Yankees 2011 Season in Review: Alex Rodriguez

After eight full seasons with the Yankees it is getting to the point where Alex Rodriguez has nearly played as many games in Pinstripes than in both a Mariners and Rangers uniform combined. With that he will also have played more games at third than at shortstop.

EXPECTATIONS: A-Rod got paid $31 million to hit fourth in the Yankees lineup. He also entered the season by hitting at least 30 home runs and 100 RBI’s for 13 consecutive seasons. That’s all that really needs to be said about his expectations.

1ST HALF: A-Rod had a good start to the season. He was red hot in early April, cooled off for a little while, but got hot again. By July 7 he had a .366 OBP with a .852 OPS.

POWER FAILURE: From June 12 to July 7 he didn’t hit a single homer which brought his slugging percentage down to .417 during the stretch. He still had a .387 OBP though so he was never a detriment to the team.

KNEE SURGERY: A big reason for the lack of power probably had to do with his right knee that he eventually needed surgery to repair a torn meniscus. It kept him out for over a month from July 8 until August 21.

JAMMED THUMB: As soon as he came back he jammed his thumb while fielding a grounder. That really hurt his return and put a strain on the Yankees who were forced to rely on Eric Chavez, who wasn’t hitting, and Eduardo Nunez, who couldn’t field, in his absence.

HURT IN THE STRETCH DRIVE: A-Rod was not the same at the end of the year. He didn’t start to play again consistently until September 17, nearly a month after he came off the DL for knee surgery. Over his final nine games he had a .316 OBP and a .628 OPS.

PLAYOFF FAILURE: Despite clearly not being 100 percent, the Yankees stuck with A-Rod in the playoffs where he had a .261 OBP and a .372 OPS in five games. Some people said he choked, others said that he shouldn’t have been playing, but he gets paid a lot to be the heart of the Yankees offense, it was admirable to see him out there trying to get it done. Eric Chavez and Eduardo Nunez were decent backups, but both came with flaws of their own.

VERDICT: A-Rod was having yet another great season, but injuries took their toll. He’s 36-years-old now. That doesn’t mean his career is over or that he can’t put up MVP-caliber numbers again, but it does mean that injuries will pop-up more and more.

GOING FORWARD: He can still be a big factor in this lineup, unfortunately he probably can’t be leaned on at the guy anymore. A move to DH might help lessen the injuries, but he still played great defense last year so it will be hard to justify using him as a full-time DH for a while. For the first time since he signed his last contract with the Yankees there is a question of whether or not he will be able to break Barry Bonds‘ home run record too.

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9 Responses to Yankees 2011 Season in Review: Alex Rodriguez

  1. Bronx_Knight says:

    Interesting overview of A-Rod's season. I knew his power was down most of the year, but I hadn't realized how good his overall numbers were prior to his knee injury. He performed so poorly over the last third of the season that I had pretty much written him off as an big offensive contributor. Hopefully he can return to form next year.

  2. Susan says:

    Oh come on Rob, I just ate breakfast and you go and post a picture of this guy! Obviously not exactly my favorite Yankee. But I'm sure he'll still be hitting cleanup when he's 40 something. blaaaaah

  3. Tanned Tom says:

    Worst signing by a Steinbrenner? There were many, but this has to take the cake. Although he's still good at 3B, the point is that with 6 years left on his contract, the shifting to DH needs to begin so as to preserve his ability to last those 6 years. Also, he needs to removed from cleanup. Hitting Granderson 2nd with his team leading 41 HRs was absurd last year. With Girardi committed to Cano in the 3rd spot, it makes sense to move Granderson to 4th or 5th, and Rodriguez to 5th or even 6th.
    Rodriguez is clearly a lightening rod because of his contract and his own nauseating personality, but he has been a very good player for a long time. Even his career post season numbers are pretty respectable: .277/.386/.498.

    • Susan says:

      Boy did you hit the nail on the head with the "nauseating personality" comment. I just have a hard time accepting this guy as a Yankee. With his asshole attitude he'd sure make a great Red Sox legend.

  4. Bernard Sandow says:

    Anyone that has ever participated in Sports, and was injured, knows you can not be the same player until the injury heals. As for ARod's personality, what gives you the right to comment since you don't know him? His history has always known him to be a hard worker. Once his knee and thumb are healed, and he is relatively healthy, there is no reason to believe 30 home runs, 100 RBI's and above average fielding are not easily reachable. As for the money he receives, do you think he received ib money contracts from Texas and the Yankees because of his good looks? Wake up. Your amateurish comments are ridiculous.

    • Susan says:

      You're the ridiculous one for supporting the Steroid Cheat. There's a reason he gets booed at Yankee Stadium and most Yankee fans don't like him. The reason he got so much money from Texas is because he was using STEROIDS inflating his numbers to ridiculous levels. The reason he got so much money from the Yankees is because we're stupid beyond words in overpaying players. Look at superstars across the board in baseball and their salaries and compare it to our 3b and see just how ridiculous it is.

      • David K. says:

        The Yankees were incredibly stupid to give him the new contract but it's not a reason to hate A-Rod. I take issue with your calling him the Steroid Cheat. That's not really fair because MLB did not have any rules against steroid use at the time he took them. So he didn't cheat. And a lot of guys, including David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez also took them but no one talks about them. Anyway, A-Rod did help win the 2009 World Series. He had a monster 2009 playoffs (maybe it was the stats catching up for so many miserable playoffs before then), so maybe it's time that you forgave this guy for the past. I think the biggest reason Yankee fans dislike him is the stupid thing he said about Jeter when A-Rod was a Texas Ranger.

        • Susan says:

          MLB didn't have specific rules against killing someone either. It was against federal law which trumps MLB. If it wasn't cheating all these guys that did it wouldn't have gone to such lengths to hide it. I don't care if A Rod is a Yankee or not, I'll call it as I see it. To his credit though, at least he admitted it unlike most of them. The reason Big Sloppy and Manny aren't called out on their usage is because they were Red Sox and the media loves the Sox. Just imagine if those two were Yankees how everyone would have reacted. And I don't hate A Rod because of the contract, I just don't like him period which is my right though on this extremely politically correct blog any strong opinions don't seem to be tolerated very well. And I'm not talking about your response to me David K. You're was fine and fair.

  5. shavager says:

    You know, some people just don't get the steroid thing–no evidence ARod's used steroids since it was outlawed by MLB. Before it was outlawed, no one can estimate how many were using them. If ARod used them during a time when they weren't outlawed, what's the BEEF? They were legal, so he didn't break any rules. I just wouldn't count records by Sosa, McGuire or Bonds, etc.. since they used performance enhancing drugs to accomplish the feats they did. AS for Rodriguez performance last year, injuries claimed a big toll on his stats, production level. Don't agree dropping him lower in batting order until he comes back and either produces or doesn't this year.