The Yankees third baseman was hitting everything in sight during the start of the season. But Chase Headley has found the Grand Canyon on slumps and needs to figure it out quickly.
After 43 games, Chase Headley is hitting .241/.317/.386 with three home runs and 20 RBI. While that seems like a typical Headley season, the numbers really are the average between a hot and cold streak.
Sadly, Headley has struggled his entire career in pinstripes. Through the first few weeks of the season, looked like he had it figured out. In the first 15 games of 2017, Headley was hitting .396/.500/.646 with three home runs, six runs batted in and only 10 strikeouts.
It looked like the beginnings of a monster season, much like his 2012 campaign with the Padres, when he hit a career-high 31 home runs and lead the NL with 115 RBI. Headley would finish fifth in the MVP voting, and take home his one and only silver slugger award.
Almost as quickly as Headley was tearing up the league this year, he went colder than meat in the freezer section of a grocery store.
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Headley has hit a dismal .165/.214/.258 over his last 24 games, with no home runs and 31 strikeouts. So what happened that has caused these woes at the plate?
Its mainly been his inability to lay off pitches out of the strike zone.
In the beginning of the season, Headley was attacking the first pitch fastball and driving it all over the field. But as teams and pitchers caught on to the trend, Headley started seeing more and more off-speed pitches early — and once he was behind, his at-bat was basically over.
Headley has been staying true to his name, Chase — in regards to his pitch selection. So how can he solve this problem and hit the ball more often?
Hitting is about making adjustments, and the lack of an adjustment is exactly what Headley has been lacking. He’s been unable to recognize first pitch breaking balls and needs to become much more disciplined when he falls behind in the count.
The Yankees need Headley to step up and figure out how to hit again. It seems silly to say that about a Major Leaguer, but that’s just how baseball goes sometimes.
Headley has all the ability to make a significant impact in the Yankees’ lineup and help propel them deep into the postseason. Will he, though? Only time will tell.