New York Yankees Editorial: What’s the Deal with Alex Rodriguez?
Following last night’s 5-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox, Yankees veteran DH Alex Rodriguez saw his batting average dip below the .250 mark for the first time since May 17th. While the 40-year old still ranks 10th in the American League in home runs (32) and fourth in walks (78), his struggles are starting to impact the Yankees tremendously. In August he averaged just .153 with two home runs and 10 RBI. Through September 25th he’s averaging just .208, but he upped his home run totals to six while recording 12 RBI.
So what’s the reason for A-Rod’s struggles?
It’s not a change in his mechanics nor is it fatigue as we near the end of a long baseball season. The sole reason for A-Rod’s struggles is not having Mark Teixeira to protect him in the lineup.
"“One thing is not having Tex there. That is absolutely one reason because that was a pretty good dynamic duo,”hitting coach Jeff Pentland told the New York Post. “That pair meant a lot of runs no question.”You saw [Thursday]. [Chris Sale is] throwing 97-98. He’€™s throwing Alex off-speed pitches. You have Tex behind him, that might be hard.”"
Digging deeper into the matter, when A-Rod was bumped up to third in the pecking order on April 11th he batted in front of Tex for a majority of the time leading up to August 17th when Tex suffered his season ending leg injury.
During that period, A-Rod was a .261 hitter with 23 home runs and 61 RBI in 105 games. From August 18th on and no Tex in the lineup, he’s slumped to .208 with just eight home runs and 20 RBI in 32 games.
Clearly there’s been a dip in production, and this can take a toll on the Yankees in the post season should they make it that far.
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