On “fixing” the offense

These things do happen, however, and though the Yankees remain above .500 at 20-19, they’ve also been shut down almost entirely in three consecutive games and have fallen to fourth place in the A.L. East, so there will undoubtedly be calls to Do Something!, especially from the tabloid crowd.

The thing of it is though: there’s not very much you can obviously do to help this offense. On the one hand, that’s a good thing, because they currently rank third in MLB in wRC+ and wOBA, while placing near the top in runs per game as well. On the other hand, it’s also not so good, because there aren’t any obvious lineup fixes that will likely make a difference. The team has only two true black holes right now in Mark Teixeira and Russell Martin (and the latter is at least drawing a ton of walks), amidst a sea of mediocre numbers. Yes, you could drop Tex down the order and put Nick Swisher and Raul Ibanez ahead of him, but those two are sporting OBP’s of .319 and .327 right now, so they’re making their share of outs as well (though they’re both sporting slugging percentages abov3 .500, so they are at least hitting for power).

In some ways, this team wide level of offensive fail may actually be encouraging, if only because this clearly is not the true talent level of the Yankee hitters. At some point they’re going to start stringing more hits together, getting a few more favorable breaks here and there, and scoring more runs on a more consistent basis. Until then, all anyone, including Joe Girardi, can do beyond calling for a little superficial re-decorating is wait out the frustration and hope that the starting pitching is okay whenever the runs do start coming.

4 thoughts on “On “fixing” the offense

  1. Bill

    Boy, I hope you're right. Because right now there's nothing that indicates an offensive explosion. At least in 2007, when they're record was REALLY bad at this point, Rodriguez was putting up prodigious numbers. Right now, even those guys who are "producing" have stats that indicate flaws. The OBPs for Ibanez and Swish for example. The HR-RBI comparison (13-23) for Granderson. A-Rod and Cano's power numbers. And Russell Martin has become completely worthless as a hitter. Sure he gets on base, but he flat out can't seem to hit anymore. As shaky as Nunez is defensively, he has the potential to be an offensive force, but until his fielding average exceeds his OPS, he'll be in AAA. And the absence of Gardner has been even more of a factor than originally thought.

    The starting pitching, outside of Kuroda on the road, should be OK. May not have sub 3.00 ERAs, but at least it should give them a chance to win if they would at least hit the ball.

  2. jay_robertson

    What CAN be fixed? If there were better alternatives in the system, they'd be up there. Right now, nobody is doing that much; or at least, everyone has failed in the clutch, and looked bad at some point in recent history.

    Right now the only rational fix would be to throw in the entire hand and start over – which very rarely works in cards, and is no more likely to work with the team. Shuffling the lineup might placate folks, but really – the problem is simple. Guys AREN'T hitting. This team is the hand that Girardi has been dealt; if they perform anywhere near their potential, we're in the World Series. If they keep up what they're doing, Joe gets fired, and they all get an extra month off at the end of the season.

    • John

      Good points Jay. I think we just need to weather the storm. I've seen this team turn the season around too many times to just jump ship now. I still think we'll be ok. If July and the trade deadline rolls around and we are still in 4th place in the East or lower, then we can panic. Until then, I remain confident the whole lineup will not be this bad for the rest of the season.

  3. Norm

    I know they're the Bronx Bombers, but maybe it's time they played a little small ball once and awhile. Last night's game was typical. Bases loaded, no outs, and they don't score. No only did they fail miserably, it was actually painful to watch. Why not try a sacrifice or squeeze play with a runner on third and less than 2 outs? It certainly couldn't fail any badly than what happens now. The fact that they haven't won a game yet the year that they haven't hit a HR is telling. It's time to try something else, becuase what they're doing now isn't working.

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