First Pitch: Girardi's hands are tied

June, 30, 2013
BALTIMORE -- There are only 15 teams in the American League, but if you go down the Yankees' regular lineup, they only have three players who are in the top 15 in OPS at their position. It seems almost impossible, but that is how bad the Yankees are performing right now.

In compiling these numbers, we did not include the current everyday left fielder, Zoilo Almonte, because he has only played in 10 games. The numbers below were accurate entering Saturday's action. They are divided up by position, name, their OPS, and the OPS ranking for that position.

It is not pretty.

Catcher: Chris Stewart, .632, 23rd
First base: Lyle Overbay, .717, 17th
Second base: Robinson Cano, .852, 4th
Third base: David Adams, .511, 26th
Shortstop: Jayson Nix, .606, 18th
Left field: Vernon Wells, .633, 26th
Center field: Brett Gardner, .798, 8th
Right field: Ichiro Suzuki, .682, 20th
Designated hitter: Travis Hafner, .761, 3rd

This leaves Joe Girardi in a difficult position, because there is only so much he can do from the bench. Girardi says he is loathe to try "crazy" stuff like stealing bases with players not built to do that. Even the idea of hitting-and-running more doesn't make sense because the Yankees don't have those type of hitters, according to Girardi -- in other words, batters that make contact.

“You could talk about some hit-and-runs, but I don’t know if we’re a team that’s really built for a whole lot of that," Girardi said. "So it’s just being positive and continuing to encourage the guys and be the same person.”

And waiting for different players to show up. The Yankees will have played 81 games after Sunday night, half a season, and they are still waiting for the "A" team to arrive.

UP NOW: My column on the Yankees' and Orioles' role reversal as the Yanks sink toward the cellar. Ian O'Connor's news story on Randy Levine saying the Yankees desperately need A-Rod back.

ON DECK: In Game 81 on Sunday night, it will be Hiroki Kuroda (7-5, 2.77) versus Chris Tillman (9-2, 3.72). The game will be on ESPN, ESPN Radio and WatchESPN at 8 p.m.

QUESTION: How would you rate the job Girardi has done this year?
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »



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Masahiro Tanaka
13 2.77 141 136
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146