Sorry these are so late but I’ve only just returned from the U.S..
|New York Yankees – Batting – Month – May|
(The reports below were written at the end of May and therefore do not take into account any changes of form / injuries since that time)
Brett Gardner. Gardner had a very difficult April and unless he can get on base, he doesn’t really belong as an everyday player on the Yankees. He is a sub-.300 hitter at his best and an above average but not great outfielder. He really brings something to the team when he can be a trouble to the opposition on the basepaths. In May, he was at his pesky best, with a team-leading 6 stolen bases and best-of-the regulars .301 batting average.
Curtis Granderson. Granderson hasn’t quite been a revelation in 2011 – this is what the Yankees thought they were getting in the first place. But he hasn’t certainly returned to his Tigers form after a difficult 2010. His .639 slugging percentage and 10 homers on the month has been outstanding and his range in the outfield is another great asset.
Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez is not the player he once was but at this slightly adjusted level, he is much more consistent than he was in 2010. 4 home runs and a .325 on-base percentage shows his true value.
Derek Jeter. Jeter has taken so much criticism this season and so much of it is unjustified. Of course he is five years older than he was five years ago. But a .270 batting average, .338 OBP and 5 stolen bases is not to be sneered at.
Francisco Cervelli. The Yankees at Catcher in May was an interesting story. First we have Cervelli who is typically a dependable defensive player but a so-so batter with a tendency to lose confidence and slump below that level. He spent May in one of those confidence slumps. Batting .192 in 26 at-bats is not good enough at this level.
Russell Martin. Secondly we have Martin who came out of the traps quickly in April but began to creak physically in May and then develop problems with his mechanics as he sought to compensate for the aches and pains. Even without looking at the only available backup, it is obvious that .200 in 25 games is something that leaves a huge question mark about his long term security in pinstripes.
Nick Swisher. I saw Swisher interviewed recently and he described this as a slump, the kind of which he has not experienced before. He’s not telling the exact truth. Swisher is the streakiest player I’ve ever seen on the Bronx Bombers and it is almost routine to see him in this kind of slump, which come to think of it was the very reason the Chi Sox gave up on him in the first place.
Andruw Jones. It is not obvious to me why the Yankees are persisting with Jones who is not close to being the player he once was when the Braves faced the Yankees in the post-season – a long time ago. In May, he batted .216, he has no speed on the bases, he is adequate defensively. I can only think he is ahead of Dickerson in the pecking order because he has a past.
Chris Dickerson. The surprise here is that Dickerson isn’t been given more opportunities. In May, he batted .308 and appeared in 10 games but mostly as a late innings substitute whilst Jones, who doesn’t seem as dependable with the bat or glove, got much more playing time. Dickerson had 41 1/3 innings in the field compared to Jones’ 57 and 13 at bats compared to Jones’ 37.
Jorge Posada. Posada is a very experienced player but it is taking him a phenomenal about of time to adapt to playing as a designated hitter. He has only 5 singles on the month and a paltry .219 batting average.
Eduardo Nunez. Nunez had a lukewarm May batting only .225 with a .244 OBP. At some point the Yankees brass is going to have to reconsider Ramiro Pena who currently languishes at Triple-A Scranton.
Eric Chavez. Eric had a sparkling start to the season and began the month with a .333 batting average before going down with a broken bone in his foot. It is real hard luck for someone who had bounced back so well since joining the Yankees.