Now that the 2012 MLB season has reached the All-Star Break, which unofficially marks the middle of the season, I wanted to relook at Wallace’s pre-season uncertainties as he summed up all the fans top pre-season worries perfectly in five questions.
1) WHAT CAN WE EXPECT OUT OF ALEX RODRIGUEZ?
2) ARE WE TAKING CC SABATHIA FOR GRANTED?
3) CAN CURTIS GRANDERSON COME UP WITH AN ENCORE?
4) HOW WILL NICK SWISHER PERFORM IN HIS CONTRACT YEAR?
5) WILL WE SEE DEREK JETER 2010? OR 2011?
And here is how the Yankees have answered:
(Based on first half of the 2012 season.)
- A-rod is certainly not the power hitter he was in his younger days but he is not hurting the Yankees by any means. Personally, I find A-rod’s current home-run pace a tad unacceptable but as long as his RBI numbers go up, I don’t care about his power as much because the Yankees have no problem hitting the long-ball. I have faith that at the end of the season his RBIs will be around 100, give or take a few. Otherwise A-rod can still play defense and has not been on the DL this season so he is finally just one of the guys; and I think it is better for the team. Fans need to get over his paycheck because the constant bitching has been giving me a headache for way too long.
- NO. Absolutely no one takes ace CC Sabathia for granted especially since CC went on the 15-day DL for the first time since 2006. Even before the injury, taking CC “for granted” is not the right description. When CC takes the hill he makes fans feel safe because he is so dependable. And CC is the guy his teammates want to go to war with.
- Curtis Granderson had an MVP type year in 2011, and he is proving that was no fluke. At this time last season, the Grandyman’s numbers were a tad better across the board but by so little the difference doesn’t make one. Below is Granderson’s first half of 2011 and 2012 so you can see for yourself.
Curtis Granderson Batting Stats - 2011 vs. 2012 from July 9
YEAR AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG 2011 327 79 88 11 7 25 63 45 91 15 0.269 0.361 0.575 2012 327 61 81 10 2 23 48 50 99 6 0.248 0.352 0.502 Stats are courtesy of MLB.com
- Swisher has had a solid first-half this season but regardless if he did or didn’t doesn’t really matter as much as some fans think. The Yankees priority is to lockdown Cano and Granderson this off-season, which is going to cost a small fortune. Unless Swisher offers to play for the Bombers at a discount, my guess is he is as good as gone. But this has more due to Cano and Granderson being indispensable and vital long-term than it does with Swisher. Swisher is a fan favorite, and has been crowned the general of the infamous Bleacher Creatures so it will be sad to see him go but he deserves to get paid. The reality is the Yankees might not have any money left in their wallets; and Swisher can go kick MLB Commissioner Bud Selig in the butt for raising the luxury tax starting in 2014.
- The Captain is not as bad as he was in 2010, and is playing closer to the second-half of 2011 thus far in 2012. One thing is for sure; Jeter has shamed his critics and doubters because he is still very productive. Fans and media have stopped pouncing on Jeter for any little hiccup. I have no reservation saying that Jeter stunk the two months before he got his 3000th hit; but I think it is only fair to chalk that to an abnormal time. As even though Jeter denies the 3000th hit pressure as being responsible for him looking like a useless, aging veteran the timing is to ironic for it not to have played a part at least a subconscious one. Other than the four defensive errors Jeter had last weekend, which I am chalking up two of due to shoulder spasms, the Captain has been great so far in 2012; and has exceeded my expectations. Jeter finished the first-half of 2012 posting a .308 batting average, with 7 homers, and 25 RBIs. Age has slowed down his stolen base numbers but he is striking out less (49), walking more (24) and his 148 total bases over a season’s 1st half is on or above pace with his best career seasons. Hey, you work with what you got. And the Captain still got plenty.