretch
      however
      A-Rod .685 OPS in september
      Chavez .840 ops in september

      The stats are on Chavez’s side and right now, A-Rod is failing the eye test. He looks absolutely lost at the plate, and I don’t think he has enough of an upside where we need to sit around and wait for him to break out of it.

      • jjyank says:

        Yeah, but wouldn’t the context be different there? I’m too lazy to look it up, but isn’t Chavez playing primarily in favorable platoon match ups and the benefit of plenty of rest? I’d be willing to bet that .840 OPS would be a lot lower if he was playing every day, so I don’t really put much stock on it.

        Eddard is right (weird, I know) in that A-Rod will not get benched for Chavez. It’s not going to happen. Maybe if they play 5 games in a row and they want to give A-Rod a rest once, but that’s probably it.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

          “Chavez playing primarily in favorable platoon match ups and the benefit of plenty of rest?”

          Wouldn’t that still be true if Chavez started tomorrow against a righty after a long rest?
          He wouldn’t have to play everyday and could be PH for against LHP. But yeah, it’s not going to happen, so really no point in arguing for it.

          • jjyank says:

            Yeah, you’re right. I was just trying to point out that doing a straight up OPS comparison with A-Rod didn’t make a ton of sense to me.

            I wouldn’t mind Chavez getting in there for 1 game or something, but I think some of us are going a bit overboard with it.

      • MannyGeee says:

        “A-Rod .685 OPS in september
        Chavez .840 ops in september”

        Sample size?

        • Cris Pengiucci says:

          The playoffs, and particularly the ALDS, is a small sample size. Agree, it probably won’t happen, but putting Chavez in against a righty, particularly just for one game, is not a rediculous idea. Defense is at least comparable (if not in Chavez’s favor) and he could, probably would, be better offensively. There is reason to do this.

          I still don’t see it happening, though.

    • DC says:

      It’s primarily the same group that has a habit of romanticizing bench players. (See Chris Dickerson; Dewayne Wise)

  12. Mister D says:

    I’m in the blame-the-hand-injury camp. Pitches moving down-in, the ones that would be the hardest to turn over on with a bad bottom hand, are the ones he’s consistently getting beaten on.

  13. jsbrendog says:

    i see (more hope and pray daily) that arod has one more F&^K YOU season left in him but he looks pretty poor now.

    • MannyGeee says:

      hell, I’ll take a fck you game tomorrow to watch all these bridge-jumpers change their tunes right quick… except of course for stuart. love him or hate him, consistent as they come.

  14. stuart a says:

    I agree with Mike. Just move arod down in the order. benching him is not an option at this time.

    the guy is a singles hitter with limited speed hit him 5th or 6th.

    against the righty hit jeter, ichiro, cano, tex, grandy, arod,swisher, ibanez, and martin..

    see how that works. unless the guy is a superstar I adjust the order based on how guys are doing also….when in a slump move them down, when hot move them up..not complicated…

    • TheOneWhoKnocks says:

      Benching him is an option, it’s just not one that will be explored. A-Rod has another what 5 years left on his deal? Girardi isn’t going to risk soiling their relationship. I think Girardi has the big picture and long term thinking in mind, but if his goal was to win this series at all costs, A-Rod would be seeing some time on the bench.

      • Hoss says:

        In 5 years, we’re going to wish we had the 2012 Andruw Jones instead of the 2017 A-Rod…

        • Mister D says:

          We = People who believe Rodriguez is a playoff super-choker despite evidence to the contrary

          • Cris Pengiucci says:

            I think he’s stating this over the course of the season and not just a playoff series.

            However, God, I hope this isn’t the case (but fear it will be).

    • rek4gehrig says:

      ..and sometimes all we need is a single

  15. Jimmy McNulty says:

    Okay the A-Rod that used to be good and this A-Rod are two completely different A-Rods. I had his back 2004-2009 (after that I didn’t need to get his back) but the guy’s on his own now. He has a sub .400 OPS in this post season and seems to be more useless than Swisher now. During the regular season .272/.353/.430, surely a useful third basemen but a far cry from what Alex Rodriguez is expected to deliver. Back when the boo birds were out and smart fans like ourselves were shaking our heads A-Rod was going 30/100 every year and had a .296/.393/.559 triple slash. While he may not have delivered the goods n the post season, he was definitely doing more than his fair share to help the team out. That is no longer the case. He’s been pretty meh the past couple of years, last year it looked like it was just an injury now it looks like this is the A-Rod we’ll be seeing from here on out. Throw him under the bus.

