In 2009, the New York Yankees won the world series. In 2009, April was a horrible month for the New York Yankees.
By contrast, 2010 has seen the Yankees have an exceptional April. Will they maintain the level of performance and have another 100+ game winning season? If they can steer clear of major injuries all the evidence suggests they will.
|New York Yankees – Batting – Month – April|
Robinson Cano. In April 2009, Robinson Cano hit a masterful .366 with 5 home runs. This year, he whipped up an even greater storm with 8 home runs and a .400 batting average. In 2009, he managed to crucially improve his concentration in the field. This year there has been no decline in that area but his hitting is going from strength-to-strength.
Derek Jeter. Jeter strolled through April last year, hitting .287. This year, the first month produced a .330 average and a similar amount of extra base hits, including an identical 4 home runs.
Jorge Posada. Posada has the job of schooling new understudy Francisco Cervelli as his experienced back-up Jose Molina was cut loose. He has also been paired back up with A.J. Burnett. Last season, those two team-mates seemed to like to avoid each other. None of this or the mounting years, has slowed Posada whose .310 on the month is a 35 point improvement on last year at this time and who has managed to take his homerun total to 5 already.
Mark Teixeira. When Teixeira had a poor April in 2009, the pundits said it was because A-Rod was not behind him in the lineup and the pitchers were not as careful with him as they might have been. This month’s performance reveals that nothing quite so complicated is involved. Teixeira just struggles to perform at the beginning of the season. April 2010, with a lacklustre but ever present Alex Rodriguez with him in the line-up, last years .200 has become this year’s .136. Last year’s 3 home runs have become this year’s 2. Maybe he should just stay home in April – or arrive earlier and work harder in Spring Training!
Randy Winn. It was hard to see what the Yankees thought they were getting when they added Randy Winn to their bench. He’s a late innings defensive substitution. Marcus Thames is ahead him for the specialist at-bats. But what does it matter if your fifth outfielder bats only .077 with no power – unless one of your first choice guys gets injured……… Curtis, why are you hobbling?
Nick Johnson. When Nick Johnson was last wearing Yankee pinstripe, he was too prone to injuries but hit quite well. He moved away from the Bronx Bombers and gained a reputation as a patient hitter who worked the count, drew a lot of walks and, because he was still prone to injury and slow to recover, he was mainly a designated hitter. This season for the Yankees, he is still the patient guy who goes deep in the count and gets the walks but he isn’t hitting …….. and then the first time Girardi inserted him into a fielding position he had to miss a few days with lower back stiffness.
Marcus Thames. At the beginning of Spring training when I was touting Marcus Thames as the New York Yankees fourth outfielder I wasn’t exactly treated seriously. As it worked out he made the 25 man roster and has inched his way into the fourth spot on the depth chart. Indeed, when their opponents have a left-handed starter, the Yankees go with Thames in the starting 9 which is even a little more than I was anticipating. The .588 batting average, .941 slugging average and .650 on-base percentage are also considerably more than I was expecting but its nice while it lasts. Granderson’s injury means that he will be used less selectively and those figures will sink quickly.
Francisco Cervelli. People keep telling Francisco Cervelli that his only marketable attribute is his catching skills. Cervelli just seems to carry on and produce more than respectable batting figures – his .360 batting average in April will do very nicely. That he can bat so well when he spends 2/3 of his time on the bench is a very good indicator for the future – if he can maintain even a portion of that over the whole season…..
Curtis Granderson. For the first fifteen days of April, Granderson was all that he should have been – hitting for average, looking stylish and competent in the field. The second half of the month saw him mired in a deep slump – the worst of his career. As we now know the beginning of May brought injury and the disabled list. Our outfield is not deep and we may have a problem.
Brett Gardner. ……but where Granderson is absent perhaps the massive improvement in the pesky baserunner, Brett Gardner can compensate. Hitting comfortably over .300 and with 8 stolen bases, he is disproving all the doubts I had when we let Melky go. Can it continue now the pressure is really on?