Quick quiz: Who’s second on the Yankees in RBI this season? Alex Rodriguez leads team with 32. Second most belongs to Mark Teixeira who has 30. That tells you a little bit of how worthless RBI is as a statistic, but it also tells you that Teixeira has done some things to help this team win even when he’s off to a horrible start.
What’s gone right?
Derek Jeter has shown some signs of life recently, and Rodriguez started showing some power this month, but the Yankees early season MVP is clearly their second baseman. Cano is a very, very good baseball player and he’s shown it with his glove and his bat. He’s hit for power, he’s hit for average and he’s even shown some occasional patience at the plate.
A lot of teams would gladly take a .276 average and four home runs from their shortstop, but this is clearly not the best of Jeter. Seven hits in his past four games, though, might be a sign of things to come. Rodriguez was hitless yesterday, but seven of his past nine games included multiple hits.
Other bright spots: The infield defense has been very good; If we’re counting catcher in this group then Jorge Posada’s hitting has been a definite plus; Jeter’s month of April; Teixeira’s three-home run game; We’ll get more into the greatness of Francisco Cervelli in a post about the bench.
What’s gone wrong?
If we’re counting Posada and Nick Johnson among the infielders — and I guess we are because I’m not planning a post for catchers and DH’s — then those injuries certainly fall into this category, but ultimately Teixeira is the easily the headliner of the What’s Gone Wrong Club.
Earlier this month, Teixeira seemed to have really turned a corner. He was finally crushing the ball again, and doing it against the Red Sox. Then he went cold, just like he’d been the whole month of April. I’m sure everyone expects Teixeira to turn this thing around, but so far Ramiro Pena has a higher batting average.
Other problem areas: Jeter’s recent slump; Rodriguez’s slow start; Johnson’s awful start to the season and seemingly inevitable injury; Posada’s bizarre series of knee, calf and foot injuries.