    • MannyGeee says:

      “last year it looked like it was just an injury now it looks like this is the A-Rod we’ll be seeing from here on out.”

      except, of course, your ignoring this years injury.

      • Jimmy McNulty says:

        Well he’s a year older, older players get injured more often and this is his fourth consecutive year experiencing a significant injury. In 2010 and 2009 he was pretty good despite getting hurt, whereas in 2011 and 2012 he was fairly mediocre. He hasn’t played 150 games since 2007 and he’ll be 37 next year, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to consider the totality of the circumstances and come to the conclusion that this is different.

        • MannyGeee says:

          dude. we’re talking about a broken hand from a HBP. that could happen to an 11 year old. Age in comparison to injury history is null and void for freak injuries.

          I understand that you are trying to say we wont see 2007 Alex again, and I agree, but if you are gonna reach that far to make a point, you might want to stretch first… you might pull an oblique

  16. Bavarian Yankee says:

    I’d just switch Tex and A-Rod, so Tex back to 3rd in the lineup, A-Rod down to 6th between Swisher and Granderson.

  17. Mister D says:

    New lineup, bench the under-producers and reward the achievers. Anyone who disagrees obviously knows nothing about baseball …

    Jeter 6
    Ichiro 9
    Ibanez 7
    Teixeira 3
    Cano 4
    Nunez DH
    Chavez 5
    Gardner 8
    Stewart 2

    Benched losers who have shown over the last 2 whole games that they suck: Rodriguez, Granderson, Swisher, Martin (only thing he’s proven is that he can make a lot of outs but hit HRs in the 9th inning of tie games … so save the outs and only use him for the 9th inning of a tie game!)

    Look into signing: Brosius

  18. Rich in NJ says:

    Girardi didn’t move Posada up during last season’s playoffs despite being him hot and other middle of the lineup hitters being cold, so I’m skeptical that he will do anything.

  19. mick taylor says:

    i would drop arod to 5th hole and put ibanez in the 3 hole. hitting in front of cano, ibanez would get pitches to hit he has not seen before. if the orioles bring in a lefty, maybe pinch hit nunez .

    • MannyGeee says:

      get off Ibanez’ jock for a hot minute… outside of a couple of “look what I found” homers during the last week, he’s done exactly dick in September…

      • Mister D says:

        /saltalamacchia’d

        (Do we still do that? For my sanity, I just avoided the comments section for most of the regular season.)

      • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

        He shouldn’t bat third, but over his last 40 regular season PA’s, Ibanez hit 405/450/811. That’s a lot more than just a couple of “look what I found” homers.

  20. The DonSlaught says:

    We should prepare our collective anuses for the ROI we’ll be getting from A-Rod over the next 4-5 years.

    He needs to be no higher than 6th in the lineup.

    RHP:
    1) Jetes
    2) Ichiro
    3) Cano
    4) Tex
    5) Swisher
    6) Granderson
    7) A-Rod
    8) Ibanez/Chavez
    9) Martin

    LHP:
    1) Jetes
    2) Ichiro
    3) Cano
    4) Tex
    5) Swisher
    6) Granderson
    7) A-Rod (maybe swap with Grandy here)
    8) Nunez
    9) Martin

  21. Mister D says:

    One thing I agree with: Moving Rodriguez down. However, if Andino hadn’t made a great diving play and it had gone for an RBI single, giving A-Rod two hard hit singles for the game, I wouldn’t want him moved.

    • MannyGeee says:

      ironically, if it wasnt for an amazing defensive play, we would not be having this conversation.

      • Jim Is Bored says:

        Didn’t affect my opinion either way. He’s a singles hitter now, and should be in a part of the lineup that reflects that.

        I was praying he’d get walked last night, because I knew that he wasn’t going to hit Johnson.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

      Part of that may just be the difference of facing a lefty instead of a righty. He looked fairly competent against Chen. It seems his problems lie primarily with facing righties.

