Ranking the Most Disappointing New York Yankees Players of 2012
September is soon upon us, as is postseason baseball. As people look forward to the glory that is October, I look back at the 2012 season remembering the expectations for the New York Yankees going into the season.
One of the most favorite pastime of us sports writers is to decide which player had a disappointing season. Now there are several factors to this, but the biggest is whether or not the expectations match the reality.
The 2012 season was full of ups and downs for the New York Yankees as a team as well as individually.
I'm here to rank the 10 players who have had the most disappointing seasons. Expectations, salaries, prolonged slumps and special circumstances are the criteria for the rankings. Rather than going into extravagant detail explaining the process, I'm sure it'll make more sense as we go along.
We're starting with No. 10 and will be going in descending order. Now here are the 10 Yankees with the most disappointing seasons.
10. CC Sabathia
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How does a guy with a 13-3 record, 1.18 WHIP and is the ace of the pitching staff have a disappointing season? That just shows the type of expectations CC Sabathia has.
Sabathia is the New York Yankees' ace, but he hasn't really been pitching like one. Hiroki Kuroda has outpitched Sabathia with a 2.98 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. On top of that, Sabathia has been to the DL twice while Kuroda hasn't.
Last season, Sabathia went 19-8 with a 3.00 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 230 SO in 237.1 innings with a WAR of 7.0. This season, his WAR has dropped to 2.4, showing the difference in performance between this season and last season.
As the Yankees' ace, Sabathia is expected to perform like one. He's had an inconsistent season. For every game where he gave up less than two runs, there's a game where he gave up over four. That's not exactly ace-like.
Of course, Sabathia is still having a good season. It's just a down year for him, which is why he's No. 10 on the list.
9. Cory Wade
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Coming into the season, Cory Wade was expected to be a staple of the middle relief corps. Thirty-four games later, Wade is sent back to the minors for imploding. That's one way of not meeting expectations.
Last season, Wade had a 2.04 ERA and a WHIP of 1.03. As the season began, Wade showed much of the same dominance he displayed last season. Going into June, he had a 2.35 ERA. Leaving June, his ERA shot up to 5.79 before being sent down with a 6.48 ERA.
The three-game streak of giving up over three runs was headlined by his six-run dud against the Chicago White Sox on June 29. After that, Wade was sent to the minors to regain his control and his confidence.
Wade didn't have really high expectations going in, but he was expected to be a solid part of the bullpen. His role was increased when Mariano Rivera went down, but he wasn't able to step up.
8. Curtis Granderson
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Thirty-three homers is something to be proud of. A .238 average and 155 strikeouts are two things you shouldn't be proud of unless you're a pitcher.
Curtis Granderson began the season with more of the same stuff he had last season. He had the power, but his average was slipping. His average last year was .262 and he was hovering around that for the beginning of the season.
Now he's batting .205 for the month of August and his season average took a nose dive. Adding to that are all the strikeouts he's amassing. He had 169 last season and looks to blow right past that this year.
I'm pretty sure Granderson isn't looking to have a career year in striking out. With Alex Rodriguez injured and Mark Teixeira having a down year, Granderson needed to step up. He's still mashing out the homers, but they're mainly solo shots.
Granderson is either hitting a homer or striking out. An offensive approach like that isn't going to help anyone, especially when he has more strikeouts than homers.
7. Freddy Garcia
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I was debating whether to have Freddy Garcia at No. 8 or at No. 7. No one expected him to repeat the magic that he had last season. No one also expected him to be abysmal with a 12.51 ERA at the end of April.
Since he had such a terrible start, I had to bump him to No. 7. He's recovered rather nicely and has returned to the rotation. Even then, an ERA of 4.90 isn't nothing to brag about.
Garcia has also failed to go at least five innings in his last two outings. With Andy Pettitte and Ivan Nova out, the Yankees need Garcia to give them more than that.
Most of his struggles come from the fact that he's giving up too many hits. In the 93.2 innings he's pitched, he's given up 100 hits. That means Garcia isn't hitting his spots and deceiving the hitters as well as he did last season.
He was a big factor in keeping the Yankees in playoff contention last year. Garcia's done his part this season as well, but not as well as he did last season.
6. Mark Teixeira
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It's kinda hard to believe that Mark Teixeira was once a .300 hitter. It's even harder to believe that he batted .292 when he was with the Yankees. What ever happened to those days?
Teixeira has more or less given up on hitting for contact. He's also given up caring about the shift. While that approach has improved his average from last year, he's still batting .256.
His power has seemed to suffer as he's only hit 23 homers this year. It might be a stretch for him to reach 30 homers by the season's end. One can only wonder what happened to Teixeira.
A series of injuries and illnesses might be the cause for the decline in power this season. Teixeira's wrist has been bother him lately and then there was the cough he had at the start of the season.
Last season Teixeira hit 39 homers. He was expected to hit in the 30-home run range, but that might be out of his reach. His overall power numbers have suffered over the year. Once an owner of a .500 slugging percentage every year, Teixeira hasn't reached that since 2009.
He's steadily declined each year he's been with the Yankees. He still plays excellent defense at first, but the offensive numbers aren't what they used to be.
5. Joba Chamberlain
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2007 and the Joba Rules seem a long time ago, especially with the way Joba Chamberlain's career has grown.
