Start ‘em or bench ‘em?
October, 14, 2012
By Mike Mazzeo | ESPNNewYork.com
Yankees manager Joe Girardi did the unthinkable recently, pinch-hitting for Alex Rodriguez twice, then benching him for pivotal Game 5 of the ALDS.
But A-Rod, who had another horrific performance in his team’s 6-4, 12-inning loss to the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the ALCS, isn’t the only Yankee who deserves to sit right now.
He’s just one of many.
Let’s take a look at some of the team’s worst postseason performers. Then it’s up to you to play manager and determine whether you’d start ‘em or bench ‘em in Game 2.
1. Alex Rodriguez: A-Rod’s making $30 million this season. He’s owed $114 million over the next five years. Right now, he can’t buy a clutch hit. Rodriguez, who was dropped down to sixth in the order, went 0-for-3, left six runners on base and was booed mercilessly by the crowd before being pinch-hit for a third time in the eighth. He’s hitting .105 in the postseason (2-for-19).
In his place: Start Eric Chavez
2. Nick Swisher: Swisher, a free agent to be, reportedly wants “Jayson Werth money” this offseason -- or somewhere in the neighborhood of seven years, $126 million. Good luck with that. He’s currently in a 1-for-16 slide (3-for-23, .130 overall). Consistently bad in October.
In his place: Start Raul Ibanez
3. Robinson Cano: We know. We know. Cano isn’t going to be benched. Still, for someone who is considered one of the best hitters in baseball, the All-Star second baseman could do a lot better than a .071 batting average (2-for-28 including 0 for his last 22). Two extra-base hits just aren’t going to cut it.
In his place: ... Can you actually consider demoting him in the lineup?
4. Curtis Granderson: Yes, his solo homer in Game 5 was huge. But what else has he done? Well, he’s struck out -- a lot (11 times in 23 postseason at-bats, 3-for-23, .130 overall).
In his place: Start Ibanez in left and move Ichiro to center
Stat of the night: Rodriguez, Swisher ($10.25 million), Cano ($14 million) and Granderson ($10 million) are a combined 10-for-93 in the postseason (.108). Together, their salaries total $64.25 million.
Maybe CC Sabathia (.238 career with three homers and 14 RBIs in 105 at-bats) should get a DH day.