Midseason Report Cards for All 25 New York Yankees
It's July 4th, and even though the Yankees aren't quite halfway through their season (they've played 80 games), Independence Day generally marks the midway point of a team's schedule.
The Yankees have been on a tear for more than a month, opening up a five game lead in the American League East powered by strong starting pitching and the lineup's propensity to hit home runs.
The team sits at 48-32, but how have each of the squad's 25 players fared?
Here are grades for each Yankee's 2012 performances.
Catcher: Russell Martin
2012 Statistics: 65 games, .182 AVG, 8 HR, 21 RBI, .302 OBP
Russell Martin's had a rough year.
After getting off to a slow start, he's missed time with a back injury for the last couple of weeks.
Even though his on-base percentage is below average at .302, his batting average rose above .200 for a couple of weeks in June and has now dipped back below the Mendoza Line.
Martin's power numbers are decent, as is his on-base percentage, but Russell will be the first one to tell you that he's having a very poor 2012.
First Base: Mark Teixeira
2012 Statistics: 76 games, .246 AVG, 13 HR, 45 RBI, .328 OBP
Mark Teixeira's not having a very good year.
After a typical slow start (he hit .244 with just three home runs in April), Tex had a better May that made fans think that he was turning things around. He doubled his power numbers with six home runs and a .269 batting average.
But he had a bad June, hitting just .219 with four home runs and now at the midway point, Teixeira is on pace for the lowest on-base percentage of his career. On the bright side, he's still halfway to a 25-30 homer season. He also has played good defense (he made his first error of the season on Monday).
He's been dealing with damaged vocal cords all season, which may be factoring into his poor play, but regardless of the reason, Mark needs to play better.
Second Base: Robinson Cano
2012 Statistics: 80 games, .315 AVG, 20 HR, 48 RBI, .374 OBP
Robinson Cano is on fire.
Since June 1, Robbie has 12 home runs and his hitting .352. For some reason, pitchers keep deciding to pitch to him, and he keeps making them pay.
He'll be starting at second for the American League in Tuesday's All-Star Game, and he's made himself a legitimate MVP candidate in the AL. If not for a poor April (.267 AVG, one home run), Robbie would get an A+ (even though the highest grade I'm giving in these rankings is an A).
Shortstop: Derek Jeter
2012 Statistics: 78 games, .301 AVG, 7 HR, 25 RBI, .351 OBP
The Captain's pulled a reverse Robinson Cano this year; he started fast and has slowed down. His average dipped below .300 on July 1 for the first time since April 8.
Still, Jeter has seven home runs and has a high on-base percentage. He's done a good job in the leadoff spot and even though he's not a .380 hitter, Yankee fans would be happy if he ended up hitting .300 with 15 home runs.
Third Base: Alex Rodriguez
2012 Statistics: 77 games, .262 AVG, 13 HR, 35 RBI, .353 OBP
Joe Girardi's been resting A-Rod a lot this year, giving him 19 half days off by DHing him, and so far it's worked at keeping him off of the disabled list. If Alex can stay healthy for the rest of the year, it could be the first time he's played over 140 games in a season since 2007.
Rodriguez has played well with the extra rest. He's not a .320 hitter anymore, nor is he going to hit 40-50 home runs; he'll turn 37 in a few weeks and has dealt with hip injuries for the last few seasons.
But he is capable of hitting 30 home runs and getting on base at a high rate, which he's done so far this year.
Left Field: Brett Gardner
2012 Statistics: 9 games, .321 AVG, HR, 3 RBI, .424 OBP
It's impossible to give Brett Gardner a grade for his season, since he's missed all but the first nine games with an elbow injury.
Brett played well before being hurt, and hopes to be back by the end of July. The Yankees have played well without him, but they could certainly use his speed and defense on the field.
Center Field: Curtis Granderson
2012 Statistics: 80 games, .244 AVG, 23 HR, 48 RBI, .343 OBP
Curtis Granderson might be the Yankees' MVP at the halfway point of the season. He's played a good defensive center field, has smashed 23 home runs and is tied for the team lead in stolen bases with six.
The offense has been inconsistent this year, but Granderson has been a constant source of power and runs for the team. He hit eight homers in April, eight in May and seven in June.
He almost single-handedly carried the lineup in April and is on pace for his second consecutive 40-homer season.
Right Field: Nick Swisher
2012 Statistics: 72 games, .261 AVG, 12 HR, 46 RBI, .325 OBP
Swisher is doing his best to earn a lucrative contract when he is a free agent this offseason.
His .261 average would be the third highest of his career, and he's on pace for 20-25 home runs and 90 RBI. What's surprising about his 2012 numbers is his low on-base percentage, despite his high batting average; he has a career .358 OBP and a .325 mark would be his lowest since 2005.
He's a fan favorite who always takes a lot of pitches and makes pitchers work.
