Andruw Jones is a boarderline Hall of Famer and a shell of his former self, but the Yankees brought him in last season to do two things – hit lefties and play some outfield. He did those things and did them very well, hitting .263/.367/.553/.920 off southpaws last season. It was a no-brainer to bring him back this season. Unfortunately, he hasn’t had the same success so far in 2012.
Jones came primarily off the bench last season, but this year he was expected to get a little more playing time as the right handed hitting portion of a DH platoon with Raul Ibanez. So far he isn’t carrying his weight though. Jones is hitting a poor .205/.265/.364/.629 against lefties so far this season. Funny enough, he is actually hitting righties much better at .261/.393/.652/1.045.
The thing is, it might just be some bad luck and a bit of a slow start. His walks are down, strikeouts are up, and he’s hitting for less power. It could all just be bad luck though. Jones’ BABIP is down from last season and he is not only hitting more fly balls (which lead to more homers), but he’s hitting more line drives as well.
Jones also had some huge splits last season. In 36 games before the All-Star break, he hit .195/.278/.365/.635. Then in 41 games after the break, he hit .291/.416/.612/1.028.
Jones isn’t getting any younger though so GM Brian Cashman probably has his eye on possible replacements. Expect him to give Jones more time to turn things around though. He did it last year and in his small role – an outfielder who hits lefties – not many could have done it better than he did last season.