- Andrew Marchand, ESPNNewYork.com
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We are not going to go all Patrick Ewing Theory on you, but the numbers say the Yankees play better without Alex Rodriguez. ESPN Stats & Information provides this tasty nugget about the Yankees' record when A-Rod is in the lineup and when the Half-Billion Dollar Man is out of it since 2010:
The Yankees haven’t been affected much over the past three seasons when Rodriguez is not in the lineup. Since 2010, they’re a combined 63-29 (.685 win percentage) without him and 188-142 (.570 win percentage) with him.
A-Rod’s power has declined significantly over the years. Since winning his last MVP in 2007, his at-bats per home run rate has more than doubled. He hit a homer once every 10.8 at-bats in 2007 but has homered once every 23.5 at-bats this season.
His slugging percentage has taken a hit recently as well. His .449 slugging percentage this season is his lowest since 1995 (.408).
Entering Wednesday, 16 third basemen were qualified for the batting title. The cumulative batting average and slugging percentage of those 16 players is slightly better than Rodriguez’s numbers this season.
So basically, A-Rod is an average player on the eve of his 37th birthday, but you knew that. If you watch the games, then you know that Rodriguez is really not a No. 3 or 4 hitter anymore, but Joe Girardi chooses to put him there in hopes he catches fire (and granted he looked better recently) and not to create a firestorm.
Let's leave you with one last stat that should ease any concern about A-Rod's absence. According to AccuScore, which utilizes 10,000 computer simulations, the Yankees don't even lose a full game over the rest of the season without A-Rod and still have a 97 percent chance of winning the division.
14hESPN Stats & Information