The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Long: “It’s only human nature to press”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jun 04, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

While the Yankees try to find consistency in their offense, it’s easiest to focus on the three guys in the middle.

When they’re at their best, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira are the types of hitters who can carry an offense. But none of them has stayed particularly productive this season. Their hot streaks seem to come and go quickly, and they’ve suffered the same runners-in-scoring-position struggles as everyone else. In some cases, they’ve been the worst offenders.

“We’ve exhausted the process,” hitting coach Kevin Long said. “We want these guys to remain relaxed and calm. The more they do that, the better the results are going to be. It’s only human nature to press, and that’s what you see. … The more that we talk about it, the more that we exhaust it, the worse it’s going to get. In my (opinion), we’ve just got to keep working, keep grinding, stay positive. It’s going to turn. I don’t want it to go another week. I don’t want it to got another day. I don’t want it to go another at-bat.”

Are there signs of things turning around?

Alex Rodriguez
Past 10 games
4 HR, 7 RBI, 2 BB, 13 K, .317 AVG

Rodriguez has hit for average most of the season, it’s the power that’s come and gone. He had a two-homer game on May 23, then went more than a week before he hit another. But when he did, he hit one on Friday, then another on Sunday.

“Power’s never going to be a problem for me,” Rodriguez said yesterday. “I had a good session with K-Long this morning in terms of addressing some things — leg kick and tempo — to get better, and I think over the last seven or eight days, we’ve been attacking.”

Robinson Cano
Past 10 games
3 HR, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 8 K, .209 AVG

Cano is always smiling, and when he’s at his best, his personality is light-hearted and easy going. But he also has a tremendous reputation for offseason work ethic, and he’s notorious for taking extra batting practice with Long (that famous home run drill that forces him to pull the ball). Yesterday, Long suggested that the offensive struggles might be wearing on Cano.

“His personality is what? Loosy goosy and real relaxed,” Long said. “He probably feels like, OK, I’ve got to be the guy who has to pickup these runs. He does hit in the middle of our order. We’ve got to keep him relaxed. The most relaxed he is, the better at-bat he’s going to have. He’s probably trying a little bit too hard in those situations. It’s human nature, when your team is struggling to try to be the guy to pick them up.”

Mark Teixeira
Past 10 games
4 HR, 12 RBI, 8 BB, 5 K, .351 AVG

Most of this damage was done a week ago during a particularly good four-game stretch, but Teixeira has driven in a run each of the past two days, and he reached base three times on Saturday. Could be a matter of timing — maybe he was bound to have a good stretch eventually — or it could be that those three days off last month really did him some good and got him a little more healthy.

“We tried to fight through it,” Joe Girardi said. “We thought maybe a day off here and there would help him, but I’m not so sure it would have. But it might have. Maybe I wish I could have (sat him earlier). I don’t really think like that because it could have been the timing of it. It might have just run its course.”

Associated Press photos




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