When the Yankees signed Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran during the Yankees offseason, they envisioned their bats would be perfect for the short porch in right field, which could guarantee them at least 20 home runs a season and a drastic power boost from 2013. We’re one-third of the way throughout the season and whatever the Yankees envisioned, hasn’t become a reality.
Just a few seasons ago, the Yankees had the most home runs in the Major Leagues with over 200. We’re in June and the Yankees home run numbers have been utterly disappointing. Coming into play tonight, the Yankees have 56 home runs, with Mark Teixeira leading the pack with 11. In fact, Teixeira is the only Yankee that’s over 10 home runs at this point in the season. Brian McCann may have seven home runs and second on the team, but this has been a case of of “what have you done for me lately”, and lately McCann has done absolutely close to nothing.
What’s a pleasant surprise is Brett Gardner‘s home run power. His career high in home runs is 7, and he’s already hit six of them, two coming from “back-to-back” Yankees games (the Yankees were off on Monday). No knock on Gardner because he has a bit of pop in his bat, but if he has the same home run numbers as Carlos Beltran and Alfonso Soriano, then we have a problem. It’s also a shame Gardner has more home runs that Seattle Mariners second basemen Robinson Cano, but that’s another story for another time.
The fact of the matter is, the Yankees did not pay all this money for power hitters to take advantage of the right field porch only for them not take advantage of the right field porch. I continuously joke on Twitter on how Brett Gardner should be a professor and teach the art of manufacturing runs and stealing bases. Well, maybe he might want to be a professor and teach the power hitters how to hit the ball to right field, and have it go into the seats. It’s only 314 feet from home plate to right field: use the power and play to the ballparks advantages. Remember, clanging it off the foul pole also counts as a home run.
“We absolutely have to hit more homers,” Mark Teixeira said before yesterday’s game. “At this park, you have to score and we just are not scoring enough. If we don’t believe we are going to do that, we might as well pick up and go home because winning will be very hard unless at some point we drive balls and score runs.”
If the Yankees have any chance of making the postseason, they have to start clicking as a team and finding their stroke. If Gardner can do it, so can Beltran, McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Alfonso Soriano. Especially, Alfonso Soriano. Seriously, he has 63 strike-outs in 202 at-bats.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to put up missing home run power posters on the side of milk cartons.