The Yankees bats finally began to break out in June but their win/loss record on the month wasn’t much different from how it had been in May. We’ll see to what degree the pitchers were responsible for that in our next article. In the meantime let’s survey the batters and see who was responsible for a month that saw them surge to a .278 BA on the month against May’s .232 and .424 SLG against the previous month’s .385.
|New York Yankees – Batting – Month – June|
Both catchers struggled with the bat in June but especially Austin Romine who had seemed on the verge of stepping up into a full blown platoon with Brian McCann. Romine had batted .324 with 5 extra base hits in May but June saw his figures take a huge downturn to .152 with 3 extra base hits. During the same period, McCann improved slightly from .203 to .231 but this still leaves his production on the season as a whole well below what the Yankees might have been hoping for from this tandem.
One of the big factors for the Yankees this month was the injury to Mark Teixeira which took him out of the line-up for three weeks. Prior to that in the whole of May and the first three days of June, Teixeira hadn’t hit a home run. On his return, he managed a couple of homers before the end of the month and had his best game of the season so far when on the 27th against Texas he gathered 3 hits and 6 total bases. However, filling the gap whilst he was out was what taxed the Yankees the most.
For a while, it looked like a cursed spot in the line-up where only the foolish would go as one after another saw their form disappear or injuries knock on their door. With Dustin Ackley (the obvious choice to take up at least some of the time at first base) already out and headed to the 60 day DL needing season-ending surgery, then the Yankees selected Chris Parmelee from Scranton. His arrival saw him go on a tear collecting 3 base hits including two home runs on the 8th against the Angels and a single the following day. Sadly, he also collected a right hamstring strain and joined Teixeira on the disabled list. Rob Refsnyder had been called up at the beginning of the month as a replacement for Ackley but has very little corner infield experience. He was given the role for the next few days and did much better than he had at third base in Spring Training and is doing well with the bat. However, the Yankees were reluctant to trust him solely with the role so they entered into negotiations with former Met, Ike Davis who they had offered a non-roster tryout in Spring Training – a notion he had declined. This time with a promise of a major league contract he bit and joined the roster on the 13th.
Davis was, as expected, more confident in the field than Refsnyder but struggled at the plate. Whilst Refsnyder batted .296 with 4 doubles, Davis was managing only .214 with no power. The short story was that Davis was the one to be removed from the roster when Teixeira was ready to go again. This time, he accepted an assignment to Scranton where he seems to have rediscovered his home run stroke.
At 2nd base, Starlin Castro continued to have a steady season. He was used at that position 26 times in June, whilst Refsnyder made three appearances there and Ronald Torreyes a mere 2. Castro had a much better month than he had in May. His average in May had dipped to .200 on the month, the 30 days of June delivered a much more respectable .276. Torreyes only featured in 4 games in the whole of June – the other two came at third base – his 11 at-bats saw a miserable .091 BA and he is teetering on the brink of being removed from the roster now that Refsnyder is establishing himself.
Did Gregorius‘ .337 with 11 extra base hits in June, emphasises just how he has grown as a player and how crucial he is now for the Yankees, not only in 2016 but into their future.
Chase Headley, as we know, endured a miserable April but May saw him regain his composure and form. In June, his average was not quite as strong but he delivered more power so all is well.
Brett Gardner appeared in 25 games in June, all in left field. His .323 in June was an essential part of the Yankees’ offense and whilst he didn’t deliver much in the way of power, his hitting streak which saw him take 15 hits in 9 days between the 3rd and the 11th of the month was his best period of the year so far.
Jacoby Ellsbury‘s .263 in June was solid if not spectacular. Carlos Beltran led the regular members of the team in home runs, batting average, slugging, on-base percentage and RBIs. He is a crucial part of this team and he is making a convincing argument for the Yankees to re-sign him if he wants to continue beyond this season.
Aaron Hicks is the Yankees smartest and savviest outfielder and split time in June beyond all three positions. He covers for Beltran when Carlos is covering for A-Rod and takes time spotting Gardner and Ellsbury. Unfortunately, his .214 batting in June is less than the Yankees would be hoping for but his fielding expertise means he is a steady regular at least for the rest of this year. Refsnyder also made two appearances in rightfield.
There has been a lot of talk about how Alex Rodriguez is really not an everyday player for the Yankees anymore but the reality is that the Yankees have just had a few National League opponents this month and even then he has sometimes pinch hit. In his 22 appearances at Designated Hitter in June, he has actually done okay. .267 and 2 home runs, a couple of doubles. Carlos Beltran also took some time at DH but the Yankees need him to boost the outfield offensive so they won’t be playing Hicks there every day so for now it is A-Rod, who is nothing to get excited about but who is doing okay.