Analyzing The Yankees OffensePosted: April 12, 2011
With the issues of the starting rotation and Rafael Soriano, the Yankee offense has kind of gone under the radar. What I mean by this is that even though it hasn’t been great, not many are questioning it because of other problems. But is there really anything to question?
As of right now, there are two ‘problems’ that I see in the Bomber offense. First of all, they are relying a little too much on the homer. They are tied for the most homers in the MLB with the Rangers with 18. However, the Yanks are 5-4 and Texas is 9-1. Does anyone else see something wrong with this?
Well, let’s a take a look deeper inside the numbers. The Rangers are batting .265 as a team, while the Yankees are at .236, Texas has a team .333 OBP, while New York has a .311, and despite the equal amount of homers, Texas is slugging .517 as a team, while New York is only at .471. This shows that the Rangers have a lot more extra base hits that are not homers.
So even though the Yankees are hitting a lot of homers and driving in a lot of runs this way, they should be doing more. The Rangers have been scoring more runs by stringing hits together and putting together big innings. Sure their starting pitching has been a huge surprise for them, but the hitting has helped a lot also. This is a strategy that the Bombers should start trying to use a little more. They need to be more of a base hit and walk team rather than a homer team. This is part of the reason why I think they should be running a little more.
The other question I have about the offense is the top three in the lineup. Brett Gardner is batting .167, Derek Jeter is batting .206, and Mark Teixeira is at .182. What do these three guys need to do to get to mid-season form?
When I watch Brett Gardner at bat, it’s like having deja vu. Every time he takes strike one basically down the middle and then takes strike three looking. He needs to be a tad more aggressive and take advantage of pitches he can hit. I don’t want him to change his approach too much though because his OBP is almost 100 points higher than batting average which shows he is still getting on base. Also, as the lead off hitter he needs to see as many pitches as possible to give the rest of the team an idea of what the opposing pitcher has that day.
Next up is Derek Jeter. Jeter, starting last Thursday against the Twins, abandoned the new mechanics that he and hitting instructor Kevin Long had been working on and went back to his old stance and the double tap. He has actually improved a good amount as he his hitting the ball a little harder and his numbers have slightly risen. He just needs to start hitting more line drives and less ground balls because it is no coincidence that the year his GO/AO ratio went up to 2.91, the highest it has ever been, he hit a career low .270 (2010).
Mark Teixeira is the trickiest of the three. He is notorious for his slow starts, but in the first five games, he hit four homers and it looked like he had gotten past that. Yet, a week later, it’s back to the same old. He is now 0-for-his-last-15. Although his average is very low, his OBP is still at .325 and he is slugging .545. This shows he is still getting on base and when he does hit the ball, it is going far. If Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano get hot, it could help because it will allow him to see better pitches. I’m not sure if there is a cure for Tex, except to just wait it out and hope it doesn’t take as long as last year for him to snap out of it.
With the starting rotation being a pretty big question mark, the Yankees are going to need to score a lot of runs to win games. They can do this many different ways, but they should start getting away from the home run and start becoming an extra base hit and walk team. But the most important part to this is getting the three guys at the top of the lineup going.