What to say about the Yankees in September? Well, the month was going well until they clinched the title, at which point – as he has done in previous seasons – Joe Girardi decided to avoid injuries by using the length and breadth of his extended roster. This produced a different line up every day and more defeats than wins. The team’s batting average hit a skid which it never pulled out of when the regular line-up was restored for the first round of the playoffs against Detroit in October. Whether this was due to Joe’s excessive tinkering we’ll never know……. but here’s how things looked by the end of September
|New York Yankees – Batting – Month – September|
Jesus Montero. Montero proved that he has a future in the major leagues… albeit probably as a designated hitter as he seemed to be the fourth most competent catcher on display in pinstripes during the month. Montero showed that he can hit for power and average and he showed that he is probably the logical successor to Posada in the dh slot.
Derek Jeter. Those who predicted Jeter’s demise as he struggled under the burden of publicity during his “race for 3000” were shown to be very wrong as he batted well over .300 for the second half of the season including .303 in the month of September. Jeter, like many others, tailed off in the last week as he didn’t get to play on a regular basis, resulting in his average for the regular season finishing just below that .300 line.
Robinson Cano. Cano showed that he deserves every consideration for the American League MVP award with a .280 September which included 15 extra base hits. He displaced Teixeira from the number 3 position in the line-up when Rodriguez returned from injury and is arguably the Yankees most feared offensive player at this point.
Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod returned from the disabled list in September and played in 50% of the games that month. His fielding performances returned to normal but there was no let-up in the struggles that beset the slugger before his time out. He batted .196 and though he managed 4 extra base-hits (including 2 homers), there is little to suggest an upswing in his production any time soon.
Ramiro Pena. Pena had an appallingly bad season with the bat and there was no real improvement as he gained more playing time at the end of the year. His record for the season shows a .100 batting average. September showed .133. His time as a Yankee should now be at an end.
Nick Swisher. Swisher and Granderson fell away from very good seasons in the final month of the season. Swisher was the least productive of the two and this spoiled a period when he had seemed to finally rise above the streaky offensive form that he shown throughout his Yankees tenure.
Curtis Granderson. Granderson still had a tremendous month in the field and continued to hit for power but his average of .205 in September just simply isn’t good enough. The Yankees lost their season long momentum in September and Granderson was at the forefront of those who came to a standstill when he didn’t get to play every day.
Chris Dickerson. Dickerson had a good season in the field as a late innings replacement and whilst in this role produced useful batting performances. As Girardi fielded what was effectively a different line-up in every game, Dickerson was pressed into more starts and far more innings in the line-up. His batting average on the month fell off to .182 on the month and he produced no power.
Jorge Posada. In September, Posada had his worst month in the second half of the season. When first removed from the everyday starting line-up, Posada seemed to be determined to show Girardi he was worth inclusion. He ceased to press too hard and produced some great at-bats. In late September like the rest of the line-up he seemed content to sleep walk into the post-season.
Francisco Cervelli. Cervelli entered September with his new, confident batting streak in place and led the team in slugging average in the first days of the month. He took a blow to the head a few days into the month and headed to the disabled list with concussion. This brought a premature end to the season for him and to the second half of 2011 which was probably his best stint in Pinstripes. Most significantly, this is third time when he has lost time on the roster because of concussion and there are those who are beginning to doubt whether he can continue to play as a catcher in the longterm.
Mark Teixeira. .253, .259, 213, .264, .241, .253. April through September those are Teixeira’s monthly batting stats. This for a guy who batted .292 his first season in the Bronx and .308 the season before he arrived New York. It is still excellent to have such a great firstbase man available everyday and the home run numbers are still up there….. but where did the dependable hitting for average go….?