April was a very straightforward month for the Yankees. There was still that lingering sensation that they had coasted through Spring Training and that too much was being taken for granted and assumed. May was to be wake up time but for now let’s look back at April and see what was going right….. and wrong.
|New York Yankees – Batting – Month – April|
Derek Jeter. 2011 was a year when Jeter was feeling the pressure of the media and drawing attention to himself by lacklustre performances. 2012 is another time. During 2011, Jeter had the courage to stop and refocus and take his batting stance and swing apart and put it back together. This is no mean feat for anyone but for someone at his time of his career surrounded by the accolades he has been given and earned, it is something quite amazing. So is the result and fruit of endeavours: .389 with 10 extra base hits; third on the team in homeruns. Outstanding.
Eduardo Nunez. Having moved several steps ahead of Pena in the rankings and being preferred at the moment to Chavez, Eduardo is solidly hitting for average (albeit with little or no power). He’s improving on the base paths and the early games saw him doing acceptably well in the field.
Nick Swisher. No hesitant start to the season this time for Swish. 9 doubles, 6 homeruns. Best of the everyday players in terms of slugging percentage.
Eric Chavez. Chavez was a last minute re-addition to the roster and this is a sign in some regards of the Yankees growing confidence in Nunez. However, expecting Nunez to cover the corners may be a step too far too quick for a developing talent and so we’re very glad that Eric is able to take up the slack and his performance with the bat has lacked nothing. .321 with 3 homeruns in 13 appearances, many off the bench. That will do.
Russell Martin. Martin does good in the clubhouse. He partners up well with the starting rotation and his presence is a good settling in factor for Hiroki Kuroda. But those comparisons to Thurman Munson….? .167 BA with only 3 extra base hits on the month of April. All three catchers who are in the frame or thereabouts are good defensively, weak with the bat. Martin needs to fix that. Letting the bat of Montero go to Seattle is a problem in this way as well as in terms of what we have received in exchange.
Andruw Jones. Jones is not doing well with the bat. It is too early in the season to complain too much but .200 won’t do.
Alex Rodriguez. Every Spring we hear how A-Rod is fit again and how he is now back to his old self. Mmmmm…. Well, defensively he is more like his old self, April produced nothing to get excited about in the batting lines. He is behind Jeter in batting average and on the tear that Jeter has been on that is not surprising but when he lags so far behind the Captain (and most everyone else) in slugging then that long, long contract looks more and more like a dead weight on the team’s future.
Mark Teixeira. He’s Mark Teixeira. It’s April. He’s batting .244. Nothing unexpected there then but we don’t have to like it.
Chris Stewart. Everything about Stewart is surprising. He wore pinstripes once before and did nothing. He came back as Spring Training was finishing. He displaced Francisco Cervelli overnight. He is an effective battery partner for C.C. Sabathia. He is batting .267 which is well ahead of Martin and more than we could have expected from Cervelli.
Raul Ibanez. Surprising for me at least. I found it hard to get excited about his signing. But he’s done enough. He’s settled in well. He’s a good and mature (but not aged) presence. A bonus.
Curtis Granderson. Granderson is only just below par. Those 8 homers are nice. The 25 strikeouts are cause for concern. Watch this space and see what happens next.
Robinson Cano. Cano also hasn’t done badly. He’s just lukewarm and comes out in the middle of most offensive lists. We need more from him than that. Expectations are up. Performance is slightly down.