  22. Dave B says:

    It seems like winning in the post season is about timing — you have to put the guys seeing the ball well and on a good streak in the most critical spots in the order. The opposite for guys not on a good streak. Starting with the 3rd spot in the order, I’d go Cano-Ibanez-Tex-Martin-AROD-Swisher(he’s 1 for last 34 with RISP in postseason)-Granderson (he looks completely out of sorts right now). Would swap out Ibanez and put in Martin, moving everyone else up and plugging in Nunez at #9 against lefties. Don’t think Girardi would bruise AROD’s or Granderson’s egos and do something drastic, but at least he’s taking advantage of the current state of his hitters.

  23. Mike HC says:

    Whatever you do, don’t move him down to 8th. You saw how much that shattered ARod when Torre did it.

    • Hoss says:

      Hmmmm… Win WS or preserve A-Rod’s ego? That’s a tough choice. Let me masticate over that one for a while.

      • Mike HC says:

        My comment was tongue in check. But in reality, we will need Arod to hit a little bit in order to win the WS, and moving him down to 8th proved disastrous for him in the past.

      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        Yes ARod hitting third is the exact problem of why this team won’t win the world series.

  24. ItWasaThing says:

    I’m guessing the thought behind batting A Rod 3rd is to use cano as protection, and get him some pitches to hit. However, since it does not seem that he’s making contact with those pitches to hit, I think it would make more sense to bump him down a few spots. I’d like to see A Rod come up early on in an inning. Some chances to get a hit and get on base to set the table, rather than having the responsibility to knock someone in might allow him to work out of this funk. Because of his hand, he can’t be relied upon to be a power bat.

  25. Mister D says:

    Chris Dickerson slugged .714 in Sept/Oct. Why isn’t he batting 3rd???

  26. JJ says:

    So, Arod who arguably had the greatest postseason in MLB hitting history (2009) and who has amassed above average playoff numbers gets lambasted, but Nick Swisher, who is 17-106 and 1-34 with RISP gets a free pass? Ya, that’s definitely fair.

    Yes, Arod should be moved down in the order, but why is no one talking about how Swisher is perhaps the worst postseason hitter in MLB history?

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      Oh I definitely agree. However to be fair the people defending ARod for the most part are the same people defending Swisher so it’s not really inconsistent logic.

      It’s still a SSS but I don’t have faith in Swisher in the postseason. I mean ARod doesn’t look good but I don’t get the feeling of instant out.

      And honestly I like him in the 3rd spot better than what people want to replace him with.

      • Jim Is Bored says:

        I have more faith in Swisher than ARod.

        At least Swisher had regular season success this year.

      • JJ says:

        100 ABs certainly isn’t a large sample size, but it is a total that is much larger than most Major Leaguers amass throughout their career. If we can’t judge his playoff performances off 100 ABs, who can we judge?

        I’m not saying we should judge ‘Nick Swisher: The Player’ solely off his post season stats, that would be very wrong. But I do think 100 ABs is enough to judge ‘Nick Swisher: The Postseason Performer’. And it’s not like his stats are borderline here, they are absolutely horrendous.

        It’s funny you referred to Swisher as an instant out, because that’s exactly how I felt about him last night. I really have no clue what it is with him, but 1-34 RISP looks so bad that it’s hard to believe it’s accurate.

        • Mister D says:

          If we can’t judge his playoff performances off 100 ABs, who can we judge?

          Pretty sure this answered your own question; seemingly closer to relevant doesn’t imply relevant. It would be like compiling every player’s stats in Week 1 of every regular season, sorting to see who has the most plate appearances, realizing that even the leaders didn’t have a relevant sample size but deciding they were “most relevant”, and then determining Week 1 clutchers and chokers. The guys who “thrived on that 1st week attention” and “guys who shrunk under the pressure of a fresh start”. Or something dumb like that. Playoff stats show you what a guy did in the playoffs, they don’t answer the “why” or project what’s next if he’s still active.

    • Winter says:

      Because we don’t care what either of them did in past postseason. Those are years removed. We (should) care about what they’ve done recently, in the weeks leading up to and including this postseason. Swisher hasn’t been terrible this past September, but A-Rod has.

      • JJ says:

        Swisher has always performed in the regular season … and never performed in the postseason. At least Arod is capable of performing in the playoffs, I’m not sure how you can say that about Swisher.

