New York Yankees in August – Part One – At the Plate

Without A-Rod and Mo for the whole month and with key players like Teixeira out for handfuls of games, the Yankees did better than you might expect in August. They won 15, lost 13 which gave them above .500 on the month and kept them ahead of the division.  However, things were not going as well as they might. Let’s see who did what in this decidedly mixed month:

New York Yankees – Batting – Month – August
Name G AB R H RBI  2B  3B HR BB SO SH SF SB BA  SLG  OBP
Chavez, Eric 21 63 10 23 10 2 0 4 4 14 0 0 0 .365 .587 .403
 Jeter, Derek 28 123 25 43 16 8 0 6 5 12 1 0 1 .350 .561 .380
Swisher, Nick 28 108 21 33 22 7 0 6 17 29 0 0 1 .306 .537 .400
 Suzuki, Ichiro 28 91 6 27 12 5 1 2 2 12 2 0 1 .297 .440 .319
Nix, Jayson 17 49 8 14 4 3 0 0 3 13 2 0 2 .286 .347 .327
 Cano, Robinson 27 99 12 28 12 8 0 4 12 17 0 0 2 .283 .485 .377
Stewart, Chris 7 22 3 6 0 3 0 0 1 3 1 0 1 .273 .409 .304
 Teixeira, Mark 21 76 7 19 10 3 0 3 9 18 0 2 0 .250 .408 .330
Martin, Russell 24 83 7 19 6 3 0 2 5 16 1 0 2 .229 .337 .281
Ibanez, Raul 20 56 9 11 7 2 1 1 7 14 0 0 0 .196 .321 .297
 Granderson, Curtis 28 97 12 19 20 4 0 6 10 31 0 3 0 .196 .423 .270
 McGehee, Casey 13 43 7 8 6 3 0 1 3 9 0 1 0 .186 .326 .234
 Jones, Andruw 14 42 5 6 4 1 0 1 6 10 0 1 0 .143 .238 .260
Pearce, Steve 2 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 .000 .000 .167
    957 133 256 129 52 2 36 85 199 7 7 10 .268 .439 .331

Good

Derek Jeter. Jeter’s performance during the season was so good for his age that one witless pundit almost suggested he might be using HGH. Testy moments like that aside Jeter continued with another month of the same – a great offensive season and a defensive season which was better than anyone had a right to expect. His range at shortstop is always going to be limited but a .350 batting average and 6 home runs on the month will more than do.

Nick Swisher. Nick continues to hit in streaks and not hit in others and this month he topped .300 and played every day. That’ll do.

Ichiro Suzuki. Suzuki has had more adjustments to make than most and August he continued to work through those changes  with great aplomb and to his credit. He is not ever going to be the base thief he was as a younger man but he gets on base regularly and persistently and that makes him a wise addition. Only Jeter got on base with greater frequency and that makes him a useful bottom of order player to have around.

Robinson Cano. Cano has had a mixed season and this month wasn’t his best but it was okay. 12 extra base hits made him third in the team in that category. Add that to solid defense then he’s a player that the Yankees should be trying to sign up for his career but doing so by tabling sensible contracts for 2013 and beyond. We really don’t need any more A-Rod style contracts in the Yankees’ future.

Bad

Andruw Jones. Jones had to bat clean-up because of the absence of Rodriguez and Teixeira and it was an experiment which didn’t work well. Only two extra base hits and the worst batting average amongst players who played in 50% or more of the August games said everything about why he shouldn’t be playing anywhere but off the bench and that he shouldn’t be coming back next year.

Casey McGehee. Casey played the corners because of all the injuries that were around. He batted .186 and appeared in 13 games. Nix and Chavez were much stronger options in the role they asked McGehee to fill and the only thing in his favour was his age.

Curtis Granderson. Granderson batting below .200 in the month that is at the heart of the season suggests that something is not quite right. He played every day but was the only player to strike out more than 30 times in August amongst the Yankees.

Raul Ibanez. Ibanez has done surprisingly well this season but it is to be expected that everyone will have a quiet period and August was Raul’s. Bad time to have that kind of dip.

Surprising

Steve Pearce. Pearce was a surprising addition and came in at the very end of August and was given the no. 4 slot that Jones had struggled in for the preceding days. 5 at bats in his first two games and no hits and so he finds himself at this end of our review as we wonder why the Yankees brought him back from Houston.

Mark Teixeira. Teixeira missed a week of games and was just so ordinary when he was in the line-up. It was surprising that the days around his unavailability were nothing more than ordinary and he has had such an ordinary season. Did I mention how surprised I am at how ordinary his performance has been. Move along. Nothing to see here.

Chris Stewart. Chris had another strong hit-for-average month. He is defensively strong, .044 ahead of Russell Martin in August and Martin only had 2 home runs compared to Stewart’s not unexpected zero in that category to commend him in the extra base hits column as both Stewart and Martin accumulated three doubles. Put all this together and note that Martin appeared in 24 games and Stewart only in 7 in August. Surprising?

Eric Chavez. Injuries on the roster at both corners. Chavez is 35 but for parts of 21 games he belied that fact and led the team in batting average and slugging.

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