16 Jun 2011
I went to last night’s Yankee game. It was a perfect night for baseball, not too hot, not too cold. The beers on the Mailbu Sun Deck tasted better than usual. Allow me a few more observations from last night’s game.
If Eduardo Nunez keeps playing like this, the Yankees have a problem. He was everything the 2011 Jeter isn’t last night. He showed range, he showed power, he showed speed. Granted, it is only one game and even if he hits .500 while Jeter is hurt Jeter is getting his job back, but the Yankees need to start managing Jeter with a shorter leash.
Start with his ridiculous comments before going on the DL that “we’ve played one man short before”. I know he wants to play, but the DL was the only sensible move, especially when you consider the Yankees are about to play six games with NL rules. They could not afford to keep a guy who would be hurt for a week on the bench under those circumstances.
But it goes further than that. Jeter can’t hit righties anymore. Last year he hit .246/.316/.317 against them. This year he is hitting .246/.294/.297 against them. I know the Yankees are not about to platoon him, but they have to get him out of the leadoff spot against righties. Gardner is hitting .286/.359/.447 against RHP. Put him in there, or just slide Granderson into the leadoff spot against righties. Either way, Jeter has to be hitting 7th or 8th against RHP. He can stay in the leadoff spot against LHP, he still hits them (.299/.405/.403). This will have to be handled delicately. Wait until he gets his 3,000th hit and find a road game that won’t be on National TV and make the move. The conversations should start soon, but the move has to be made.
Some other observations from the game. A-Rod had a long talk with Rob Thomson while Texas had a meeting on the mound. A few pitches later, he stole third as part of a double steal, nice work.
Ivan Nova had nothing, absolutely nothing going for him, but he gutted out five-plus innings. Nice to see.
I saw Ramiro Pena go deep. I am still in shock.
Cory Wade looked good, but why do the Yankees keep going outside the organization to fill bullpen and rotation holes? Kevin Whelan has been lights out at Scranton. Hector Noesi has been awesome this year. Why do they keep turning to guys like Wade and today’s starter, Gordon, over homegrown talent? They did the same thing last year choosing Dustin Moseley to start over Nova in July and August and it frustrates me. Gordon has fantastic numbers at AAA, but he is 32. Noesi is 24.
Anyway, the Yankees could sweep this afternoon to finish the homestand 6-4, but even 5-5 would be a bit of a victory after the way it started.