May was a month when the Yankees had to deal with a lot of injuries and in which the comfortable lead they had achieved in April gradually disappeared resulting in the Tampa Bay Rays passing them at the head of the division. Given the extent of their injuries, they had a reasonable month. Here are the players who were at the heart of it:
|New York Yankees – Batting – Month – May|
Nick Swisher. Swisher may just be the streakiest player I can remember donning the pinstripes in the last twenty years. May 2010 was perhaps the best month he has had since establishing himself in the Yankees lineup. As well as his .374 batting average on the month, he came up with the most home runs (7) and the second most extra base hits in total (13, one behind Cano who had 14). He was also patient at the plate and achieved 9 walks.
Robinson Cano. Cano’s influence on the Yankees at the moment is huge. He led the team, on the month, in hits and doubles. It is hard to find a better all round second baseman in the American League.
Alex Rodriguez. In many ways A-Rod is having a quiet season but his .330 month with 27 RBIs shouldn’t be overlooked. He tied Swisher for second in hits in May.
Brett Gardner. Gardner looked like a very lightweight choice in leftfield for the Yankees coming into the season and with Granderson out injured for much of the month, this was going to be a testing month for him. He remains a real pest for the opposition when he gets on the base paths and he achieved 8 stolen bases in May. He makes up for his lack of power by being patient at the plate, resulting in some key hits and a healthy number of walks.
Marcus Thames. This was a disappointing month for Thames. His weaknesses in the field became more apparent and as he was pressed into the lineup more often because of injuries, his batting average fell away considerably – from .588 in April to a meagre .222 in May.
Juan Miranda. Miranda was called upon because of the injury to Nick Johnson and came up short on this evidence and was returned to the minors. This is the first opportunity Miranda has had to impress at the heart of the season and seek to make the DH role his own. He produced 5 extra base hits but only a .227 batting average.
Ramiro Pena. Pena impressed the Yankees in 2009 enough that he was encouraged to return to the minors and learn to play the outfield to add more versatility and be the utility man of the future. Little has been said about that plan since Pena returned to the majors. His ability has a pinch hitter has fallen away and now he has to contend with Kevin Russo who can do what the Yankees hoped Pena would – play both infield and outfield.
Randy Winn. Winn had two instantly forgettable months as a Yankee and the only surprise is that he found it so easy to find suitors when he was placed on waivers.
Francisco Cervelli. Cervelli covered well for Posada when Jorge went down injured and continues to bat better than anyone thinks he should. He needs to work a little at his patience and timing at the plate but he looks more and more like he can have a long term future in New York.
Nick Johnson. There is no surprise in the fact that Johnson is on the DL but his lack of hitting, power outage and the fact that it is the 60 day disabled list, makes him look at this point like as bad a signing as Carl Pavano and no matter how often I say I saw this coming, I know I didn’t expect it to be this bad.
Greg Golson. Okay, Golson is a bust as a major leaguer but it would be poor of us not to note that after call ups covering 3 seasons and 3 different organisations, Golson finally got his first major league hit. In fact, even better he managed two. Now that will make him feel better in Scranton.
Kevin Russo. As we have already noted, Russo has shown willingness and hustle in upsetting the odds and giving himself a chance of pushing ahead of Ramiro Pena in the Yankees rankings. He seems unlikely, at this stage, to be anything more than a bench player but he does give the Yankees lots of extra options at a difficult time.