Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Yankees Pitching Not the Only Problem

The 2012 season has been nothing short of a disappointment for the New York Yankees. They sit at the bottom of the American League East with a 21-21 record.

All eyes were on the Yankees pitching rotation at the beginning of the season. Could the Yankees give C.C Sabathia enough support? How are the Yankees going to replace the injured Michael Pineda? Is Hiroki Kuroda going to fill the number two spot with wins? And of course, what Phil Hughes will the Yankees get this season?

Now 43 games into the season, the pitching isn't the only problem the Yankees have. Can anyone remember the last time the Yankees got a hit with a runner in scoring position? In their 6-0 loss to the Royals last Tuesday, the Yankees were 0 for 13 with runners in scoring position, including one inning where they had bases loaded with nobody out and could not score.Last night in their 3-2 win over Kansas City, the totaled just six hits for the game, and one hit with a man in scoring position.

The only bright spots in the Yankees lineup this season have been Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, and Raul Ibanez. This wouldn't seem so bad, having four guys that are having great seasons so far, but they are outweighed by the players who are having dismal seasons at the plate.

The middle, or heart, of the Yankees order has been the weak link of the lineup. Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixeira have slumped all season long.

Robinson Cano is hitting above .300 for the season, but has only 5 home runs, and 17 RBI in the first 43 games of the season. This is not the line the Yankees were expecting from their potential MVP candidate.

Alex Rodriguez has also been a major flop this season. He has been anything but clutch, failing to get the big hit when the Yankees need it the most. Rodriguez is hitting .276 with 5 home runs and 15 RBI. These should have been A-Rod's numbers after the month of April, not the end of May.

Mark Teixeira has been a disappointment offensively since he came to the Yankees in 2009. Over the past three seasons, Teixeira's average has steadily dropped, and this season doesn't look to be any different. Teixeira is hitting an abysmal .229 with 5 home runs, and 20 RBI. Raul Ibanez has 9 home runs with 27 RBI in four less games.

The heart of the Yankees order has combined for 15 home runs this season, Josh Hamilton has 18 home runs so far. It's time for Cano, Teixeira, and Rodriguez to start producing the numbers Yankee fans are used to seeing. Rodriguez may not be the A-Rod of old, but he is certainly better than the numbers he has posted this season.

The Yankees of the past five years have relied heavily on their offensive output, and it has carried them through, and the Yankees need them now more than ever with their pitching staff struggling again.

There is no room for error in the American League East, every team has a lineup that can put up runs, so there is never a night off for the pitchers. The Yankees offense needs to get back on track and help the team win games, or there will be no postseason in the Bronx this season.

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