Alfonso Soriano has been on the bench a little more often lately, and there’s a pretty good reason for that. He’s hitless with eight strikeouts in his past 11 at-bats. He struck out three times last night.
“I see the ball good, and I’m not making contact,” Soriano said. “So I think just because my timing is off, I have to work on my timing, and let the ball come to me, and not try to hit the ball in front. I just have to get my timing back.”
Most of Soriano’s struggles have come against right-handed pitching — he’s hit .195/.221/.341 against righties — but last night’s strikeouts all came against the lefty Scott Kazmir, and that’s a problem because the Yankees are counting on Soriano to be a source of right-handed power. While Carlos Beltran is on the disabled list, Soriano is really the only outfielder with typical middle-of-the-order power.
But that raw power doesn’t help if he’s not making contact.
“It’s very tough,” Soriano said. “Like a veteran, I’ve just had tough times before, but nothing like this. Sooner or later I’m going to come out and be fine again.”
The Yankees seem to be hoping that true for a lot of their hitters. Beltran seems to be getting close, and Mark Teixeira had an impact last night, but the Yankees need more production from Soriano and several others.
“You just got to keep running them out there,” Joe Girardi said. “And they’ve got to get the job done. That’s the bottom line. We’ve had different people in the lineup, and everyone’s had a shot. We’ll continue to try to put out what we feel is the best matchups against certain people, and we’ve got to get it done.”
Associated Press photo