Injuries and tinkering with his role have set him back by a lot. He's no longer that dominant pitcher he was when he came up and wowed the Yankee faithful. Instead, Chamberlain is now sporting a 9.45 ERA and a WHIP of 2.85.
Chamberlain was expected to help the bullpen coming into the season. He was coming off of Tommy John surgery and was starting to look like his old self. Then the trampoline injury happened and Chamberlain was set back yet again.
His minor league rehab stints showed that he was ready to come back to the majors. His time in the majors, however, has showed that he isn't. He's given up 15 hits and four walks in 6.2 innings. Chamberlain's pitches aren't as deceptive and explosive as they used to be. He's also had control issues this season.
While Chamberlain could have been ranked higher, his season isn't as disappointing as the rest of the guys. I'm cutting him some slack since he was coming back from two major injuries, but that doesn't mean he should be content with the type of season he's having.
4. Alex Rodriguez
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Betcha most of you were expecting him to be higher on this list.
And he would have, if you know, this was 2008. It's 2012 and the Alex Rodriguez of old is no more. He's no longer a 50-homer threat, or even a 30-homer threat. Triple-digit RBI and double-digit steals is a thing of the past.
A-Rod's power diminished greatly last season as he became more of a doubles hitter. He opted for knee surgery last year to repair a torn meniscus that was affecting his power. Then in the offseason, he did like Kobe Bryant and sought medical help in Germany.
All of that was supposed to help him get his power back for this season. We now see that A-Rod is no longer a power hitter. I'll admit that I expected him to reach 30 homers and 100 RBI going into the season. As the season went on and his age started to show, I began to realize that might be a stretch for him to achieve.
Now he's on the DL with a broken hand and clearly won't get anywhere near those numbers. While A-Rod was having a disappointing season for himself, he still wasn't having a terrible season. An average of .276 and 15 HR in 94 games isn't horrible by any means.
It just wasn't what was expected of him going into the season. Sure he's overpaid, but the A-Rod's contract is front-loaded that eases the pain of seeing him decline so rapidly, but only by a little.
The lesson here is that one shouldn't expect much from a 37-year-old who hasn't played in over 140 games since 2007.
3. Russell Martin
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How does a light-hitting catcher have a more disappointing season than the guy who's fifth overall on the home run leader list?
Simple, he bats .196 and is still 29 years old. No one was counting on Russell Martin to be the next Mike Piazza or even the second coming of Jorge Posada, but people expected him to bat over .200.
Fourteen homers help his cause to show he's not a complete waste, but that OBP of .302 doesn't. To put that into perspective, Derek Jeter is far more likely to get a hit than Martin is to get on base. The entire season people have been wondering when Martin is going to turn it around. He hasn't done anything to suggest a change so far.
Martin was a good hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He batted .293 for them in 2007. His average steadily declined after that, and the Dodgers decided to let him go. The Yankees scooped him up for defensive purposes while hoping that he would return to his 2007 form with some new scenery.
A sub-.200 average for any hitter is disappointing. However, since not much was expected from Martin coming into the season, he's still only No. 3.
2. Ivan Nova
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The No. 2 spot on this list might be a little harsh for Ivan Nova. With that win streak he had last year, however, high expectations surrounded Nova at the start of this season.
Many expected him to build off of last year's success and continue to dominant this year. He did for a while, but seemed to lose it in May. Then he regained his dominance in June, but since then, Nova's been all over the place.
Inconsistent and wild seems to define Nova's season. He's given up 179 hits in the 157.1 innings he's pitched. In the 25 games he's started, he's given up at least five runs in nine of them and has only one month where he had an ERA lower than 5.00.
When the season started, Nova was expected to join CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda as the front end of the pitching staff. Some even expected Nova to be the No. 2 starter. Now Nova's on the DL with inflammation in his right rotator cuff.
Hopefully the injury would explain Nova's poor season. Yankee fans have a history of having pitching prospects not pan out. It would be terrible to add Ivan Nova to that list. As for now, he's just having a disappointing 2012 season.
1. Michael Pineda
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This guy pretty much ruined his season without ever having thrown a pitch for the New York Yankees.
Michael Pineda was traded for Jesus Montero in a big and rather surprising trade during the offseason. Montero was the Yankees' highly touted prospect that they would only dangle for the likes of Cliff Lee. GM Brian Cashman, however, believed that Pineda's potential was enough to trade away Montero.
So even before Pineda put on pinstripes, big things were expected of him. This was the guy after all that got Cashman to trade Montero. Pineda was an All-Star in 2011 with a 3.03 ERA and 8-6 record prior to the All-Star Break.
He finished the season with a 3.74 ERA, 9-10 record and 1.10 WHIP, all good numbers for a rookie. Then Pineda showed up to the Yankees training camp overweight. That was strike one. Then he had trouble locating his fastball which didn't have the same effectiveness and explosion it had last season. Strike two.
Strike three came from the shoulder injury that sidelined Pineda for the entire 2012 season. To add to that, Pineda was charged with a DUI. He's certainly not helping his case as to why he was worth traded Jesus Montero for.
While Montero isn't exactly on route to a 50-homer season or even a 30-homer season, he's at least still contributing and isn't getting into trouble with the law. Montero is doing a solid job for the Seattle Mariners, and I'm sure the Yankees would want his bat in their lineup considering all the injuries this season.
Pineda was expected to be his All-Star self and give the Yankees the deepest rotation in the majors. His injury, weight and off-field issues have ensured that he would not do that this season.