These Yankees are offensively challenged

To say the Yankees are offensively challenged is a gross understatement. Going into action today, the Bronx formerly known as Bombers were next to last in runs scored in the American League (ahead of only the Red Sox.)

The pitching is not the problem. Despite losing 80 percent of their starting rotation for all or most of the season, the Yankee pitching has been consistent. The bullpen, led by David Robertson and Dellin Betances, has, in fact ,been outstanding.

It’s the Yankee offense that bears scrutiny. Only Brett Gardner, who has been their best player in 2014, is hitting above his lifetime average. It’s easy to point the finger at a starting lineup which is hitting a collective .491 points below their lifetime batting averages. Here’s the ugly truth:

Pos. Player                                    2014   Career   Difference

LF   Brett Gardner                .276   .269        +7

SS   Derek Jeter                     .273    .311         -38

CF   Jacoby Ellsbury             .273    .294       -21

IB     Mark Teixeira                .232    .275       -43

DH    Carlos Beltran               .240    .281       -41

C      Brian McCann                 .238    .274       -36

3B     Chase Headley              .250     .265       -15

2B     Stephen Drew                .170    .259       – 89

RF     Martin Prado                 .163    .289       -126

RF     Ichiro Suzuki                  .277    .317       -40

RF     Alfonso Soriano            .221    .270       -49

Some random thoughts, rants and muses on the hitless wonders:

  • Texeira’s batting average has dipped each year since he joined the Yankees in 2009.
  • Free agent acquisitions Ellsbury, Beltran and McCann (or is that McCan’t?, pictured above in case you were wondering) have hit a cumulative 98 points behind their lifetime averages.
  • Amazingly, Drew is hitting lower with the Yankees (.170) than the Red Sox (.176).
  • Discount relative newcomers Headley, Prado and Drew, the cumulative mark is still .261 under the lifetime mean.
  • And we haven’t included utility men Brian Roberts (.237, .276, -39) and Kelly Johnson (.219, .251, -32). That brings the cumulative total below lifetime batting average to -.562
  • Don’t forget these are current lifetime averages.If you counted those averages coming into the season, the dropoff would be even more precipitous.
  • Jeter gets a pass. He’s played exactly one game in his career when the Yankees were mathematically eliminated. Plus he’s a 40-year-old shortstop.
  • Yankees haven’t finished below .500 since 76-86 in 1992, 20 games behind the world champion Blue Jays. Since then they’ve captured five World Series and seven AL pennants while winning 14 divisional titles.
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