Designated Hitter: Raul Ibanez
2012 Statistics: 68 games, .237 AVG, 11 HR, 35 RBI, .297 OBP
After signing a one year deal for $1.1 million and hitting 9-60 in Spring Training (.150), expectations were low for Raul Ibanez, who was brought in to platoon at the DH spot with Andruw Jones.
But because of Brett Gardner's injury, Ibanez has gotten more playing time than expected and has excelled. He's had some big hits, including a three-run homer at Citi Field in the seventh inning when the Yankees trailed the Mets 3-0. The Yankees went on the win the game 4-3.
He has 11 home runs and 35 RBI, and even though his on-base numbers are low, Ibanez has exceeded expectations and has earned his salary and then some.
Bench: Eric Chavez
2012 Statistics: 52 games, .272 AVG, 6 HR, 16 RBI, .326 OBP
Chavez has done a solid job coming off the bench for the Yankees for the second year in a row.
He's filled in at third base for Alex Rodriguez 19 times this year and has also been the Yankees' DH and first basemen filling in for Mark Teixeira.
The Yankees are very happy with Chavez's good defense at the corners and productive at bats when he's called upon.
Bench: Chris Stewart
2012 Statistics: 27 games, .270 AVG, 0 HR, 9 RBI, .295 OBP
Chris Stewart's had his ups and downs in 2012.
He's become CC Sabathia's personal catcher (although Joe Girardi won't admit it, he just wants us all to think that it's a coincidence that Stewart has caught each CC's last 13 starts) and has played a lot over the last couple of weeks while Russell Martin deals with a back injury.
But he's barely hit at all, and he has four errors behind the plate that have led to some costly runs.
Bench: Andruw Jones
2012 Statistics: 45 games, .229 AVG, 7 HR, 16 RBI, .325 OBP
In his second year with the Yankees, Andruw Jones was meant to be a right-handed DH in a platoon with Raul Ibanez. He's had his playing time increased with Brett Gardner out, and has played well.
He's raked seven home runs and has played a decent left field, even though the Yanks did not necessarily see him as an outfielder at this point of his career.
Bench: Dewayne Wise
2012 Statistics: 45 games, .271 AVG, 3 HR, 6 RBI, .300 OBP
Wise was brought in mostly as a defensive replacement late in games, so he only has 44 at bats in 43 games played. But when he is in the starting lineup, things get interesting (he even pitched in a game last week, getting two outs on a pop-up and groundout).
All of his RBI have come in three games. One was on June 25, when he had a home run and a triple against Cleveland, and another was on June 30, when he belted a home run and double against Chicago. The other was last night in Tampa, when he hit a solo shot.
He was also involved in one of the worst umpiring calls of the season, when he dove into the stands in a game against Cleveland trying to catch a foul bull and the umpire ruled that Wise made the catch, even though it was clear that he did not.
Either way, Wise has done a good job at what he was brought in to do: play solid defense late in games and hit when needed.
Starting Pitcher: CC Sabathia
2012 Statistics: 15 games, 107.0 IP, 9-3, 3.45 ERA, 105 K, 29 BB
While CC Sabathia hasn't been at his best at times this year, he's clearly been their ace, giving them innings and quality starts most times out.
He's only failed to complete six innings once this year, in his last start against the Mets when poor defense and what turned out to be a strained groin forced him to come out after five and two-thirds. In fact, prior to that start, CC had pitched at least seven innings in six straight starts.
Sabathia's hit the DL now and will miss at least two starts, but he's been solid this year and was selected to the American League All-Star team (even though he won't pitch).
Starting Pitcher: Hiroki Kuroda
2012 Statistics: 16 games, 102.1 IP, 8-7, 3.17 ERA, 80 K, 31 BB
An afterthought when he was signed, due to the acquisition of Michael Pineda on the same day, Kuroda has emerged as one of the Yankees' best starters.
After struggling in his first few starts in pinstripes, he's pitched like an ace for the last month and a half. Since May 27, Kuroda is 5-1 with a 1.65 ERA in seven starts.
He has the lowest ERA in the Yankees' rotation and has emerged as the Yankees' best offseason acquisition.
Starting Pitcher: Ivan Nova
2012 Statistics: 16 games, 104.1 IP, 9-3, 4.05 ERA, 90 K, 31 BB
Ivan Nova was awful for the first two months of the season, entering June with a 5.60 ERA, but for the last month he's looked like the 2011 Nova who went 16-4.
Before last night, he had only allowed three homers in his last five starts (after giving up 13 long balls in his first 10 starts) and only allowed five earned runs total in that time.
Nova's two bad months bring his grade for the season down, but he is certainly on the right track and Yankee fans should have confidence in him going forward.
Starting Pitcher: Phil Hughes
2012 Statistics: 16 games, 94.1 IP, 9-6, 4.29 ERA, 89 K, 22 BB
Like Nova, Phil Hughes had a terrible first two months of the season.
He, also like Nova, allowed 13 homers in his first 10 starts and entered June with a 5.64 ERA.
