New York Yankees catcher Brian McCann’s production can provide the answer to an underperforming middle of the lineup.
When Brian McCann followed a long foul ball with an even longer blast in last night’s win, it was a relieving sight for New York Yankees fans. Between Mark Teixeira’s injury, and lack of production, and Alex Rodriguez’s inconsistency, the team has had few places to lean in the middle of the lineup.
A general trend has transpired throughout McCann’s time in the Bronx that when he is raking, more success is present for the club.
The Yankee backstop was terrific in the first half of last year while the team was in a groove. He was undoubtedly one of the better catchers in all of baseball offensively and defensively. His 14 homers and 55 RBIs in just a half were among the tops at his position. However, when he wore out and got banged up, his downtrend began and so did the team’s downfall.
His OPS was 101 points lower in the second half, he slugged a mere .395, hit only .200, and drove in 16 fewer runs. In September and early October, more notably, me managed only thee home runs and slashed a weak .174/.301/.279.
Through the duration of that time period, the Yankees ultimately lost their division lead and got shutout in their lone postseason game.
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He has been extremely valuable to the organization, who successfully predicted that his swing would be tailor-made for Yankee Stadium. 40 of his 57 home runs with New York have come when he is playing a game with the enticing ‘314’ sign in right.
His presence and power stroke poses a threat in the middle of a lineup that has only seen true production from Carlos Beltran. His long ball in last night’s game started the demise of Anaheim starter Matt Shoemaker and a comeback win that saw three balls leave the yard in the final two home innings.
With that being said, McCann’s overall production has been inconsistent and spotty thus far in 2016. His eight home runs and 22 RBIs are certainly respectable, but the big left-handed hitter is capable of much more.
He has also received a few more days off than normal due to nagging injuries or the preference of a right-handed bat in Austin Romine.
If the guy Joe Girardi calls ‘Mac’ gets on a roll, it may allow for offensive resurgence for a team that has lacked it for the majority of the season. There is no denying his abilities. 26 homers and 94 runs batted in for a catcher that played 135 games last year is nothing to sneeze at.
The guy is potent, possesses raw power, and has the great ability to pull his hands in and turn on a pitch that few can.
There is no reason to believe that McCann cannot run off a one or two week stretch where he anchors the middle of the lineup and ultimately the entire offensive unit to astounding heights.