If you usually follow along with me on Twitter during Yankees baseball games, I’m for the most part optimistic about the Yankees players whenever they’re in a slump. I usually point out what they’re doing right to take attention away from what they’re doing wrong. However, every time Alfonso Soriano comes to the plate, swings at pitches out of the strike zone and goes back to the dugout, my optimism fades away. Soriano’s production at the plate has gotten so bad, I tweeted this during the game two nights ago.
There’s no sugar coating this: Alfonso Soriano has looked AWFUL these last two months.
— Delia Enriquez (@dfiregirl4) June 2, 2014
I’m not the only one to notice Alfonso Soriano’s struggles at the plate: he’s well aware of them as well. In his last 11 at-bats, he’s 0-for-11 with eight strikeouts. He added three strikeouts last night which means his grand total for the season so far is 58. Soriano says he can see when the ball is coming, and it’s more about a matter of timing.
“I see the ball good, and I’m not making contact,” Soriano said. “So I think just because my timing is off, I have to work on my timing, and let the ball come to me, and not try to hit the ball in front. I just have to get my timing back.”
The Yankees outfield is not stacked with power: Brett Gardner would be lucky just to hit 10 home runs, Ichiro Suzuki has never been a home run hitter and aside from Jacoby Ellsbury‘s big year in 2011, he’s not a power hitter. Carlos Beltran has power but he’s currently on the disabled list, meaning Soriano is the Yankees only option when it comes to middle-of the-order power. However, he can’t hit for power if he doesn’t make contact.
“It’s very tough,” Soriano said. “Like a veteran, I’ve just had tough times before, but nothing like this. Sooner or later I’m going to come out and be fine again.”
You have to wonder if Joe Girardi is seeing the same things the fans and media are seeing. Soriano’s obviously struggling, so wouldn’t it make more sense for him to be on the bench just so he’s not an automatic out at the plate?
“You just got to keep running them out there,” Girardi said. “And they’ve got to get the job done. That’s the bottom line. We’ve had different people in the lineup, and everyone’s had a shot. We’ll continue to try to put out what we feel is the best matchups against certain people, and we’ve got to get it done.”