Come On Man: Several NY Yankees That Need To Put The First Half Behind
The Bronx Bombers are in first place in the AL East with the best record in baseball heading into the second half of the season, which starts tonight versus the second place Tampa Bay Rays.
But there are several Yankees who aren't in the New York Groove quite yet and need to pick up the slack as the season moves into the second half.
By no means do the Yankees absolutely "need" these players to improve in order to win the division, obviously they are already in first place, but if the Bombers want to see their 28th title come this year, then these players do need to step it up a notch.
It was a frustrating first half for Teixeira, hitting just .254, with 17 home runs and 60 RBI.
But he did close the first half with a flurry of offense, hitting .410 in his last 10 games, with four home runs and 11 RBI as well.
He is probably one of the hottest hitters on the team— at least heading into the All Star break he was—so he has a lot of momentum heading towards the second half of the season. Hopefully he can regain his offensive form from a year ago, because the Yankees are going to need him ramp it up to put some breathing room between them and the Rays.
The veteran catcher has hit just .265, with nine home runs and 29 RBI so far this season.
He isn't showing any signs of improving heading into the break, hitting just .240 in his last 10 games, with no home runs and just one RBI over that span.
And with his diminishing skills behind the plate, 38 year old Jorge Posada has already seen himself reduced to the DH at times this year, a role that he will have to get used to next year with catching prospect Jesus Montero probably headed to the Bronx at some point in the near future.
Granted, his numbers have been affected by injuries this year, but Jorge has to do a little better for the Yanks, especially if he is going to be DHing more and more down the road.
Here's me six or seven months ago: "The Yankees got Curtis Granderson? Yes! He hit 30 homers at Comerica Park last year, he's gotta have at least 35, maybe 40 at Yankee Stadium right?" Wrong!
After his first three games in Pinstripes, John Sterling was singing "The Grandy Man Can," and many Yankee fans, including myself, thought we had the best Yankee outfielder since Bernie Williams.
Well, we have come a long way since opening day, and Curtis has not been the guy we sent Austin Jackson and Phil Coke to Detroit for, at least not yet anyways.
He is now hitting a team low (as far as every day players go) .240, with a measly seven home runs and 24 RBI. He did miss a month with a groin issue, but clearly he hasn't had the same power he did only a year ago—the kind of power the Yankees risked their top prospect in the organization for.
The good news is that he has cut down on his strikeouts compared to last year, and he has been improving a little recently, raising his batting average eight points from .232 to .240 over the past 10 games.
So he does seem to have a little bit of momentum, but he needs to keep it rolling in the second half if he wants to get another shot at the World Series, after losing to the Cardinals back in 2006—a World Series in which he went 2 for 21.
A familiar look for Joba as he continues to struggle out of the setup role this year. But not to worry, Joe Girardi is keeping him as the eighth inning man, an attempt to build confidence in Joba.
Well, it's fine that you are trying to build confidence in him Girardi, but how many games are you going to sit and watch him give up the lead time and time again?
Joba's ERA now stands at a rather Joba the Hut size ERA of 5.79, along with his 1-4 record, much in part to his 42 hits in 37 innings this year.
It is obvious that he is not suited for the eighth inning role right now, and needs to be in a less pressure filled situation, possibly a demotion to AAA Scranton would do him some good.
If the Yanks continue to leave Joba as the setup man, then he better get his act together quickly, because come October, a 5.79 ERA isn't going to cut it.
What a perfect picture, Jeter looking back and about ready to say "You talkin' to me?" Well you're the only one there (sorry for the "Taxi Driver" pun).
It has been a productive year for Jeter. Even at the age of 35, he has 60 runs scored, 43 RBI, to go along with 100 hits, and is still the best shortstop in the league, earning his 11th All Star nomination.
Despite a productive first half, Jeter's batting average stands at a staggering .274, along with his rather pedestrian on base percentage of .340, both of which are more than 40 points below his career averages in those two categories.
What is even more surprising is that this is a contract year for Jeter, and it is very typical of players who have expiring contracts to have big years before hand—Johnny Damon for example last year hit a career high 24 home runs.
One has to wonder, is this really the beginning of the end for Jeter, or is just another down year like 2008?
Only time will tell, but the Yankees will need a little better than .274 come playoff time.