has turned into
Last June 12th, Derek Jeter hit 2 HR in a game vs. the Astros. Since then, he’s basically become Bucky Dent.
Jeter has played in 115 games since that June 12th game. Here are his numbers since then.
.252-2-33. Remember that one of those 2 HR is an inside-the-parker.
Let’s go further. Let’s take these 115 games and go “at this pace.” We won’t give Derek 162 games. Give him a couple days off and let’s make it 154 for a full season. At the pace of the last 115 games, he would be on his way to .252-3-44.
.252-3-44. If that isn’t Bucky Dent-like, what is?
Basically, Derek Jeter has become Bucky Dent. Which raises this question. You wouldn’t lead off Bucky Dent, would you?
Granted it’s one game, one shutout last night. This coming two nights after a 5 HR, 15 run game. But there are disturbing trends here.
If I were Girardi, this would be my lineup very soon. Note I will put x’s in the six slot. I’ll get to that.
Jeter hits 8th. Bucky Dent production deserves a Bucky Dent lineup slot. (It would be 9th but Gardner is at .136-1-4). Would this cause clubhouse repercussions and possible dissension? Most likely. Would it be better for the team? On the field, yes. Off the field, you wonder.
But ask yourself. Who right now would be more likely to lead off the game with a HR or a double? Jeter, or Granderson? Jeter has 19 hits this year, just two doubles. Probably a good 1/3 of his hits are infield hits. The Yanks have a much better shot at jumping out to an early lead with Granderson leading off (4 doubles, 1 triple, 7 HR) than Jeter. Not to mention that Granderson is 2 for 2 in SB, Jeter 0 for 1.
I put Swisher second because Swish, I think, would see better pitches in the 2 hole. Right now, batting sixth, Swish has a .145 hitter in Posada hitting behind him. Granted Jorge has 6 HR, but he is 9 for 62. If not for the HR, Posada would be getting the Gardner treatment. Swish has 0 HR in 19 games after hitting 29 in each of the last two seasons. To get Swish going, I put him second.
Oh yeah…about Jeter for a minute. He’s started every game. Shouldn’t he be rested more often about now? Shouldn’t he be playing 125 g. /season now instead of 155? He hasn’t had a day off yet. Granted he hates days off, but hey….lack of production means lack of PT.
Now for the XXXXX at the #6 slot. If Jorge Posada is still below .230 on June 1st, what do you do? Eric Chavez is hitting .421 in limited time. Jorge Vazquez is .333-8-23 in 18 games at AAA SWB. Vazquez does still have the BB/K ratio problem. 2 walks, 19 K. That is something to consider. He isn’t a fielding whiz, either. But DHing him, you do wonder. When Vazquez does make contact, the ball does fly. We saw that in spring training.
Not only that, Jesus Montero is hitting. He is at .407-1-4 in 14 games. I think they would rather leave Montero catch every day at AAA than bring him up to DH.
But if Posada continues to struggle, what then? He’s in the last year of his deal. He turns 40 in August. But if he’s hitting .170 on June 1st, do you actually go so far as to release a Yankee Icon in order to get Vazquez’ bat into the lineup (especially if Vazquez at that time has, say, 15 HR and a .300 BA)? How far do you go with an aging icon who can’t catch anymore and who is below the Mendoza line? One who is in the last year of his contract? Would the Yankees have the guts to release Jorge and drop Jeter to 8th at the same time if that is what is needed (and it’s starting to look that way)?
Then we get to Gardner, hitting .136. One problem in the struggles of Gardner and Posada is that Gardner is a lefty hitter and Posada a switch-hitter. Vazquez and Montero are righty bats. Andruw Jones isn’t an everyday player anymore. He’s a righty bat. Down at AAA the OF are Golson (.239-3-5, gun of an arm, righty bat), Justin Maxwell (.232-5-12, righty bat), Chris Dickerson (.258-0-5, lefty bat), Jordan Parraz (.333-2-8, righty bat). So it looks like Dickerson by default if Gardner is replaced. But you then lose Gardner’s speed and D in the OF. Golson has the speed and D, but isn’t hitting that much, and isn’t a lefty bat. So Gardner needs to pick it up.
Finally, a good tweet by Jon Heyman yesterday. He figures two more starts for Ivan Nova (1-2, 7.63) to prove himself. Otherwise, Millwood. Millwood is hitting just 84-89 in his starts, but has results. (2-0, 1.29 in 14 IP). He better hit his spots because otherwise… But if Nova continues to struggle, and Hughes is still down, could we soon see
CC/AJ/Garcia/Colon and Millwood?
It’s not seeming that far-fetched.