The Yankees had a surprising month in July. New faces began to arrive and those that had struggled in the first half began to turn things around — but then as the month came to its conclusion they had a sequence of defeats. Go figure! Let’s see who did what at the plate:
|New York Yankees – Batting – Month – July|
The Yankees seem to have solved their catching conundrum. With John Ryan Murphy filed away at Scranton for future reference or as a possible trade chip, Francisco Cervelli and Brian McCann are finally finding their way. McCann had, by far, his best month of the season in July. He hit .for a 299 batting average and also began to rediscover his power swing with 6 extra base hits. Meanwhile, Cervelli came up trumps. In July, he led the team in batting average and on-base percentage. He tied for the lead in doubles with Brian Roberts and came in second in slugging and third in extra base hits.
The major change in the infield came with Chase Headley coming over from the San Diego Padres in exchange for early season sensation, Yangervis Solarte. Solarte was having his worst stint of the season when the trade took place and Headley has come alive since he arrived in New York.
It is too early to call this but so far it looks like a good deal. Brian Roberts struggled in July especially towards the end of the month and this resulted in him being benched. He still managed to hit a number of doubles early in the month but the Yankees expected a lot more than .238 from this veteran. Another veteran, Derek Jeter, saw his average rise slightly, coming in at .289 on the month, but suffering the opposite problem to Roberts, he can only offer the Yankees singles.
Mark Teixeira spent nearly half the month injured or unavailable and when he was around he only hit .203. He added in 2 doubles and 3 homers but the Bronx faithful are really noticing how much that huge price tag costs when it comes with all those injuries.
Of the bench infielders, Zelous Wheeler was the only bright spark. He has taken over the contribution that Solarte gave the team in April and May and is another nice, albeit short term, surprise. Less encouraging are .220-hitting, Kelly Johnson and hardly-hitting-at-all Brendan Ryan. Johnson has also had some injury difficulties and Ryan is sharpest in the field so Ryan probably makes most sense as a late innings substitute as we hit the late summer.
In the outfield both Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury continue to carry their weight although Ellsbury had a second half of the month slump but fortunately, at the same time, Gardner was undergoing an upswing. Gardner’s seven home runs was the Yankees best in July. Right-field continued to be the problem however. The more that it was necessary for Ichiro Suzuki to play there everyday the more his batting figures struggled. He produced .224 with only three extra base hits and this has become a noticeable weakness. With Alfonso Soriano released and Carlos Beltran unable to throw, Zoilo Almonte has been called up for another chance in the outfield in the later days of the month but produced nothing of note to add to the offense.
Carlos Beltran is now firmly ensconced as the first choice designated hitter with his games as an outfielder reduced to nil but seemingly recovered from all his other ailments by the second half of the season. July has seen him produce something more like the Yankees wanted of him offensively when they signed him. He hit .300 with 4 home runs.
This doesn’t change the fact that when the Yankees gave him the contract, they thought they were getting an outfielder. It has been just one more frustration for the New York club in a season that has just been like that.