With nearly three years completed in his New York Yankees tenure, Jacoby Ellsbury continues to display the same repetitive trends.
An accurate representation of the New York Yankees‘ seven-year, $153 million investment has yet to showcase itself. As a 2014 commitment moves towards the dwindling days of 2016, the brutal truth about Jacoby Ellsbury is beginning to surface.
In a more particular sense, the way the organization views him has flared up one too many times.
Yesterday, in the biggest game of the year, as coined by Joe Girardi and the Bronx faithful, one of the richest men in baseball was riding the pine once again merely because a left-hander was toeing the rubber.
Without a moment of hesitation, Joe Girardi opted to lead off Brett Gardner and bat recent September call-up Rob Refsnyder second in an order desperately trying to back Michael Pineda in a pivotal rubber game. Salvaging the final game of the set was crucial.
When the Yankees struck their deal with Ellsbury, these were the moments which were anticipated. A substantial game in need of catalyzation. A team in need of some fresh legs.
Plain and simple, the 32-year-old provides neither of those factors when he takes the field on a daily basis.
In fact, he is not worth half of what he is earning.
Sure, you can make the argument that you need to give something in order to get something. Yes, the case can be made that the money is all that was able to lure him from Beantown.
However, no substantiation can be provided for a .265/.327/.369 slash with 18 stolen bases over 122 games.
The Yankees know this, the Yankees read into this, and the Yankees have taken action on the matter.
Numerous times, the speedster has been benched in meaningful games — a la the 2015 Wild Card Game.
On several occasions, the former runner-up for the 2011 AL MVP has been disregarded against southpaws. His .239/.277/.306 split with 11 RBIs against lefties tells the complete story.
Unfortunately, 2011 MVP snub is all he will ever amount to. Cutting through the nonsense, New York signed him for that campaign and that campaign only.
They figured 32 home runs, 105 runs batted in, 39 stolen bases, and a gold glove would translate into pure explosiveness at Yankee Stadium. In fact, there was hope that the 30 home run production would return — and then some.
Let’s put it this way. Since arriving in New York, Ellsbury has blasted 29 home runs combined between three years.
In reality, 2011 was a case of everything going right. Never before or after has he hit north of 20 home runs, driven in more than 70 runs, and hit higher than .310 over a full season.
Throughout his three years in the Bronx, he has never recorded a batting average north of .275. More importantly, he has never stolen more than 40 bases in a single season.
Essentially, he has not been a catalyst in his Yankee tenure by any stretch of the imagination.
Therefore, when push comes to shove, he is better off making a new acquaintance — the hard wooden texture of the third base dugout at Camden Yards.
He will not improve from here and he will not greatly decline. He is what he is: mediocre.
Do not be surprised when he is not in the mix. Do not compare it to the undeserving contract attached to his name.
The front office made a judgment mistake which is currently rearing its ugly head. Now it is just a matter of maximizing an already troubling situation.