The Yankees in June – Part One – At the Plate

A quick look over the Yankees statistics for the month of June 2012 sends one of the bench players to the centre of attention in a most novel way. Dewayne Wise not only led the team in batting average but he pitched in a game and came out of it with a 0.00 ERA and “caught” a flyball in the stands and was awarded an out even though somebody else was holding the ball at the time. But as well as that amazing month for Dewayne, what else went well and what else went badly? Well, let’s start by surveying the guys who swing the lumber…….

New York Yankees – Batting – Month – June
Name G AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB SO SH SF SB BA SLG OBP
Wise, Dewayne 24 18 6 8 5 1 1 2 0 3 0 0 5 .444 .944 .444
Cano, Robinson 27 100 21 34 21 4 1 11 12 17 0 0 0 .340 .730 .416
Swisher, Nick 25 84 17 27 14 7 0 4 12 20 0 0 1 .321 .548 .406
Stewart, Chris 13 32 2 10 4 2 0 0 0 6 0 1 0 .313 .375 .324
Chavez, Eric 20 42 5 12 7 4 0 2 5 6 1 0 0 .286 .524 .362
Pettitte, Andy 5 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 .250 .250 .250
Nix, Jayson 13 25 3 6 2 2 0 0 3 10 1 0 2 .240 .320 .321
Jeter, Derek 26 112 13 26 7 3 0 2 9 18 1 0 2 .232 .313 .295
Rodriguez, Alex 26 95 17 22 16 4 0 6 13 30 0 1 0 .232 .463 .327
Jones, Andruw 17 39 4 9 6 3 0 2 5 12 0 0 0 .231 .462 .348
Granderson, Curtis 27 109 20 24 17 3 0 7 16 34 0 0 5 .220 .440 .325
Teixeira, Mark 27 96 15 21 14 6 0 4 13 20 0 4 0 .219 .406 .319
Martin, Russell 21 67 8 13 9 4 0 4 6 17 0 0 0 .194 .433 .270
Ibanez, Raul 24 68 6 11 7 1 0 2 8 10 0 0 0 .162 .265 .250
Nova, Ivan 5 7 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 6 2 0 0 .143 .143 .143
Sabathia, CC 5 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Kuroda, Hiroki 6 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Hughes, Phil 5 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Garcia, Freddy 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
908 137 225 129 44 2 46 102 215 6 6 15 .248 .453 .329

Good

Dewayne Wise. Well, there is only one place to begin and that is with the amazing Mr Wise. He started the month batting less than .200 and then went on to lead the team in batting average, slugging average and on-base percentage and that’s even before we get to the business of ERA (more on that amazing story in part two). So Dewayne appeared in 24 games on the month and even in those his times at bat were a meagre eighteen (many of his appearances come in a substitute role and quite a number in a defensive late innings swap) there is no taking away the fact that he had an amazing month. 4 extra base hits and only 10 outs on the month rocketed him up the rankings of the Yankees most likely to appear in any given fixture.

Robinson Cano. We hope that Cano doesn’t let the fuss surrounding his All-Star game detract him in the rest of the season because there is no disguising that he is the Yankees main offensive threat. Of the everyday players (i.e. discounting Dewayne Wise!), Cano was the leader in the triumvirate we mentioned earlier of batting average, slugging average and on-base percentage. He came up with 16 extra base hits, 11 of those homeruns and also contributed 12 walks. A quite sublime month for Robbie Cano.

Nick Swisher. Did I describe Swish as “streaky” in my assessment of his May performance? That would be when (on the month) he batted .207 with a meagre .245 OBP and 6 extra base hits. So when we turn to June and find .321 BA, .406 OBP and 11 extra base hits, we shouldn’t be exactly surprised. It’s fair to say that if he produced his “May” figures all season long, he’d be looking for a new employer. If he can extend his June figures and repeat them in the post-season then the ink would be drying on a contract extension. But Nick is streaky and it will take a better man than me to see what is coming.

Eric Chavez. Chavez has proved very dependable since he joined the club from Oakland at the close of 2010. This month was just a little over his season average and for a bench player to produce what he does on a regular basis (and the Yankees have a few who are capable of similar bit performances) is very commendable indeed.

Bad

Raul Ibanez. Seemed like only last month, I was saying how well Ibanez had settled in on the Yankee staff and how consistently he was performing. Since then the bench has become a little more crowded and Ibanez isn’t as often guaranteed a place in the starting nine and it seems that the changes have unsettled Raul. Consequently, he has produced a very disappointing June. .162 with only 3 extra base hits and with Wise and others much more accomplished in the field, it’s difficult to see that playing time picking up any time soon.

Russell Martin. If I was a voice in Girardi and Cashman’s ears then I’d be suggesting that the Yankees need to either add Francisco Cervelli or look to bring in an upgrade to their catching staff. Russell Martin, much touted as a long-term fixture last season just isn’t working. The 8 extra base hits can’t make you forget the .194 batting average and that will continue to be the situation whilst ever he lies below the Mendoza line no matter how much the starting pitchers appreciate his talents with the “tools of ignorance”.

Mark Teixeira. Teixeira is well known for starting the season poorly with the bat but up to the end of June he is showing no sign of recovery from that predicted slow start. The .219 batting average isn’t good enough and whilst his defensive skills and power compensate a little for that, the Yankees need to see a big improvement.

Curtis Granderson. His statistical line begs the phrase “and Granderson isn’t doing much better”. He has more home runs but less doubles, otherwise this is the same story as Teixeira albeit in a more complex defensive role.

Surprises

Chris Stewart. The last time Stewart was on the Yankees roster, he didn’t last long. This time with Martin struggling and Cervelli banished to Scranton, his role has taken on a whole new significance…… and he is handling the challenge. At the start of the year he was being given one start in five. That he has now played in 13 of the games in June (Martin appeared in 21) is testimony to how much the Yankees coaching staff is noting the elongation of Martin’s slump. But that Stewart has added to his considerable defensive skills a .313 batting average on the month is all down to Chris rising to the occasion.

Derek Jeter. Derek Jeter seemed to have all the kinks worked out in his batting swing… and then June happened. .232 (BA) with only a few walks and little power had the batting coach scratching his head once more. Who will we see in the second half? Will it be the Jeter of April and May or the Derek of 2011? We need it to be the former.

Andruw Jones. At some point, the Yankees hope to have Brett Gardner back. As June wound down, Jones began to look like a candidate for a future release when and if the speedy left-fielder adds to his 2012 appearances. It is noted that he was much improved in the days immediately before the all-star break but we need to see more of that on a regular basis.

Alex Rodriguez. I wonder if Alex Rodriguez’s contract has an albatross drawn on it somewhere because the number of years left on it is beginning to take on that bird’s significance as it hangs around the Yankees’ front-office’s collective neck. There was a slight improvement in power figures this month but that .232 average must look huge to the Yankees as its shadow continues to fall on distant years.

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