• Spare The Power, Spoil The A-Rod

    Posted by on May 17th, 2012 · Comments (15)

    Great stuff from Ed Marks on A-Rod today:

    From the time [Alex Rodriguez] broke in as a major leaguer in 1994 through the 2007 season, Rodriguez averaged one home run for every 14.2 at-bats, good enough to make the career top 10 list in that category. But since 2008 he has been merely a good power hitter, not a great one, and the dropoff since the start of last season has been startling.

    Since the start of the 2008 season, when [A-Rod's] hip “irregularity” was detected, Rodriguez has been averaging one home run for every 17.1 at-bats. His 1994-to-2007 average translated to 42.3 home runs for a 600 at-bat season; his average since then yields 35.1 home runs per 600 at-bats, a decline of 17 percent. He hit 35 homers in 2008, and 30 in 2009 and 2010. In his first four seasons with the Yankees he averaged 43.3.

    And it’s getting worse. Much worse. Last season he averaged one home run for every 23.3 at-bats; so far this year, with a total of five home runs in the Yankees’ first 37 games (two fewer than Raul Ibanez), he is averaging one for every 27.2 at-bats — a rate that would give him 22 homers if he has 600 at-bats this season.

    And he ranks only eighth on the team in slugging percentage (.412); even Eric Chavez (.523) and Andruw Jones (.472) are ahead of him.

    If you think that sounds ominous, consider this: After this season there are still five more years left on his contract. Five more years. If his current trend continues, Rodriguez might finish that contract as the best-paid player ever to appear in an Old-Timers’ Game.

    If A-Rod gets 600 At Bats this season and hits less than 25 HR, playing half his games at Yankee Stadium, then he is, indeed, cooked as a power hitter. But, we have to wait for the season to play out to see what his final numbers will be this year.

    Comments on Spare The Power, Spoil The A-Rod

    1. antone
      May 17th, 2012 | 1:22 pm

      His HR/FB ratio (20%) is actually his highest since 2009. He’s just hitting way less Fly Ball this year (23.8% vs 39.5% for his career) His Line Drives are way up, which is probably not sustainable, but fine with me since it probably means more base hits. I’m guessing once he starts hitting more fly balls we will see the 2B’s and HR’s go up along with the SLG%. Obviously not to his peak levels, but I’m thinking 25-30 HR’s in a full season of at-bats.

    2. MJ Recanati
      May 17th, 2012 | 4:33 pm

      @ antone:
      Agree with your analysis.

      It also doesn’t help A-Rod very much that Mr. Auto-Out hits right behind him. Why throw anything hittable to Rodriguez when you can just throw slow stuff to Mark Teixeira and watch him tap back to the pitcher on every AB?

    3. G.I. Joey
      May 17th, 2012 | 4:55 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:

      “Mr. Auto-Out”, that’s just priceless. It’s like you were channeling Butchie with that one. I’m absolutely sick of watching this guy at the plate.

    4. May 17th, 2012 | 5:05 pm

      Has there ever been a hitter as good as Tex was, where he was the same age as Tex is, where it all went south so quickly without a root cause for the slip?

    5. Corey Italiano
      May 17th, 2012 | 6:19 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      where it all went south so quickly without a root cause for the slip?

      You don’t think it’s the effects of the shift and also the effects of the shift getting into his head?

    6. May 17th, 2012 | 6:33 pm

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      You don’t think it’s the effects of the shift and also the effects of the shift getting into his head?

      It could be…
      And, if true, then shame on him. There’s no excuse for not beating the shift…for a player of his talent level.

    7. May 17th, 2012 | 9:31 pm

      The AROD issue is not “startling” when you realize he is 36 years old. Players are generally done or in serious decline at this age. He’s just not 36 he’s an old 36 (37 in July). If he hits 25 homers and drives in 85 runs that will be a good year for him.

    8. MJ Recanati
      May 18th, 2012 | 10:11 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      And, if true, then shame on him. There’s no excuse for not beating the shift…for a player of his talent level.

      Gotta agree. If you can’t mentally adjust your approach or you can’t physically amend your swing to let the ball travel deeper and get comfortable hitting to the opposite field then you have to give up switch hitting as a lefty hitter.

      Something’s gotta give. We can’t carry a .290 OBP in the five-hole all year. Once again, Joe Girardi is a slave. Move Teixeira to 7th where he belongs at this point.

    9. May 18th, 2012 | 10:34 am

      Also, if the sinus thing is THAT BAD, then he should be sent to the DL.

      Then, again, if they do that, your options are Eric Chavez or Steve Pearce at first base…unless Ibanez could slide in there?

    10. May 18th, 2012 | 10:35 am

      Whoops. Forgot about Swisher. He could play there too.

    11. MJ Recanati
      May 18th, 2012 | 12:17 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Also, if the sinus thing is THAT BAD, then he should be sent to the DL.

      Agreed. Moreover, I’m sorry, I just don’t see how that affects seeing the ball and swinging well.

      The Yankees seem to be absurd in how timid they are with the DL. They’re handcuffing themselves by keeping such a horrid bench.

    12. Raf
      May 18th, 2012 | 12:36 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Gotta agree. If you can’t mentally adjust your approach or you can’t physically amend your swing to let the ball travel deeper and get comfortable hitting to the opposite field then you have to give up switch hitting as a lefty hitter.

      Yeah, I don’t know what his problem is, or why he hasn’t made the adjustment yet.

    13. Raf
      May 18th, 2012 | 12:37 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Whoops. Forgot about Swisher. He could play there too.

      I think if the Yanks weren’t so thin in the OF (or if they didn’t insist on carrying 20 pitchers), Teix would’ve been benched, and you’d see Swisher @ 1b.

    14. Raf
      May 18th, 2012 | 12:39 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      The Yankees seem to be absurd in how timid they are with the DL. They’re handcuffing themselves by keeping such a horrid bench.

      It’s ridiculous. Not like this is an isolated incident either.

    15. MJ Recanati
      May 18th, 2012 | 4:42 pm

      Raf wrote:

      It’s ridiculous. Not like this is an isolated incident either.

      It’s so weird. They’re super-duper cautious with injured players once the players are on the DL but they seem to be paralyzed when it comes to making the decision on when to actually put someone on the DL.

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