        • Mister D says:

          Billy Hatcher never really performed in the regular season … and had a career .404/.466/.654 playoff line. Under the logic of Swisher being incapable of succeeding, do you think Hatcher was incapable of failing?

        • Hah. So now Swish isn’t “capable” of performing in the playoffs?

          • JJ says:

            6 years of data would certainly suggest that. But ya, I’m sure this 7th year will be vastly different!

            Why don’t we bat him third instead of arod – this way he’ll have more chances to prove the previous 6 postseasons were a fluke.

          • JJ says:

            6 years of data would certainly suggest that. But ya, I’m sure this 7th year will be vastly different!

            Why don’t we bat him third instead of arod – this way he’ll have more chances to prove the previous 6 postseasons were a fluke.

            • A comment so stupid you had to post it twice huh? Those “6 years” equal 156 plate appearances. Still a relatively small sample size. If he were to have a strong October I wouldn’t be surprised in the least bit. For example, last year he had a brutal first half. How did the second half go?

        • stuart a says:

          past history. arod stinks that is the boottom line.

          do not tell me about 2009.

          fatcessa doing the arod apology tour.

          so there is no other option so arod has to hit 3rd.

          how about hitting arod 6th and move everyone else up 1…DUH.

          on the screws with grounders/liners on the infield….

  27. Hall and Nokes says:

    I thought Alex came around a little bit last night. The DP was hit with authority–he just didn’t get any lift on it, and he hit it in the worst possible place. I’d switch him and Tex, but that’s about it.

  28. Drew says:

    Looking ahead to 2013 and beyond, I really hope the Yankees can find an adequate bat to be able to make up for the lack of production Alex has been giving them. I understand the injury this year was a fluke, but IMO counting on him for even 25 HR and 80 RBI is a stretch. The 3B market it really shallow, and Alex is still an average/ slightly above average defender so moving him to DH won’t really solve anything. I really thought this year would be when Alex would turn it around give one more Alex-esk season, but going forward it just looks really really bleak.

    • Winter says:

      The only advantage of moving him to DH would be if he’s getting worn down playing in the field so much. In that scenario, letting him DH more might give him his bat back.

    • Cris Pengiucci says:

      but going forward it just looks really really bleak.

      Not saying its the same situation, but wasn’t this said about Jeter after the 2010 season? Might not be a big chance of this happening, but, as a Yankee fan, I’ll continue to hope.

      In the mean time, hopefully the day off will help and the more sharply hit balls last night were an indication that he’s beginning to turn it around. Still not opposed to having Chavez start for a game against a righty, though.

  29. DF says:

    Lineups aren’t all that important in big picture, but they can very important in one individual game or, by extension, a short playoff series.
    ===================================================================
    But you can’t know in advance which lineup on any one night will be the “correct” one. You have no idea if A-Rod will break out of it tonight and hit 3 home runs, or if Cano, who seems to be on fire right now, will suddenly come out of it and ground into 4 double plays.

    Tinkering with the lineup in the way you suggest just results in you chasing some mirage of the hot hand, because you can really only identify it in hindsight. You need a ton of data to make a decision like this on anything other than a hunch. I don’t even think September’s numbers are that helpful (though they’re probably close to helpful, at least).

    • thenamestsam says:

      In principal I agree with this 100% and you can see how much straining is going on with sentences like “Teixeira has also produced well in the ALDS, with a pair of two-hit games”. So two two hit games in a row is what we’re trying to determine if someone is “hot” based off of.

      That said, I do think there’s a stronger argument to be made in A-Rod’s case. For one, the sample on his struggles is larger than the two games, as Mike highlights. Secondly, when the sample sizes are too small to be of any use statistically is the best time to turn to the eye test in my opinion, and ARod is failing that right now. He’s taking a lot of weak hacks and he looks lost up there. I wouldn’t bench him because he’s still having tough at-bats and grinding out some walks and singles, but I would move him down.

  30. mick taylor says:

    bat ibanez 3rd , he will see good pitches which he has not all year. . if arod and swisher must play keep them as far apart in the lineup as feasible . do not have arod 3 and swisher 5 so they can both put out the rally fire

  31. tipsie says:

    Forget what people think should happen. We should poll and predict what is going to happen. I think tomorrow night, he stays in the 3 hole.

