16 May 2014
I can’t think of a better example of the differences between Yankee Stadium and Citi Field than the past 4 games. Monday and Tuesday in Yankee Stadium- 35 runs. Wednesday and Thursday at Citi Field- 5 runs. Two slugfests in the Bronx followed by two pitching duels in Citi Field. And for those of you who feel baseball games are too long I agree, last night’s 1-0 game took 3:04 to complete.
The latest injury news for the Yankees is Carlos Beltran to the DL with bone spurs in his elbow. This was another predictable event, let’s just hope that he doesn’t need surgery. That would put him out 6-8 weeks. In the interim, expect the Yankees to go with Ichiro in right as a replacement. That’s a better idea than running Soriano out there, but the Yankees need to think about how they are using some of their players.
Let’s run through the offense a minute. McCann’s not hitting and neither are Jeter or Roberts. Soriano is also worthy of a look. I don’t worry about McCann and I am willing to give Jeter the benefit of the doubt for now, but Roberts and Soriano are worth discussing. Roberts has an OPS of .663, but against RHP he has a respectable line of ..267/.349/.414. This is not a shock as for his career he has hit righties much better than lefties. (.781 OPS vs. .710) Soriano has an OPS of .691, but he is killing lefties (.333/.352/.588) and disappearing against righties (.202/.238/.319) I am not about to suggest that a platoon of these two would work at second, Soriano left that behind him years ago, but the Yankees have some platoon options.
First, why not try Kelly Johnson at DH against LHP? Johnson has hit .238/.304/.492 against them this year. Nothing great, but a whole lot better than what Soriano has done. At second, how about putting Brendan Ryan there against LHP? Ryan doesn’t hit, but he hits lefties a bit more than righties and his defense is much, much better than Roberts. Normally, I don’t worry too much about defense, but I would bet almost anything that the reason the Yankees are shifting so much this year is to cover up their very poor infield defense.
The early fielding stats are not promising. Every regular infielder has below average UZR and RF numbers. The Yankees DER (how efficiently they turn balls in play into outs) has dropped from last year. (imagine if they weren’t shifting as much) Defense is going to be something the Yankees will need to watch closely as the year goes on.