The Young Perfessor Steve Goldman examines the Yankees’ offense:
Can we call what the Yankees are going through right now, with the Yankees pushing past four runs just once in the last seven games a slump? Sure we can, because it has gone on a lot longer than that. After hitting .286/.367/.452 in April and May and scoring an average of 5.7 runs per game, they dropped off to .245/.333/.401 and 4.8 runs per game in June. It wasn’t just the Mariners or the six games played without the designated hitter in NL parks. The Yankees didn’t hit much in the first half of the month, then slid off as the days went on.
You can pick a half-dozen culprits. Brett Gardner (.383/.472/.533) and Robinson Cano (.333/.398/.510) had good months. Mark Teixeira was about average for an AL first baseman, which isn’t saying much this year. Everyone else was different flavors of slumpy. Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez hit some home runs but had on-base percentages around .300. Derek Jeter hit .243/.339/.379, which isn’t terrible only because the average MLB shortstop is hitting only .264/.321/.371. The worst slumps took place in the DH/catching axis. Francisco Cervelli’s good luck on balls in play ran out and he hit .180/.275/.246 on the month. Jorge Posada was better because he was willing to walk but hit only .203/.337/.351.
The question here is, who can you expect to get better? Teixeira should continue to heat up. A-Rod was great in May (.330/.408/.534) and seems to be waking up again. Curtis Granderson might find some consistency if the Yankees would just stop asking him to do things he’s incapable of doing, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards right now, so don’t expect much more. Jeter has been roughly consistent at his current level since the end of April, and at 36 he might not find his way back to the light. Posada is 38; the same thing goes for him. Nick Swisher has changed his style, so while we can note that so far he’s had one major hot streak bookended by two very mediocre months, we can’t know where the ride is going to stop. Cano might maintain something like consistency; Gardner is going to get worse.