  32. DJ4K&Monterowasdinero says:

    Swish and Arod are a couple of head cases right now. Swish must have felt crappy when Matusz comes in to intentionally walk Cano to pitch to a righty Swish. Masterful mental manipulation by Buck. Take that Swish-you head case of 1/33 risp success in the post season.

    Buck>>>>>Joe G.

    So if Alex now is staying back to let the ball have more time to travel he will have even less power than before-if possible.

    When did he hit HR # 17? july?

    • So you think that Buck walked Cano to mentally manipulate Swish? Not because he just wanted to avoid one of the best/hottest hitter on the planet with 1st base open in a huge spot? Incredible.

      • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero says:

        Yes! Buck is a genius.

        But it doesn’t matter if O’Day faced lefty Swish or Matusz faced righty Swish.

        He was not delivering the big hit.

    • Mister D says:

      One billion percent chance this is the same type of guy who would have murdered Girardi after Game 1 if Soriano had given up 5 in a non-save situation. 1,000,000,000%. Atleast.

  33. Chris says:

    I would move Swisher or Tex to the 3 hole in front of Cano and use A-Rod 5th in front of Granderson. If you can put major power around him it would lengthen the lineup even more. Plus you still have the Left Right Switch thing going on which helps out in matchups.

  34. NYYROC says:

    Some have posted that ARod is guessing and guessing wrong. Maybe he should take the “George Costanza” approach to hitting. Guess what he thinks is coming and then do the opposite.

  35. matthaggs says:

    Cano should be hitting 3rd, fourth makes no sense. But if they’re gonna put a singles hitter in the 3 hole, it should be the best singles hitter – Jeter.

    Ichiro-ARod-Jeter-Cano.

  36. cr1 says:

    If only Girardi could treat Al as the player he is now, a perfectly respectable 3b, a good situational hitter most of the time … no longer a superhero, but still super-rich, so no need for pity … a guy who may still have some useful years left in him if he can get over having the pouts when he is treated as the Al of today, not the ARod of years ago … and above all a guy who doesn’t need to work another day if he doesn’t like that deal, so in the end the choice would be his …

  37. Marcy says:

    Just looking at the splits for the next game Alex has never faced Gonzalez; Ibanez, Chavez, and Ichiro each have HR’s against him. Robbie doesn’t have a hit against him nor do Swish, Granderson or Tex. It seems like Girardi has to get both Chavez and Ibanez in the lineup and maybe sit Swisher to start or Alex to start. Yes, Buck out managed Joe and he explained why he had Matusz walk Robbie rather than O’Day – so Joe wouldn’t be able to bring in someone off the bench, so you know after they bring in Matusz to face whoever and if Joe brought in Alex he’s going to see O’Day. Maybe Alex spends some time facing Eppley and/or Lowe who is the closest the Yanks have to an O’Day.
    They need to figure this out – this is one time Joe really does need to use his book.

  38. dkidd says:

    moving a-rod down will only screw up his head even more. if he gets hot, the yankees have a chance. if not, they’re not winning no matter where he hits

    #thingsiwishisaidtojoetorrein2006

    • Luisergi says:

      Uhm he sure looks screwed already, i don’t know if it can get worse if he is dropped.

      “if he gets hot, the yankees have a chance. if not, they’re not winning no matter where he hits”

      I kind of agree with this, but who says that he can only get hot hitting 3rd?? Why not hitting 6th or 7th??

      • Cris Pengiucci says:

        “if he gets hot, the yankees have a chance. if not, they’re not winning no matter where he hits”

        Somehow, I don’t see A-Rod’s offensive production as the jey to this series. However, that might not be true if he remains batting 3rd.

  39. Cy Pettitte says:

    I think tomorrow they have to consider Ibanez in RF and Chavez at DH, SSS but Swish is 0-6 with 5K’s against Gonzalez

    Ichiro
    Jeter
    Chavez DH
    Cano
    Arod
    Ibanez RF
    Teix
    Grandy
    Martin

    if they bring in a lefty later in the game you PH Swish for Chavez

  40. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Late to this party.

    I have no problem with moving him down. He’s not a cleanup hitter now, and he certainly won’t be moving forward. I have no problem with giving Chavez a start, but not moving into full platoon because we’re mad at Alex, or whatever.

