Friday, August 20, 2010

Tonight's Lineup: A-Rod is Back (At DH)

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Curtis Granderson CF
Francisco Cervelli C
Ramiro Pena 3B

This brings me to something I saw Steve B. write yesterday over on Pride of the Yankees:
.....I think the Yankees play a better brand of baseball without A-Rod in the lineup.

No, no, no, it doesn't mean I prefer Ramiro Pena in the lineup!! But here's the thing-- I don't know if it comes from Girardi, or maybe from the players themselves, but without A-Rod the Yankees club seems to fall back into more of a smallish ball brand of game, which actually seems to suit them pretty well. Sure, I remember what Earl Weaver used to say- "the best play in baseball is the 3-run HR". But I fret about what will happen in the postseason when the Yankees are facing superior pitching and can't manage that 3-run HR, but can manage an infield hit every couple of innings.
To be honest, I can't really argue that at times they do seem to do a lot less waiting for the three-run homer when he isn't there, and therefore, do play a better brand of baseball.

Steve asked if the blame should go to the players and Girardi, and I certainly think it does. If they change their approach when Alex is in the lineup, that's their issue. To me, A-Rod is the least guilty if and when this team gets into their three-run homer ruts. He's may not be having a typical A-Rod year, but the guy has 97 RBI and some really nice splits:
  • W/ RISP: .290/.356/.516, 6 HR, 71 RBI
  • 2 out, RISP: .305/.397/.407 HR, 25 RBI
  • High Leverage: .333/.395/.653, 6 HR, 41 RBI
He's not the issue.


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