Now that we have turned the page on June, let’s take a look at some of the goings-on for the Yankees during that time:
While the offense scuffled in the month of June, one player who was doing more than his part to assist was Brett Gardner. In over 100 PAs, he hit .330/.372/.509 with an OPS of .881, including 11 doubles and a triple. One area that Gardner needs improvement on, however, is his base-running. Among one of the fastest players in the bigs, he only stole two bags in June, with one CS. Overall, his success percentage is only 64%, which is abysmal for his speed, and the fact that he is the leadoff man. Having greater success in this area would be tremendous for the Yankees, as Gardner has shown a high propensity to get on base and work the count. That said, one element of Gardner’s game that historically has not been outstanding are his power numbers but thus far he has shown some pop in his bat, which can never really hurt in the grand scheme of things. All in all, he had a tremendous month, and it was a damn shame (and further validation that the game is a joke) that he did not make the All Star team for the American League.
After having a rough go of it in the first few months of the season, June definitely helped Ichiro Suzuki right the ship. He hit .292/,333/.406, with an OPS of .739 for the month. Additionally, unlike Gardner, Ichiro used his legs, attempting eight SBs and only getting caught once. While he may not be the typical right fielder in terms of power numbers, the fact that he is able to get one base and utilizing his speed can alleviate some of that hurt. That said, power also found Ichiro in June, as he notched three homers, anc knocked in nine RBI. After a dismal start, it is great to see Ichiro’s offensive production matching up with his defensive skill.
Really, we haven’t seen a whole lot of Kevin Youkilis to make a determination that he was bad, per say. Instead, the lack of Kevin Youkilis is part of what has ailed the Yankees, as the whole at third since his return has been an offensive void of the grandest proportions. Though he hit only .219 with two homers and 18 RBI as he battled a back injury (been there, done that, bought the t-shirt), it would have been interesting to see what a healthy Youk could have contributed to the Yankees in the absence of Alex Rodriguez. At this point, it looks a bit like a $12 million/year bust, but the good news is that it was a one-year flyer. Still, it may have been more helpful to the Yankees than the production that they have gotten out of David Adams/Luis Cruz/Jayson Nix/Vernon Wells at third this year.
Is there a pitcher any more confounding than Phil Hughes? Despite having a very strong two starts (including a tough-luck loss against the Rangers at the Stadium), Hughes had a bumpy June, going 1-4 with a 4.55 ERA. In 29.2 IP, he allowed 29 hits, three homers, 10 walks and 25 Ks. However, just once in that span did he go less than six innings, helping to spare the bullpen even in a loss. While Hughes needs to improve his efficiency (damn those 0-2 counts that turn into a 10 pitch walk), he also needs to improve against lefit-handed hitters, who are batting almost .290 against him. It will be intresting to see if Hughes is on the move with free agency looming and the Yankees unlikely to sign him, or if they will roll the dice and keep him around, at least through the end of the season.
After a scorching April, Travis Hafner pretty much stunk up the joint in June (and May, for the that matter). Hit hit a brutal .174/.230/.348 with an OPS of .578 in June, logging only 12 hits in 69 ABs. For comparison’s sake, he had 19 Ks throughout the month; in other words, he struck out seven more times than he got a hit. Woof. Further adding insult to injury, while Pronk has been known to struggle against lefties, he isn’t even faring much better against righties, barely hitting against them, either. While he still managed to hit four homers and drive in 10 runs, I predicted that Pronk’s one-dimensional role of DH in 2013 would lead to physical protection that cost him success the last couple of seasons. I was right for about a month, but it turns out that Hafner is hitting worse than ever. With the offensive woes, and given that he has nothing else to contribute, Hafner better step it up, real quick.
It’s hard to fathom that it was a mere six years ago that Joba Chamberlain was as big an up-and-comer in baseball as Matt Harvey, with electric stuff. The stuff may be there still, in that he can throw hard. However, Joba has pretty much been terrible in recent memory. In June, Joba was horrid: 9.35 ERA, surrendering 14 hits in 8.1 IP. These figures include four homers, three walks and a BAA of .350. We really don’t even need to delve into why any of is awful, right? If nothing else, as the trade deadline gets closer, maybe the Yanks can turn him around for something of use, even if they are selling at a (very) low value.
So, that was our Good, Bad and Ugly for the month of June… any nominees from you, readers?
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