    I’m not bullish on Alex. I like him. A lot. We went to HS a year apart in Miami, so I’ve known of him even longer than most. I also don’t see both don’t see things getting any better in the long-term, nor do I see the point in complaining about it. He has the contract he has and it was signed in good faith. Like stuart said, it’s probably going not going to the most fun five years, but I’ll add the caveat that it’s only if we expect for him to be prime Alex and if Alex thinks he has to perform like prime Alex to be successful.

    Personally, and I haven’t given this much thought, I’d bat either Granderson or Swisher fourth, but neither is a perfect answer either.

    We could always bring back Sam Pearce and bat him cleanup. Just switch the clubhouse signs. Those AAAA guys don’t know any better.

    • Luisergi says:

      If it comes to that i’d put Teixeira over Granderson or Swisher.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        Sure. My general feeling was that we spent a lot of time on here last week talking about moving TEX down due to not knowing how close to 100% he was, which means my first response was to keep Tex out of there as well.

        Let’s try this out:

        Jeter
        Ichiro
        Cano
        Swisher
        Tex
        Alex
        Curtis
        Ibanez
        Martin

        I suck at lineups.

        • Luisergi says:

          Fair enough, but lets go crazy.

          Jeter
          Ichiro
          Cano
          Teixeira
          Raul
          A-Rod
          Granderson
          MArtin
          Swish

          Swish hitting 9th to split the righties.

          //Half kidding

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            Well….it’s certainly thinking outside the box on Swisher. I wonder if he ever batter ninth in his .215 year with the White Sox.

            I’d try it for a day in a non-playoff game. Why not.

  41. Joe F says:

    Alex should be moved down, but that just gives the haters of his more fire. Which angers me because in reality they’re opinions of Alex are wrong.

    Jeter, Ichiro, Tex, Cano, Swisher, Alex, Granderson, Martin, Ibanez/Nunez.

    • Squints says:

      Swisher in the 5?? Hes 1 for 33 in the postseason and cant hit good pitching. Maybe Arod in the 5 but no way Swish any higher than 6 until he proves he can hit good starters.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        I think you have entire three years in pinstripes which show he can hit good starters. Oh, I forgot, only last night matters…

        • MikeD says:

          1-33 in the playoffs with runners in scoring position is terrible and not that small of a sample size. Swisher chokes in a big spot, he even looks nervous.

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            He’s 1 for 20 with RISP every other Friday in an AL West Park in the NLCS on odd numbered years.

            • MikeD says:

              So the post season is just a random sample? You don’t see anything postseason at bats have in common?

              Here’s a hint… it has something to do with pressure.

      • MannyGeee says:

        Didnt even quote the stat right, dummy…

        if youre gonna subject us to the dialog, at least get it right.

    • Luisergi says:

      It’s my opinion that A-Rod has played (hit) like shit the last 4 playoff series. He sucked this past month of september, so because of thet he should be hitting 6th, not 3rd tomorrow night.

      That can’t be wrong, right? ’cause i’m not a hater.

  42. Darren says:

    This kind of analysis is when bloggers and fans look exceedingly ignorant and ill-informed. When you ignore how important the issue of personality mangament is to the role of manager, you open yourself up to the old “you need to get out of your mother’s basement” insult.

    Simply saying, “Well, the hell with ARod, I don’t care if his feelings get hurt” is how you end up with the Torre disaster of batting him 8th.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      We’re also probably just as prone to overestimating the emotional effect of doing that. We can be wrong in either direction.

      • Cris Pengiucci says:

        How the situation is handled on a personal level also plays a part in this. When an employee is disciplined in one way, it may be counterproductive. In another, it may put the employee back on track.

        (thinks about how to handle a current employee performance situation …. )

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          Did one of your employees forget the office was open on Columbus Day too?

        • MannyGeee says:

          what a coincidence! one of your employees went 1-33 in RISP situations too… and has an attraction to ‘muscular’ women as well? #smallworldafterall

    • Jim Is Bored says:

      At this point I don’t care how ARod feels. He hasn’t hit at the top of the lineup, is a pissy ARod going to be worse? I don’t see how that could be possible.

  43. Robert says:

    Good pitching stops good hitting This plus age is catching up with the Yankees.

  44. MikeD says:

    Swisher is the real problem. 1-33 with runners in scoring position in his playoff career. I can’t wait until that joker is playing for someone else next year.

