Remember when both Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher were hitting lights out for the Yankees, last month? Do you recall Robinson Cano‘s ridiculous month of June? They seemingly carried the entire offense when everybody else forgot how to hit. Well, as you could probably tell, as soon as those respective hot streaks came to an end, and the others’ cold streak didn’t, the Bombers were grounded. It couldn’t have happened at a worse time.
Fans are probably sick of the word, PANIC, as well as all the doom and gloom in Yankee Land. However, that’s life right now for the pinstripers. After the Boston Massacre of 2011, it’s difficult to push the dreadful feelings of a potential wasted season aside. This past week has easily been the most trying for the Yankees and their fans so let’s take a quick look at Jeter’s, Swisher’s, and Cano’s numbers over the last seven days.
The Captain hasn’t slumped too badly after hitting safely in five of his last nine at-bats, but before that he couldn’t buy a multi-hit game. Over the past week his slash line (.273/.360/.318) shows he’s still finding his way on base at a good clip, but he wasn’t driving the ball for any power like he had been all season long. His slugging percentage over the past week was almost .130 points lower than his 2012 season total (.443). During the last week, Jeter’s BABIP sat at .320, which shows that despite his low(ish) average, he’s placing the ball where the defense isn’t. It’s a very small sample size, so we shouldn’t use it to predict the rest of his season by any means.
Swisher isn’t doing himself any favors on the contract front by hitting .087/.125/.087 over the past seven days. That’s embarrassingly bad. He has two hits in his last 24 plate appearances. Even worse, he has 11 strikeouts (!) over that same span. Swisher is a streaky hitter, who for a few weeks can be the team’s best and most dangerous player at the dish, but turn around and look lost for the next few weeks thereafter. One statistic that stands out is his .167 BABIP, which can tell us that he’s either getting incredibly unlucky or he’s simply not hitting the ball well. With 11 strikeouts in 24 plate appearances, I think it’s safe to say he’s just not making solid contact all that well right now.
We now move on to Cano, who is having one of the best years of his career. He might want to put this past week in his rearview mirror, because it was ugly. His .182/.250/.500 slash line indicates he’s still crushing the ball when he makes contact. In fact, over the last week he’s hit two home runs and a double. The problem is he only has one other hit (a single) during that stretch. He’s also been a GIDP machine this past week with two and has also struck out five times. Like Swisher, Cano’s BABIP is very low (.133). Just looking at the numbers, unlike Swisher, Cano might just be a victim of some bad luck.
With that said, the Yankees made a stand yesterday against the Tampa Bay Rays. It’s these three guys who will need to really step it up over the last few weeks in order to get the division back and make the playoffs. They don’t need to hit lights out, but they need to hit better than what they have over the past week. Like others have said, at least this happened at the beginning of the month where there’s time to right the ship.
Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference