With the 2010 Major League Baseball season more than halfway over and the most boring sports day of the year upon us, I figured I’d hand out a midterm report card to the New York Yankees. Professor Poedubicky plays no favorites, and isn’t afraid to tell his pupils if they need to be more productive…
Derek Jeter – El Capitan has been off to one of his worst statistical seasons to date. However, he is still outperforming most AL shortstops. Jeter has steered clear of the injury bug, and because of this, I believe he will finish with a batting average over .300 for the 12th time in 16 seasons.
2010 Grade – By his standards, a D or an F is more appropriate, but the production is still passable. C
Nick Swisher – The Swish Hawk has really come into his own as a professional now seven seasons into the big leagues. He is on pace to shatter all of his season bests in batting average, hits, RBIs, and OPS. He deserved his first ever All Star game this year.
2010 Grade – Considering Wilson Betemit was the price for Nick Swisher, I think the Yanks made out okay. A
Mark Teixeira – Big Teix started off slow in April, but was going to turn it around in May. However, he had miserable stats for all of the first three months, but finally found his swing in July, putting up an OPS of 1.317 in July’s first 11 games.
2010 Grade – Despite the poor splits, Mark is still leading the team in home runs and is second in RBIs. C
Alex Rodriguez – A-Rod somehow has 70 RBIs, a ridiculously high number considering the mundane .269 batting average. If he puts up second half numbers like he did last year, expect a 13th consecutive 30 HR/100 RBI season.
2010 Grade – Alex needs only three more home runs to reach 600 for his historic career. B-
Robinson Cano – Arguably the first-half American League AL MVP, Robinson Cano has come into his own as a Yankee. It will come down to the wire for Cano, Texas’s Josh Hamilton, and Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera for the hardware.
2010 Grade – Thus far, Cano leads the Yankees in hits, is second in home runs, and is third in RBIs. A
Jorge Posada – Despite missing 28 games, Posada still has put up decent numbers, especially for a 38-year-old catcher. Again, my only concern is that Francisco Cervelli has become an automatic out.
2010 Grade – If he can catch or DH as much as possible without getting injured, he will put up another solid season. B-
Curtis Granderson – Over the past two years, the worst deal for the Yankees was the trading of uber-prospect Austin Jackson for Curtis Granderson. Given Jackson’s output, it has proven costly this year. However, I’m willing to wait out the summer heat to see if Granderson can get healthy and raise his OBP (.309) and power numbers (7 HR).
2010 Grade – Again, this could do a lot with health, but Granderson has done nothing to impress most Yankee fans in 2010. D
Brett Gardner – Fans seemed ready to wait it out with Brett for a year in left while the wait for Carl Crawford to NY started. However, something happened. Brett was awesome. By far and away the best 9-hole hitter in the league, Brett will hopefully continue his hot hitting into the second half.
2010 Grade – Considering expectations, Brett might have really outdone himself with the .396 OBP. Sayonara, Melky. A
And he rest of the offense…
Nick Johnson – Injuries hurt. INCOMEPLETE
Francisco Cervelli – Cisco the Kid filled in admirably for injured Jorge Posada, but his hitting has fallen off, as expected. C-
Marcus Thames – He’s had the Yankees only two walk-off hits of 2010, but can’t hit against righties or stay healthy. C
Ramiro Pena – A Gold Glover with a tin foil bat. C-
CC Sabathia – Big Stoppa was great last year, and so far this year, he’s been even better. If he keeps up this ridiculous pace, he will most certainly be the AL Cy Young Award winner. That is, unless a certain closer has something to say about it.
2010 Grade – Carsten Charles is on pace to win 21 games, which would beat his career best of 19. A
A.J. Burnett – It’s been a roller coaster of a season for Allan James. The very good, to the very ugly, to the great, to the good. Hopefully, A.J. will continue his solid pitching with Dave Eiland back (hopefully) for good.
2010 Grade – A pretty good grade for someone who went 0-5 with an 11.35 ERA in June. B-
Andy Pettitte – If Andy the Dandy can keep pitching like this, it may be a few years from his retirement. The more years in New York from Andy, the more years the Core Four will remain intact.
2010 Grade – How is this only the third time Andy has been an All Star? A
Javier Vazquez – In what started out as an ugly reunion tour, Javy has really turned it around. Since May 12, the second-best ERA for all Yankees starters has been Vazquez with a 3.12.
2010 Grade – Vazquez’s ERA has gone down in every month this season. B
Phil Hughes – When it came down to Phil or Joba for the fifth starting spot, it looks like the Yankees got this one right. Making his first of what will be many All Star appearances, The Franchise has gone 11-2 with a 3.65 ERA.
2010 Grade – Hughes went 4-1 with an ERA of 5.65 in June. Run support is nice, but his stuff has been nicer. A-
Mariano Rivera – Mariano Rivera blew two saves this year. When he gave up a grand slam to Jason Kubel, no one wanted to talk about that. Everyone was more blown away that he actually walked someone the batter before.
2010 Grade – The only reason the Yankee bullpen has any respect. A
Joba Chamberlain – Ugh. What an ugly first half for Joba. Losing out on the starting job to Phil Hughes had to set him back, but he has to learn how to contribute as an eighth-inning man.
2010 Grade – Joba has allowed an earned run in a little more than 25% of his appearances. That is just bad. Even worse is the four times he allowed three earned runs or more. D
Damaso Marte – Damaso started out slow, but has come into his own as a left-handed specialist. No, he isn’t Phil Coke who can defeat righties, but he can hold his own against lefties.
2010 Grade – Big D is allowing opposing left-handed hitters a .200 OBP. Nice. B
And the rest of the pen…
Dave Robertson – Doing just fine, but still cannot be fully trusted with the ball. C
Sergio Mitre – He will be an asset when giving starters rest in September. But for now, D
Alfredo Aceves – The bullpen misses you, Al. INCOMPLETE
Chan Ho Park – Has appeared in 21 games and given up 19 earned runs. For $1.2 million, he’s an expensive punchline. F
Chad Gaudin – So bad, the Oakland A’s dropped him. F
All said and done, the Yankees finish the first half with a 2.44 GPA. Don’t panic, it’s higher than average, and sooner than later, Chad Gaudin and Chan Ho Park will no longer have the privilege of wearing pinstripes. My valedictorian has to be Robinson Cano. A traditional second-half hitter, he could put up MVP-caliber numbers. Joba Chamberlain, you sir need to complete some extra credit assignments.
What do you think of my assessments? Was I too easy on my students? You be the judge.