Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the world of average baseball. Most of the Yankees are not the players we thought they were. Granted, we are 42 games into the season with 120 still left…but in the words of the immortal Hunter S. Thompson, “Its time, I thought, for an agonizing reappraisal of the whole situation”. There weren’t many ‘experts’ that didn’t pick the Yankees for the postseason at the beginning of the year. The way they are playing now, we’ll be lucky to keep our heads above .500…nothing else to say.
To qualify for a grade, a player (hitter) must participate in at least 35 games. All stats are current as of 22 May. The grade in parentheses is their mark from last assessment.
Curtis Granderson- (B) B
“The Grandyman” has played in all 42 games and leads the team in OPS (.895), home runs with 13, and 27 runs scored. His biggest downside is his K% that sits at just over 25 percent and has the lowest contact rate of all regulars (71.3%).
Robinson Cano- (C+) B-
Cano has improved a bit from last month but his production should be higher as a three/four/five hitter. I’d like to see and improvement over his .303 average and his OPS is a tad low at .832. Just 16 RBI with six GDP is not acceptable for a middle order hitter.
Derek Jeter- (A+) A
Jeter is basically doing it all for the Yanks. .343 batting average, .380 wOBA, 60 hits and a team-best 86.5 contact percentage. His grade takes a slight hit due to his -6.6 UZR and .979 fielding percentage as well as six GDP.
Alex Rodriguez- (C) C
A-Rod is simply not getting the job done in the middle of the lineup. His inability to get important hits is reflected in his meager 15 RBIs and 5 home runs. He has risen his batting average 25 points but his OPS has dropped just as much to .779. His defense and a solid .355 wOBA are enough to keep his grade where it was.
Mark Teixeira- (B-) D
The biggest disappointment is Tex. Though he’s battling an URTI, a .227 batting average, .290 wOBA, and a paltry .667 OPS are bottom of the order numbers. He needs to prove he’s a middle of the order hitter again. He’s a major defensive asset, which is why he’s passing…barely.
Nick Swisher- (B) C
Swish came off the DL guns blazing but has cooled off quite a bit hitting .245 with a .780 OPS. He IS tied for the team lead in RBI with 27 but also has a 21.4 percent strikeout rate. He needs to level out his inconsistencies to get his grade back up.
Russell Martin- (C-) D-
Easily the worst offensive player on the team and if it wasn’t for his defense (.991 FP) and lack of effective catching depth, he’d be sitting more than playing. While he’s the team’s most patient hitter (14% O-Swing rate), you’re not going to be making much of a case for yourself hitting .181 with a .305 wOBA and a terrible .656 OPS.
Raul Ibanez- (C+) B
Ibanez has really started to make an impact with 9 home runs and a tie with Swisher knocking in 27 runs. He and Jeter appear to be the only ones not hit with ‘age sickness’. His .263 average is a little low, but his .378 wOBA is on par with the best on the team. His grade can be higher if he can improve on his -1.2 UZR.
CC Sabathia- (B) B
CC has pitched great for the most part so far. His 3.78 ERA (3.58 FIP) needs to come down, but 65 Ks, and a roughly three to one K/BB rate are solid for a number one starter. His 1.21 WHIP and .290 BABIP are right in line with his career averages.
Hiroki Kuroda- (D+) D-
It’s starting to look like Kurdoa isn’t going to be able to hack it in the AL. He’s currently 3-6 with a 4.56 ERA (5.30 FIP) with a 1.48 WHIP. His K/BB rate is just slightly below two to one. A number two starter should not be allowing hitters to have a .278 batting average.
Ivan Nova- (A) C-
Nova has been a major disappointment this month. Once considered the best starter, he’s currently lobbying for the worst. He leads all starters with a 9.55 K/9 rate but has by far the worst BAA at .322 and an even worse BABIP of .393. His FIP is almost a full run below his ERA, which tells me the defense puts him in rough situations.
Phil Hughes- (D-) C-
Hughes has tightened things up a bit but still isn’t an effective starter. For a power pitcher, an 8.3 percent swing/miss rate is weak. His ERA and FIP both stand at 5.23 and teams are hitting .273 against him. He’s nothing more than a below average pitcher at this point.
Andy Pettitte- (NA) B
Pettitte had a rough first outing and then pitched a gem in start number two. He still has quite a bit to prove but has a 1.05 WHIP and teams are hitting just .216 against him. He also has by far the best LOB% rate of all starters with 90.2 percent. A 2.51 ERA vs. a 4.07 FIP shows he’s gotten a lot of defensive help.
Bullpen- (A+) A
There is a slight drop in grade due to the loss of Rivera and Robertson and some so-so pitching from middle relief. Right now I consider Boone Logan the best reliever we have. A 16.8 percent whiff rate coupled with nearly 14 K/9 and a 1.90 FIP (3.18 ERA). Freddy Garcia has done OK in long relief and Cory Wade is the unsung hero (.095 WHIP, 10:1 K/BB rate). Clay Rapada and Cody Eppley need to be more consistent but still are not bad mop up guys.