The Yankees don’t have a regular designated hitter. The guy who was supposed to be their DH is playing left field, and the guy who’s started the most games at DH is their third baseman. But even with a rotation at the position, the Yankees have gotten pretty good production from the DH spot.
Collectively, their designated hitters are batting .284/.361/.482 with an .843 OPS that’s third in the American League behind Boston (with David Ortiz), Chicago (with Adam Dunn) and Minnesota (rotating Mauer, Morneau, Willingham and Doumit).
“Our DH kind of got to where it got to be somewhat of a rotation because of the injury to Gardner,” Joe Girardi said. “When we left this year, we kind of planned on having a rotation between Ibanez and Jones, but that got changed when Gardy got hurt because Ibanez and Jones are always in the outfield.
“So I kind of look at how guys are doing physically. I kind of try to take advantage of that, and give some more DH days to Derek and Alex. Instead of giving them complete days off, we can get more at-bats from them and keep them fresher (by starting them at DH). The rotation has been a result of Gardy, really, and it’s worked pretty well.”
Individually, these are the Yankees numbers as the team’s designated hitter.
The anti-Rodriguez, Chavez is actually hitting .296/.304/.556 when he plays third base. His production has dropped considerably when he’s been the DH.
The guy who the Yankees intended to be their regular DH has actually been their most productive DH with five home runs and 12 RBI. Five of his DH starts came in the season’s first 10 games. His last DH start came on May 22.
Jeter’s overall DH stats are helped by the fact that six of his DH starts have come against left-handed pitchers. Yesterday, though, he went deep off right-hander Tommy Hanson as the Yankees designated hitter.
Jones has been surprisingly bad against lefties and surprisingly good against righties this season. The one thing he’s done according to plan is produce as a designated hitter.
In 15 at-bats as the Yankees DH, Swisher has a single, a double, a home run and three RBI.
It’s probably worth noting that Cano will only start at DH if Girardi thinks he could use a break, so he’s never going to be at 100 percent on these days. He’s 0-for-8 with two strikeouts as a DH this season.
All of this production came on Monday when Martin got a rare DH start and went 2-for-4 with a double. He was hitless in his only other DH start.
On April 23, Nunez was hitting .453/.500/.500 for the season and got a start at designated hitter. He went 0-for-4 that day and was in Triple-A within a month.
Associated Press photos