Thursday, March 12, 2015

Many Yankees’ regulars showing no signs of offense

The New York Yankees have yet to receive much on the offensive side of the ball from many of their anticipated regular lineup members. Do you know which lineup regular has the most hits? If you guessed Alex Rodriguez, you win.

That’s right; the man who missed 17 months of baseball is pretty much the only player who has showed some consistency in his at-bats early on this spring. A-Rod is hitting .455 (5-for-11) with a bloop double and a home run. Who saw that coming?

There are certain players that do not require much worry – Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Chase Headley have had some pretty good plate appearances. Brian McCann has hit the ball hard at times. But, only Headley is hitting above .200 among the four players (.308, 4-for-13).

Ellsbury and Gardner showed they could be offensive threats for most of the 2014 season, and the latter parts of the season were productive for Headley and McCann. Worrying about them is not necessary at this point.

Of course hitters come along slower than pitchers, but after some of the Yankees’ regulars had rough 2014 seasons, it’s imperative that they get into a rhythm soon. No matter what they tell you, it’s a confidence builder for them and their teammates.

Mark Teixeira does have three hits (.250), but he is still pulling everything to the right side of the infield when hitting from the left side. His hits have all been singles despite his vow to launch doubles and home runs over the shift. Carlos Beltran, Didi Gregorius, and Stephen Drew each have just one hit. Beltran has struck out five times in 12 plate appearances.

While Gregorius and Drew are not expected to carry the Yankees’ offensive load, Teixeira and Beltran are key components to run production. If the Yankees do not receive bounceback efforts from both of them, there isn’t a whole lot of firepower to back them up.

The good news is there are no reports of health concerns with the slumping players. And it’s true that it is hard to examine them based on four or five games worth of stats. But, when coming off poor performances the previous season it is easy to get concerned.

For now, the players will tell you that they’ll come around. They are simply working on timing right now. They’ll assure us that the hits will come and to wait until the final two weeks leading into the regular season. The coaching staff will back that up and preach much of the same.

They better hope it is simply a matter of reps, because without a much better team performance on offense this season, the Yankees will put immense pressure on the pitching staff and threaten to extend their postseason drought to a third straight year.

Photo of Carlos Beltran courtesy of Shinya Suzuki via Flickr.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer and sports media strategist. Besides his work here, Christopher is a correspondent for FantasyPros, where he writes a weekly Closer Report column. His baseball commentary has also been published on Yahoo Sports, the FanSided network, Sportsideo and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.