But, again like Nova, he turned his season around during his last six starts. He's gone 5-1 during that time and only once has allowed more than two earned runs in a game. He threw a complete game in Detroit and has tossed eight innings in two other starts (against Cleveland and Chicago).
He can still be a wild card, always prone to the long ball but also always capable of throwing a gem.
Starting Pitcher: Andy Pettitte
2012 Statistics: 9 games, 58.2 IP, 3-3, 3.22 ERA, 59 K, 15 BB
Andy Pettitte surprised us all by announcing that he was returning to the Yankees after over a year of retirement, but he's been a welcome addition to the Yankees' rotation.
From his return to being put on the DL after fracturing his ankle on a line drive, Pettitte was second in the American League in strikeouts. Six of his nine starts are considered quality starts (six-plus innings of three or fewer runs).
He will miss at least the next two months as he recovers from his fractured ankle, but hopefully he comes back in September rested and ready to pitch in the playoffs.
Bullpen: Freddy Garcia
2012 Statistics: 15 games (5 starts), 36.1 IP, 2-2, 5.94 ERA, 27 K, 8 BB
After beginning the season in the rotation, Garcia was relegated to mop-up duty after four horrific starts and a 12.51 ERA.
Garcia has pitched well in limited appearances, and had a good start on Monday filling in for Andy Pettitte, tossing five and a third innings and allowing just two runs to the Rays.
If Freddy continues to pitch well, he may stay in the rotation while Pettitte is on the shelf, but he will have to compete with rookies D.J. Mitchell, David Phelps and Adam Warren for that role.
Bullpen: Cory Wade
2012 Statistics: 33 games, 32.2 IP, 0-1, 5.79 ERA, 34 K, 8 BB
After a breakout 2011 and solid first two months of 2012, Cory Wade cratered in June. He pitched so poorly that he was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to work out his issues. He allowed 10 runs in his last two outings and saw his ERA balloon from 2.63 to 5.79 in just six appearances.
He was great for most of the season, and the Yankees seem to have a lot of confidence in him but felt that the minor leagues would be the best place for him to work out his issues.
Wade should be back at some point, and has pitched much better than his ERA would indicate.
Bullpen: Rafael Soriano
2012 Statistics: 33 games, 30.1 IP, 2-0, 18 saves, 1.78 ERA, 28 K, 13 BB
Rafael Soriano stepped into the closer's role after Mariano Rivera and David Robertson hit the Disabled List, and he's done a good job.
He has 18 saves, and has only allowed two runs in his last 18 appearances. He's gotten himself into trouble when trying to close out a game, but is usually able to get out of jams and preserve Yankee victories. He only has one blown save.
Soriano's not as reliable or automatic as Rivera, but really, who is? He's done a good job at the back of the bullpen in a role nobody expected him to have to step in to.
Bullpen: Boone Logan
2012 Statistics: 40 games, 28.2 IP, 2-0, 2.83 ERA, 37 K, 12 BB
Boone Logan has been phenomenal for the Yankees this year, coming in as a lefty specialist. He's gotten big outs for the Yanks and has been particularly effective against left-handed hitters, allowing just a .203 average against them.
He leads the league in appearances, but his low innings total should keep him rested for the second half.
Bullpen: Clay Rapada
2012 Statistics: 38 games, 24.0 IP, 2-0, 3.00 ERA, 22 K, 13 BB
The Yankees' other lefty specialist, Clay Rapada has been one of the more surprising success stories of the team's season. After being released by the Orioles following a 6.06 ERA in 2011, the Yankees signed him in February and a strong spring earned Rapada a spot on the roster.
While his walk total is higher than the team would like, he's been particularly difficult on lefties, who are just 8-57 off him (.140).
Bullpen: David Robertson
2012 Statistics: 23 games, 21.1 IP, 0-3, 2.53 ERA, 35 K, 8 BB
David Robertson's had an up-and-down 2012.
He was phenomenal setting up for Mariano Rivera and didn't allow a run until May 9, his second save opportunity after Rivera tore his ACL.
After one more appearance, he went on the disabled list with a strained oblique and missed a month.
Since returning, Rafael Soriano has taken control of the closer's role and Robertson is back to setting up. He's been okay, but has given up a couple of big home runs during the last week.
Still, Robertson is one of the best relievers in the game and the Yankees shouldn't have any concerns about him going forward.
Bullpen: Cody Eppley
2012 Statistics: 25 games, 19.2 IP, 0-0, 2.75 ERA, 10 K, 8 BB
Cody Eppley is another unsung hero from the Yankee bullpen. Claimed off waivers from the Rangers on April 5, Eppley immediately joined the Yankee bullpen and has gotten big outs all season.
His strikeout-to-walk rate suggests that he may be pitching a little over his head and will regress at some point, but for now he's been one of the Yankees most reliable relievers and a major reason that the Yankees are in first place.
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