4 Players Who Need to Step Up ASAP for the Yankees to Reach the ALCS

Brian Buckley@brianbuck13Contributor IIOctober 9, 2012

4 Players Who Need to Step Up ASAP for the Yankees to Reach the ALCS

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    We all know the names that coincide with Yankee postseason excellence: Mantle, DiMaggio and Jeter among others. There is no better way to endear yourself to a New York fan base then excelling in the biggest of spots. Scores of regular season studs have entered the postseason only to walk away as a mere pedestrian. Others have left the stage as legends. 

    Who on this team needs to turn up the temperature when it matters most?

Nick Swisher

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    He’s the usually the source of passion and pure exuberance, but Nick Swisher’s bat has lacked both of the qualities in the playoffs.

    Since joining the club in 2010, Swishalicious has brought a less-than-sterling .160 batting average to the postseason table coming into the current Orioles series.

    More than just pride, Swisher is playing for a contract as he is a free agent at the end of the year. If he is asking for the rumored “Jayson Werth-like” demands, the Yanks are one of the only teams likely to even contemplate the idea—meaning playoff woes in 2012 could turn into a goodbye from the Bronx.

Mark Teixeira

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    There’s no secret Mark Teixeira has struggled in postseason play since joining the Yankees in 2009. In his career, Teixeira has a .216 batting average in the playoffs and that includes a .467 stint with the Angels in 2008. That means entering this Baltimore series, Tex has a .170 average with the Yanks.

    His lackluster performance is getting to the point where it’s now becoming a repetitive discussion. If the slick-fielding first baseman ever wants to be remembered as an all-time Yankee, he needs to at least show up when it matters most.

Alex Rodriguez

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    He is property of the Yankees until 2017. Reread that and let that sink in. As his body breaks down, Alex Rodriguez’s playoff stats fall as well. In fact, outside of the 2009 postseason run, A-Rod has been an absent participant of the Yankees offense.

    Much more is expected  out of the 37-year-old slugger because of a bloated contract and proven ability. But right now the Bombers are just wishing the former slugger can be what he once was.

    A slugger.

Curtis Granderson

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    When he’s launching home run after home run, it’s sometimes easy to forget about Curtis Granderson’s embarrassing batting average. As the season wore on, the number began to dip and dip even further everyday. At the end of the season, his average stood at a lackluster .232.

    Unfortunately, the home-run-or-bust recipe that Granderson plays with has been the Yankees' main course of action this year. In these playoffs, the Grandy Man and the rest of the Yankees will face stiffer competition than a fourth or fifth starter. Getting the job done 23 percent of the time just simply won’t cut it.