The Yankees have always been a great offensive team, building their new ballpark to fit their needs perfectly, allowing a lot of balls to hit the seats with that short porch in right field. However, because the Yankees have so many power hitters in their lineup, i.e Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher, Mark Teixeira, along with possibly Andruw Jones being the 4th OF if he comes back next season, they have mainly become a home-run hitting team, and if they are not hitting a long ball, then they usually get in some serious trouble.
I’m sure all fans would agree, seeing your favorite player hit one out of the ballpark is always fun. But, there is a time and place for everything. There is a time to break open the game, which I the Yankees are very good at, but then theres also a time when you just have to get one little single to possibly win the game.
You don’t know how many times I sat on my couch watching a game, with the bases loaded, maybe like 1 or 2 outs, and having one of the big players come up and hit. Did I scream out “Hit a Grand Slam”? No, although that would be nice. If its a close game, whether the Yankees are winning or losing, I always say “Come on (insert name here) just hit a single, that’s all you need!”. Most of the time, that was not the case. Instead the guy stuck out or got into a double play.
So clearly this has become a problem for the Yankees. Basically they need to get “clutch hitting” at the right moment. Especially in the postseason, because let’s face it, everyone made a big deal about the rotation, especially going into the postseason, including myself, but in the end hitting is what got us knocked out. So that does that mean we have to get some new “clutch guys” well not necessarily.
I’m no expert on hitting but I think the lineup just needs some tweaking. Kevin Long says he works with his offense every season from spring training on on “situational hitting”, but it might take a bit more than that.
Now during the playoffs, Jorge Posada and Brett Gardner were the only Yankees to consistently get on base and actually get the big hit with men on base. With a lineup as powerful and deep as the Yankees, that should not be the case.
Heck even Cervelli did a good job with runners in scoring position, and he barely plays. So younger players like Nunez, Gardner, Cervelli need to play more often. I personally believe Gardner should be playing every day, Nunez and Montero need to get as many at-bats as possible, and Cervelli well we’ll see what happens with him.
So what can the Yankees do to solve this problem? Well got to go in there and do some tinkering. I am no expert at hitting but those “situational hitting” “games” that Long is doing with the Yankees isn’t good enough. Most of these power guys, besides Robinson cause he can hit anything, usually go up to the plate looking for that one special pitch, the “fastball”. That is not always going to be the case, do you think the pitchers are just going to be like “well Im going to throw this fastball right down the middle and take my chances”? NO. Especially not in the postseason. Pitchers do their homework and they know what certain guys like and how to get them out. Unless you can throw a 100mph fastball and blow it by a hitter, they are usually not going to do that, unless they have to. Now I don’t know if this is really going to help, but perhaps they just need to learn to shorten their swing at the right moment? Probably harder that it sounds, but these players need to KNOW that there are certain things you need to do in certain situations. I shouldn’t have to tell them this.
I know that there’s pressure, and they want to hear the crowd roar with a Grand Slam, but timely hitting is key, and a game winning single will probably get the same reaction. So even though Cashman needs to focus on pitching for the Yankees, whether it be signing Buerhle, trading for someone that won’t deplete our farm system, or just giving the kiddies a shot at the rotation, Kevin Long and even perhaps Joe Girardi, need to work with this offense and make sure that they are not relying on the long-ball as much.
Whatever happened to just playing “small-ball”? At times it seems like the Yankees don’t even know what that means.
On a side note, I also think that some tweaking of the lineup wouldn’t hurt either.
Cano is clearly the best hitter on the packed Yankees lineup. In the playoffs, Girardi put Cano at 3rd and had Teixeira moved down to 5th. But with A-rod not hitting what was the point??? No protection for Robbie whatsoever. Now I don’t know how A-rod will play next year, no one does, but he better bring Alex Rodriguez with him!! We need a healthy, productive Alex. If I were Joe I might make a line-up looking like this.
Before you read my explanation, please really don’t take this seriously. I really don’t know what Im doing here. I know each spot in the lineup has a specific purpose but that’s pretty much it:P This was really just for fun, but don’t take it seriously.
Now this probably might not make any sense but this is just my opinion. I have been one of those people saying that Gardner should lead off. So you have Gardner and Jeter hopefully getting on base, and then with Granderson batting 3rd and Cano coming up after him, the Grandy man might see better pitches to hit, because I don’t think anyone wants to face Cano, so they just take their chances with Granderson. Cano is the best hitter, but I have in the clean-up spot because I just don’t know about Alex anymore. Can he stay healthy, and actually play more than a 100 games?? Can he hit like 40 Hrs and get 120 RBIs again? I don’t know and only time will tell. But let’s face it, he is not the best hitter anymore, Cano is. I kept Teixiera at 5th, and then I put Montero last because the kid has power, and if Swisher, who usually has a good OBP, and Martin can get on base before Montero, then Jesus could do some serious damage.
That’s my opinion, what’s yours? Feel free to leave a comment below.