Granderson’s worrisome second half

In the second half, Curtis Granderson’s triple slash line is: .225/.289/.461. That covers the last 22 games and gives him a second half OPS of .750. In the five games in August, his slash line is: .200/.304/.350. Based on those two sets of numbers, it’s pretty safe to say that he is scuffling at the plate. Lately, Joe Girardi has installed Granderson into the lead-off spot. Why exactly? Granderson has not gotten a hit to lead off a game yet.

All of this is sort of important as it seems that Curtis Granderson is one of the keys to whether the Yankees win or not. Call it a coincidence, but in games that the Yankees win, Granderson has a .965 OPS. In games the Yankees lose, Granderson has an OPS of .651. In those losses, Granderson has struck out in 36.5 percent of his plate appearances. In high leverage situations, he has struck out 25 times in 80 plate appearances or 31.5 percent. His OPS in late and close situations is .498 and he strikes out 36.6 percent of those plate appearances. His swinging strike percantage is 11.1 percent compared to 8.5 percent last season. These numbers all seem to match the eye witness belief that whenever the Yankees have a threat going and Granderson comes to the plate, he strikes out.

In the interest of fairness, it should be noted that those clutch statistics were culled from Baseball-reference.com. Obviously, Fangraphs.com measures high leverage situations differently and have Granderson faring better in those situations. And in a season when hitting with runners on base seems to be a constant topic, Fangraphs gives Granderson a .904 OPS with runners on base and a .264 batting average.

The Yankees are 4-6 since Alex Rodriguez fractured his hand. The lineup isn’t as circular as it once was (though Eric Chavez has been great). The Yankees need Granderson to get back to his first half production down the stretch. His 34 percent strikeout rate in July is troublesome. His August start has not picked up the pace. Curtis Granderson is a key piece of the Yankees’ offense and lately that piece has been sputtering.

William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at www.passion4baseball.blogspot.com since 2003.

8 thoughts on “Granderson’s worrisome second half

  1. getdownmoses

    I just don't get why he's batting leadoff. With his power numbers and low average he seems better suited for the middle of the lineup.

    • Yeah, I would flip Nick Swisher to the second spot, keep Jeter at lead off and move Granderson to fifth. I'm sure it has something to do with the left/right thing Girardi is after.

  2. hmelawyer

    Another thing I don't get is Robby Thompson's conservative approach in close games and Granderson coming to the plate. He has really become a three true outcome player and expecting him to get a runner home from third (absent a home run) seems to be a lower likelihood than him striking out.
    Maybe it is just me, but it seems like Thompson is very conservative holding runners compared to our opponents. It just irks me even more when 1. it seems like 85% of the time the throw ends up being offline and the runner would have made it; and 2. the next batter coming to the plate is not a contact hitter.

    I know we have a powerful offense and the risk may result in missing a run that would score on a homerun, but I think it adds to the perception that we can only score on the homerun when the third base coach seems to be holding runners for that possibility.

    • That has been grating on me as well.

    • uyf1950

      hmelawyer, I couldn't agree with you more. I've also noticed that all to frequently Yankee runners seem to stop at 2nd base. Many times there is a batter on 1st the next batter will single and the Yankees wind up with batters on 1st and 2nd instead of 1st and 3rd and I see many teams with.

    • BrienJackson

      To be fair, the most egregious example of this last night came with Eric Chavez running, and I would think that it's as likely as not that Thompson didn't want to risk Mr. Glass getting injured in a play at the plate.

  3. uyf1950

    I'm really concerned with the amount of times and when Granderson strikes out. The home runs are nice but I wonder just how many runs he's left on the table because of all those strike outs.

  4. The hawk is howling

    what the hell is wrong with you guys? Dude's gonna hit 40 HR, score 110, and drive in 100 runs and we're bitching about it? You know how many teams would kill for a guy like that? I don't care what his average or slugging is as long as he has the power #'s. Just like what Girardi says Tex, he doesn't give a shit about the average as long as the power #'s are there. Where is the write up on Arod's #'s??? And yea I don't care that he's on the DL, he was never gonna "get hot".

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