  45. Marcy says:

    I don’t know what Girardi will do but I would sit Swish and when Tex hopefully gets on base later in the game pinch run for him w/Nunez (Gardner got picked off or caught stealing the last few times they tried it with him but for sure he goes into the outfield for D later in the game) and put Swish at 1st. Swish has better stats against Jim Johnson too.
    Johnson’s stats are interesting – they’re great against most teams but A’s & Twins have destroyed him so I’d be looking at that too.

    The Yankee Stadium infield will be in better condition than last night’s infield so there shouldn’t be as many errors.

    Girardi will have to make some BIG decisions – he didn’t mind totally embarrassing Jorge last year but he knew Jorge wouldn’t be back – Swish won’t be back either. As far as Alex is concerned? He’s not going to mess with his head but he’s also under immense pressure to win this series so we’ll see…

    • A moose, catfish and gator all walk into a bar... says:

      And didn’t Jorge, after an abysmal season, get hot when moved down the order in the post season?

  46. Kingslayer says:

    I would consider someone whom has had a GREAT playoff as being in the top 5 statistically in following categories: Batting average, OBP, slugging Percentage, on base % + slugging %, runs scored,etc. Arod is nowhere near top ten, yet alone top 5 in 99% of these categories for great playoffs, thus I stand by my assetion that Arod’s 2009 stats were good, maybe even very good, but certainly not great!

    http://www.baseball-reference......ting.shtml

    • gc says:

      You’re a fucking idiot. And I don’t need any stats to prove it.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

      This is beyond dumb. You’ll notice he’s top 10 in most of the counting stats (HR, Total Bases, Runs, RBI’s). You’ll also notice that most of the players ahead of him in rate stats did it before expanded playoffs. Having a monster single series (or 2) is quite different than having a monster playoffs over 3 playoff series.

    • dalelama says:

      Arodomites conveniently forget it was Matsui who lead us to our victory over the Phillies. For his career Arod’s post season performance relative to his regular season performance has been underwhelming to say the least, and certainly not what you would expect from the most grossly overpaid player in the game.

  47. steves says:

    With all the comments regarding Arod’s hand injury diminishing his power etc. no one has adequately explained the anomaly of the home run he did hit post-injury against Tampa in Sept into the second deck in LF which was a monster shot. Just a case of the blind squirrel finding an acorn?

    • DT says:

      He was still fresh of the DL so it could be that he wasn’t feeling the effects of the injury just yet. Usually the effects of an injury aren’t felt until after you use that body part more. It would then no be surprising that he hit the ball really well after the first 2 weeks back then fell of a cliff in the next two.

    • dalelama says:

      Even a broken clock is right twice a day….

  48. Mr. Torre says:

    I batted him 8th in the 2006 playoffs and he was juicing then. How’s my ass taste now?

  49. jm says:

    Let’s cut him some slack I mean he was hitting against future first-ballot hall of fame pitchers like Chen and Hammel.

  50. dalelama says:

    No one could possibly believe at this point in time they would rather have Arod batting against a righty with the game on the line than Chavez. Could they? Let’s put what’s good for the team ahead of what is good for a self confessed cheater whose greed is going to cripple the team for years to come. Sit his butt on the bench against the next righty they face. Maybe this will encourage him to pull his head out of his rectum.

  51. DUgan says:

    D.H.A-ROD AND IF HE CAN’T HIT BENCH HIM.HE IS KILLING RALLIES.LONG IS ASLEEP AND CAN’T HELP!!

  52. Charlie Watson says:

    Dig it: Yankee fans don’t like Arod. Most hate him. Arod wants to be loved/accepted, but never will be in New York. With the $189 budget coming into play in 2014, Arods ~$27 mill salary, and his rapidly declining production, the hate is going to breed like rabbits in the spring. THE ONLY way for him to gain any face is to retire after 2013. Come into Spring Training and say “heck I’ve had a great run, put up some numbers, done my best, but now I’m getting old and I don’t want to be remembered as ‘that guy’, so I’m going to retire after 2013”. Arod still banks + $350 million in baseball salary, Yankee fans will go easier on his declining skills because we are thankful we don’t have another 5 years of him, and he’ll be remembered as just another Yankee, and not the purple lipped, Centurion,a$$hole who sunk the team from 2014-20??.

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