While it’s still way too early to hit the panic button in this long, 162-game season, the nature of the baseball fan is nitpick and find things to worry about after every game — even though what might be considered to be a concern today could be easily alleviated with one big game. So while it would be somewhat foolish to doubt that Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira will eventually come around, the topic of the day is their lack production through eight games.
As a team, the Yankees went 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position in Saturday’s 7-1 loss to the Angels, with the meat of the order failing to come through in several big spots. Combined, Cano, A-Rod and Teixeira have just three RBI so far this season, and the highest batting average between the three belongs to Cano at .229.
Manager Joe Girardi was asked whether he thinks the shuffling of Cano and A-Rod back and forth from the 3-hole to the cleanup spot has thrown either hitter off.
“I think what guys want to know is where they’re going to be on a daily basis,” Girardi said. “So if there’s a left-hander pitching, Robby is going to hit third, and if there’s a right-hander pitching, Robby is going to hit fourth. … We’re giving them certainty.”
With Ivan Nova set to pitch against Angels’ RHP Jerome Williams at 8 p.m. tonight, expect to see A-Rod hitting third with Cano behind him. The results were positive for A-Rod when he hit third on Friday, as he went 3 for 4 with his first homer of the season. The assumption is that these guys will eventually carry the Yankee offense, but if the 3-4-5 hitters leave runners stranded and go down quietly once again, the scrutiny is sure to continue.
Associated Press photo