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Yankees lineup providing middle-of-the-road production

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on May 29, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The Yankees have been basically a middle-of-the-road lineup this season. They’re somewhere around eighth in the American League — sometimes a couple spots higher, sometimes a couple spots lower — in a lot of key offensive categories like batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, home runs, runs and OPS. That’s a pretty underwhelming performance for a team that’s used to being one of the better offensive teams in the league (even a night like last night when the Yankees scored seven runs, they had just one extra-base hit).

Here are the players with the most starts at each spot in the lineup. Can’t say the disappointment rests solely on one guy.

Brett Gardner, Joe Girardi1. Brett Gardner
Wasn’t supposed to be the leadoff hitter, but Gardner has been in this spot more often than Jacoby Ellsbury. And Gardner’s done a nice job. He’s basically hitting like he did last year, except he seems a little more willing to steal a base. The very top of the order hasn’t been the Yankees’ problem.

2. Derek Jeter
One game Jeter hit leadoff. Otherwise, he’s been in the No. 2 spot all year when he’s played. His .269/.337/.320 slash line is pretty self explanatory. Jeter’s been basically a singles hitter who’s gone through a few spurts of production but has mostly hit more like a No. 8 hitter than a No. 2 hitter.

3. Jacoby Ellsbury/Carlos Beltran
After last night, Ellsbury and Beltran have the exact same number of starts in the No. 3 spot (24 games apiece). This is where the heart-of-the-order problems begin. Beltran was terrific for a few weeks, then he slumped and got hurt. Ellsbury was also terrific for the first few weeks, but his production has slipped in a big way as the Yankees were asking him to take on this key spot in the order. He’s a No. 3 hitter who’s slugging well below .400. “I didn’t envision him hitting 20 a year,” Girardi said. “I didn’t. I don’t think that’s the type of hitter that he is.”

4. Mark Teixeira
This should be an absolute high point of the Yankees batting order this season with Teixeira hitting for good power with a good on-base percentage (not his old MVP-caliber production, but still a good middle-order bat). Problem is, Teixeira been on the disabled list with a hamstring injury and has missed the past three games with a sore wrist. He’s missed roughly a third of the season so far.

Brian McCann5. Brian McCann
With Beltran and Teixeira each spending time on the disabled list, the Yankees have to find power somewhere, and McCann would seem to be a logical place to find it. But although he’s hit seven homers this season, McCann’s overall production has been a significant disappointment. His OPS is more than 150 points lower than his career OPS. Not the decline you expect from a 30 year old.

6. Alfonso Soriano
Actually, Soriano and Yangervis Solarte have the same number of starts in the No. 6 spot. This spot is supposed to be Soriano’s though, and his .240/.263/.417 shows decent power without much else. Soriano was one of five Yankees to homer on May 17. Since then, the team has four home runs in 11 games.

7. Yangervis Solarte
For a while there, Solarte was playing so well the Yankees couldn’t keep him out of the lineup. The opposite was true on Wednesday when Girardi decided to sit him after a two-week slump. Solarte is hitting just .152/.204/.217 in his past 50 plate appearances. Overall numbers are still good, but he’s certainly come back to earth in a big way.

8. Brian Roberts
Bottom of the order changes a lot, but Roberts has 21 starts in the No. 8 spot and Kelly Johnson has the second-most with just nine. Roberts has steady healthy enough to be an everyday player, but his offensive production has come and gone. When the DH returns this weekend, Ichiro Suzuki could fit in this spot, and his production has been pretty good.

9. The pitcher
Kind of amazing, but the Yankees have actually had their starting pitcher in the No. 9 spot more often than any single player. The Yankees have played 10 interleague games on the road — all with the pitcher batting ninth — while no single player has hit ninth more than eight times. That’s going to change going forward. Last night was the Yankees final road interleague game. “I’ve got to believe we’re one of the only American League teams that are at this point, to have the National League schedule done where you’re at a National League ball park,” Girardi said. “So yes I am (happy), actually.”

Associated Press photos

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59 Responses to “Yankees lineup providing middle-of-the-road production”

  1. Warning Track Power May 29th, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Hey all-First time I have logged on since the 2014 season began.
    Just wanted to ask everybody’s opinion on the reception Manny Ramirez received the other night to celebrate that 2004 WS team???

