For a second straight game, New York Yankees’ designated hitter Alex Rodriguez and his 693 home runs were left out of the starting lineup.
When the New York Yankees activated Alex Rodriguez from the disabled list on this past Thursday, they hoped they would get a large presence in return. Prior to going down with a hamstring strain, the 40-year-old slugger was finding his groove.
With the exception of one jolt in Tampa this past weekend, A-Rod has been the opposite of a groove and has found himself making friends on the bench rather than in the batter’s box.
Skipper Joe Girardi has refuted the claim that he lost faith in his slugger, but it certainly has you thinking.
Rodriguez’s .170/240/.409 slash to this point gives the Yankees no reason to run him out there as an everyday designated hitter. With power production significantly down as well, espn.com projected him finishing with a mere 45 runs batted in.
For two consecutive days, Joe Girardi has gone in favor of the ever so productive Carlos Beltran at DH and the likes of Aaron Hicks and Rob Refsnyder in right field. While the Yankees have little to no offensive production to show for it, it has to show a loss of faith to not insert him in order to right the ship.
A-Rod, according to Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York, is a .180 hitter with 40 RBIs in 75 games dating back to last year. That is not a guy the Yankees want batting in the middle of what should be a fluent lineup.
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Not for nothing, Rodriguez entered the game 0-14 against Blue Jays’ starter J.A. Happ. With that being said, the loss of faith flares out there as well being that the organization should have faith in a borderline Hall of Famer to break out against any opposition.
Over a shorter stretch, the 2007 AL MVP is 3-26 (.115) with a .385 slugging percentage over his last seven games and 11-54 (.204) with 16 strikeouts over his last 15 games.
He has become extremely prone to going down without contact as strikeouts or walks have amounted to 41% of his at-bats this season.
Situationally, A-Rod has been horrific. He possesses a .185 batting average with 10 strikeouts in 27 at-bats with runners in scoring position. Again, not being a run producer does not grant you a pivotal, trusted position in a lineup.
Most of what is helping the aging star is his unbelievable output last year following a full year suspended from major league baseball. It would be senseless to expect 33 home runs from deteriorating legs and slower bat speed that comes with age.
If the Yankees are to make A-Rod a part-time player, now would be the ideal time to make the transition. However, they cannot dodge the notion.
A guy sitting seven homers from 700 and 21 from the iconic Babe Ruth is a step slower in about every facet of the game. The franchise cannot sit around and set unrealistic expectations that may have been on point three or four years back.
Unfavorable matchups and opportunities for more versatile players may be all it takes to earn Alex Rodriguez a seat next to Alan Cockrell in the dugout these days.