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.