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Color By Numbers: Has Yanks’ Offense Really Been THAT Bad?

Posted By William Juliano On October 18, 2012 @ 12:35 pm In 1: Featured | Comments Disabled

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Despite historic postseason performances from Raul Ibanez and CC Sabathia, the Yankees find themselves on the brink of being swept in the ALCS.

How would you describe the Yankees’ offense this postseason? Awful? Atrocious? Abominable? Arod? How about Above Average? Believe it or not, the Yankees’ postseason line of .200/.265/.317 adds up to an OPS that is a tick above the American League’s combined output of .573.

2012 American League Postseason Statistics

Team G AB R AVG OBP SLG OPS
Tigers 8 279 28 0.254 0.303 0.351 0.655
Yankees 8 290 21 0.200 0.265 0.317 0.582
A.L. Avg. 0.222 0.276 0.297 0.573
Rangers 1 34 1 0.265 0.306 0.265 0.570
Athletics 5 155 11 0.194 0.269 0.284 0.553
Orioles 6 215 15 0.195 0.236 0.270 0.506

Source: ESPN.com

On an individual basis, the Yankees can actually boast having three of the league’s best hitters in terms of postseason OPS. Among all players with at least 10 plate appearances in October, Raul Ibanez’ OPS of 1.308 is easily the best mark. And, ironically, it doesn’t even begin to explain just how impactful he has been this October. In addition to Ibanez, Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira have also earned a place atop of the A.L.’s postseason leader board, albeit at much more modest rates of production.

Top-10 A.L. 2012 Postseason Performers, By OPS

Player G PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Raul Ibanez 7 24 0.350 0.458 0.850 1.308
Robert Andino 6 13 0.417 0.417 0.500 0.917
Derek Jeter 6 30 0.333 0.379 0.444 0.824
Ryan Flaherty 4 11 0.273 0.273 0.545 0.818
Delmon Young 8 32 0.267 0.313 0.500 0.813
Mark Teixeira 8 36 0.310 0.444 0.345 0.789
Nate McLouth 6 28 0.308 0.321 0.462 0.783
Miguel Cabrera 8 36 0.290 0.389 0.387 0.776
Yoenis Cespedes 5 21 0.316 0.381 0.368 0.749
Ichiro Suzuki 8 39 0.297 0.316 0.432 0.748

Note: Minimum of 10 plate appearances.
Source: baseball-reference.com

Unfortunately for the Bronx Bombers, the standout performances by Ibanez, Jeter, and Teixeira have been canceled out by the rest of the lineup. Six other regulars in the team’s postseason lineup have posted an OPS below the league average, including five players with a rate below .426. Although Alex Rodriguez has received the brunt of the criticism for the team’s offensive struggles, his OPS of .333 actually ranks higher than two other teammates. Robinson Cano’s microscopic line of .083/.108/.139 in 37 plate appearances is easily the most shocking performance of the postseason, but the most amusing line belongs to Eric Chavez. In 14 plate appearances as Arod’s replacement, the lefty swinging third baseman has produced absolutely nothing.

Bottom-10 A.L. 2012 Postseason Performers, By OPS

Player G PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Curtis Granderson 8 32 0.103 0.188 0.207 0.394
Mark Reynolds 6 25 0.136 0.240 0.136 0.376
Matt Wieters 6 26 0.125 0.192 0.167 0.359
Alex Rodriguez 6 25 0.130 0.200 0.130 0.330
Jim Thome 4 16 0.133 0.188 0.133 0.321
Gerald Laird 3 10 0.111 0.200 0.111 0.311
Robinson Cano 8 37 0.083 0.108 0.139 0.247
Derek Norris 5 12 0.083 0.083 0.083 0.167
Adam Jones 6 27 0.077 0.074 0.077 0.151
Eric Chavez 5 14 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000

Note: Minimum of 10 plate appearances.
Source: baseball-reference.com

There’s no consolation knowing that the Yankees’ offense has been as good, or as bad, as the rest of the league, but it does provide some perspective. Granted, the Bronx Bombers weren’t put together to be just an average offense, but the degree to which the league’s hitters have struggled, or pitchers have excelled, does mitigate some of the lineup’s culpability. Scapegoats are a postseason essential, but before leading too many to the slaughter, fans, and team executives, would be wise to look at the big picture first.


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