  2. 86w183 May 29th, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Welcome back WTP…..

    Didn’t see the Manny thing, but I assume he was cheered loudly??

    That’s what I would expect. Just more evidence that most fans don’t give a rip about PEDs

  3. Ys Guy May 29th, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Namath didn’t really have a great game in SB lll. 17/28 for 206 yards, 0 TD’s, 0 INTs. that’s it! Namath hurt his thumb near the end of the third quarter, Babe Parilli came in for a play then Namath came back but the Jets did not throw a pass in the 4th Quarter.

    But the game was seminal and he was the reason for all the attention.

  4. bruceb May 29th, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Call me cynical but isn’t it convenient that Manny finally apologizes for his outrageous behavior in Boston at the same time he decides to make his return to MLB as a player-coach with the Cubs?

    Guess the money has run out.

  5. tomingeorgia May 29th, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Ys Guy,
    Wasn’t it Emerson Boozer who won that game?

  6. Ys Guy May 29th, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Mark McGwire was the same. He finally admitted to using steroids after LaRussa decided he wanted him as batting coach for the Cards.

  7. 86w183 May 29th, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Matt Snell was the star of Super Bowl III

    Dave Hermann did a great job on Bubba Smith

    Did you know that game was the first to be dubbed “The Super Bowl” ??? One of my favorite trivia questions

  8. Ys Guy May 29th, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    No it was really Matt Snell who had 30 carries for 121 yards along with George Sauer who caught 8 balls for 133 yards. Don Maynard had an undisclosed hamstring pull and was used very effectively as a decoy the whole game.

    Boozer only got 19 yards on 10 carries.

  9. tomingeorgia May 29th, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Forgive me, Ys. I was “away” for that game.

  10. Warning Track Power May 29th, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    bruceb May 29th, 2014 at 2:34 pm
    Call me cynical but isn’t it convenient that Manny finally apologizes for his outrageous behavior in Boston at the same time he decides to make his return to MLB as a player-coach with the Cubs?

    Guess the money has run out.
    —————————————————————–
    If Manny has already run out of $$$ that might be the worst thing he ever did in his life.

    Anyway, someone earlier wrote that fans don’t care about the PED scandal. I agree 1,000%
    The fans have spoken and if their player used PED’s, the fans could care less.
    It’s about time that MLB accepts the PED era for what it was. Accept their were players who used.
    Let’s face it, MLBPA and the Owners allowed the PED era to happen.
    Unfair the players are paying the price.
    I am fine and well with Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, ARod and Manny being elected into the HOF
    Why do I care???

  11. Shame Spencer May 29th, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Manny said something yesterday along the lines of ‘you need to respect the game.’

    Imagine if Arod said that?!

  12. Ys Guy May 29th, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Ewbanks had Namath throw a deep ball down the middle overthrowing Maynard who could only run a straight line. This influenced the Colt’s Head Coach Don Shula, who realigned the Colt’s D after that play to double Maynard and leave Sauer to run wild.

  13. Ys Guy May 29th, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Ewbank not Ewbanks.

    Ewbanks hosted the Dating Game didn’t he?

  14. tomingeorgia May 29th, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    “Bachelor Number Three, do you wear underwear?”

  15. Ys Guy May 29th, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Shame, Arod says crap like that all the time.

    “Be respectful. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Respect the lowest rank and the highest rank and you’ll never get in trouble.”

    “What I’ve learned from Cal is to respect the game, respect the fans. Nothing fancy out there. Just do your job.”

  16. Ys Guy May 29th, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    “”We have a responsibility not just as atheletes, but as members of society to treat people well. To do things the right way.”

  17. Ys Guy May 29th, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    “”We (Derek Jeter and I) always talk about getting old, gray, and fat when our careers are over and just having a good time. He’s like me. He wants to have a good time and be a good person.”

  18. UnKnown May 29th, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    http://online.wsj.com/articles.....1401326965

    “But the infield, where most of the action takes place? It’s the stuff of ground-ball pitchers’ nightmares.”

    “With a third of the season in the books, the Yankees’ infield is failing both the eye test and statistic-based evaluations. If it seems like an infielder makes a bad play or two just about every game, well, that’s not far off. By defensive efficiency—the measurement of how many balls in play are converted into outs—the Yankees are baseball’s fourth-worst defensive team, converting only 69% of balls in play into outs. By contrast, the league-best Oakland Athletics make outs on 74.2% of balls in play.”

