When bats fall silent: Yankees postseason hitting atrocious
This year, the New York Yankees pitching came through for them in the playoffs. Their hitting, however, was pretty much absent. The worst of the abysmally performing hitters are listed below, as is an evaluation of how valuable they really are to the Bronx Bombers.
Alex Rodriguez: The most clutch playoff performers on the Yankees have been given nicknames to reflect their ability to come through when it mattered most. Reggie Jackson was Mr. October. Derek Jeter is Mr. November. The only name A-Rod is worthy of is Mr. December, as it is the beginning of the offseason, when Yankees fans gets a well deserved break from seeing him choke. He finished this year’s playoffs with three singles, no RBIs and a .120 average. He also missed almost a fourth of the regular season. Rodriguez is the biggest distraction on a team which is looking to win while its oldest stars can still compete. The Yankees should put themselves and him out of their collective misery by threatening to bench him unless he agrees to wave his no-trade clause. Rodriguez’s ego would never allow for him to miss the opportunity to capture baseball’s home run record.
Robinson Cano: Great seasons don’t always translate into stellar playoff performances, and Cano is the poster child of this. A .313 average, 33 home runs and 94 RBIs in the regular season turned into numbers so atrocious, .075 average and 4 RBIs, that he could successfully sue me for libel if they were untrue. The only hope is that he can shrug of this postseason and return to form by next year when he enters the last year of his contract, which was just picked up, and in all probability will rightly receive a massive extension offer from the Yankees.
Curtis Granderson: Granderson will never be a high average-hitter, but he usually makes up for it with RBIs, something he could not do in this year’s playoffs. One RBI off of one home run could not overcome an even .100 average. But as home run and RBI leader for the Yankees this year, New York had no choice but to overlook his postseason shortcomings and pickup his option. Hopefully, when he temporarily loses his ability to hit for power, he can become an even better base stealer in postseasons to come. But like Cano, the Yankees need him, and will pay to keep him after the 2013 season.
Nick Swisher: He starts out every season red-hot, but his playoff play was ice-cold. Swisher almost carried the Yankees through their first month of this season and hit the third most RBIs on the team. But it is hard to say if this will be enough to bring him back. No runs, two RBIs and a .167 average do not give much reason to break the bank for this free agent. The Yankees can find plenty of cheaper options to play right field, or they can just platoon some of their veteran players out there (especially if they decide to bring Ichiro Suzuki back). A short-term or club-friendly deal is what the Yankees should offer Swisher, unless they find a way to dump A-Rod’s salary and personality.
Eric Chavez: His whole postseason can be summed up with the word zero. In 16 at-bats, Chavez delivered nothing, not even a walk. His .281 average and 16 home runs during the regular season could easily lead the Yankees to make this free agent another contract offer. But next year will probably see another veteran player on the postseason roster, while Chavez only gets to watch.