    How is it possible that not converting balls in play into outs actually hurts the team. :roll:

  19. Ys Guy May 29th, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    “”Why do people sing Take Me Out to The Ballgame when they’re already there?”

    this one has nothing to do with respecting anyone or with manny, but it’s one of my favorites….

    this one, too…

    “”You can take my cars or my house, just don’t mess with my clothes”

  20. Ys Guy May 29th, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    how could the A’s not convert a high % of balls in play into outs when they have 3x as much foul territory as anyone else?

  21. austinmac May 29th, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Tom,

    I gather you had a tough “away game” yourself back then.

  22. Ys Guy May 29th, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    and one last note on SBlll, it was the first football game I ever saw on a color TV. My granma bought one just for the game!

    …It was AWESOME!

  23. Ys Guy May 29th, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Tom, they didn’t show you guys the game via sattelite link on an LED display while you were skyping your wife and checking the kid’s homework on the Ipad back in ‘Nam?

  24. Shame Spencer May 29th, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    @jnorris427 Slade Heathcott is seeing Dr. Ahmad in New York. Still won’t say what for, though. #yankees

    Lol, yea and usually when Arod says such things it’s met with the sarcasm displayed in your posts. You should have seen the reaction from a bunch of sports writers on Twitter yesterday regarding Manny. Not a lot of snark being thrown around, that’s for sure. It’s all Manny being Manny as usual. And this is a guy that got caught multiple times via drug tests and decided to leave the league in lieu of accepting another suspension.

  25. Shame Spencer May 29th, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    @TBTimes_Rays #Rays apparently convinced Zobrist is ready to go, won’t play for @StoneCrabs tonight, is on his way to Boston

  26. Ys Guy May 29th, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Manny getting a coaching job does bode well for Arod if he hopes to stay around the game after he’s done. I think he will want to b/c he’s been all baseball his whole life.

  27. Giuseppe Franco May 29th, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    % of balls in play turned into outs is a far more valuable stat than simply counting error totals.

    Not exactly surprising, but what’s even more alarming is that dreadful stat includes their exceptional CF/LF combo who catches just about everything hit in their time zone.

  28. Ys Guy May 29th, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Maybe there’s actually nothing wrong with Heathcott right now but they just figured that by the time he gets to Dr. Ahmad’s office there will be…

  29. Chip May 29th, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I feel like Slade Heathcott will never be healthy enough to get out of AA

  30. Giuseppe Franco May 29th, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    The issue for A-Rod though is likeability. He’s not well liked around the game even though he’s one of the smartest ballplayers.

    For all the issues with Manny over the years, he’s still a guy that non-NYY fans like personally.

  31. bruceb May 29th, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Ys Guy

    You raise some valid points.

    What Manny did to the ticket guy in Boston is unforgivable…and just one incident among many that stamped him as a “bad dude.”

    No sport forgives its own like baseball. ARod will probably be commissioner in 30 years’ time. Shame I won’t be around to see it!

  32. Ys Guy May 29th, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Sorry, I’ve heard Arod talk far too many times to buy that he’s “one of the smartest ballplayers.” In fact, I expect that he’d test out (NO DON’T TEST AROD!!!!) as one of the, shall we say…less smarter ballplayers…

    Arod has a ton of baseball knowlege but he doesnt sound like he knows much of anything else to me.

  33. Chip May 29th, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Manny embraced the fact that he was an idiot and, often times, a tool.

    Alex tried to convince you he wasn’t.

    The only thing the public hates worse than a bad guy is a phoney.

  34. Ys Guy May 29th, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    According to Francessa…Tex will be day to day (“we’re all day-to-day!) after seeing the wrist specialist (fishy-sounding to me) and Beltran took 25 soft-toss swings from each side (total of 50!) with no discomfort.

    …And Heathcott dies getting out of the cab and Ahmad’s office…

  35. Joe from Long Island May 29th, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    I talked with John Schmitt at a dinner a couple of months ago.

    He said Namath called half the plays on the line – audibles.

    Think about that. They beat THE dominant team in the old NFL. They were 19 1/2 point underdogs.

    Anyone who says Joe Willie didn’t have a great game – I don’t know what to say.

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