Celebrating the Reformation

When Curtis Granderson came to the Bronx by way of Detroit much was made of his anemic track-record against lefty pitchers.  Two-thirds of the way through his first season with the Yankees in 2010 he had done little to reassure anxious Yankee fans.  When Joe Girardi held Granderson out of the starting line-up for a two-game set in Arlington on August 10 and 11, 2010 so that Granderson could work with hitting coach Kevin Long on what Long called "a total reformation" of his swing, he was having the worst offensive season of his career.  Batting just .239 overall, he was particularly horrendous against lefties (.206/.243/.275). 

In the 65 games in which he has played since being slotted back into the starting line-up on August 12, 2010, Granderson's numbers have increased dramatically (.270/.352/.604).  Perhaps most surprisingly, he has been one of the more dangerous power-hitters in the game over that stretch.  Only Jose Bautista (26) and Troy Tulowitzki (24) have hit more home runs than Granderson's 21 since that date.  This season, Granderson is tied with 5 other players for the league-lead in HR's (7), having hit 5 in his last 7 games. 

And – notwithstanding the SSS-caveat that must come with any look at a player's rate-stats in April – Granderson's numbers against lefties have been outstanding: 7-for-18 (.389) with a triple and 3 HRs (1.000 SLG).

No one should be particualrly surprised that Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira have provided big power numbers so far this season, but the performance of Granderson (not to mention Russell Martin, who deserves his own early-season post) has been no less important in fueling the tremendous Yankee power-surge that has propelled them to first place so far in this young season.

14 comments… add one

  • i’ve declared that sss’s are ok IH ;) especially if you’re not using them to make some outrageous claim…and you’re not…you’re simply stating the fact that through a defined stretch of games granderson is swinging the bat better, presumably as a result of the work he’s done with kevin long…and the early power from all the guys you mentioned is nice, and probably necessary in order to win some of the games…it’s likely to tail off, but hopefully replaced by a more consistent offense overall…it’s nice to see the yanks hitting hr’s on the road too [see camden yards] for example, so we don’t have to endure the yankee stadium, wind stream, voodoo, short porch talk…this team can hit ‘em anywhere…and yes, i’m loving russell martin right now…

    dc April 25, 2011, 12:02 pm
  • I am waiting for someone to start bashing IH (not me) just as Paul was bashed for the Lowrie-Tulowitzki non-comparison comparison.

    SF April 25, 2011, 12:46 pm
  • not me sf, i actually said paul was a-ok with his observations…i didn’t see it so much as a comparison as a simple statement of fact: lowrie has had the best performance of any shortstop over a defined period of time…paul never once said that lowrie was a better shortstop than, well, anybody

    dc April 25, 2011, 12:56 pm
  • Kevin Long is some kind of genius.
    Amazing how the view of a trade can change so much in such little time. After last season a lot of people were willing to mark it down as a ‘loss’ for the Yankees…now it’s looking like a genius move. Interesting, now that Austin Jackson is fulfilling his ultimate destiny (and the Yankees’ justified fears) as a speedy guy with no power who strikes out a lot (aka Brett Gardner?), you don’t see Joel Sherman using his smug #betterthangranderson Twitter tag.
    And has anyone heard anything about Phil Coke or Ian Kennedy? Looks like Kennedy is currently repeating his Yankee career in Arizona as a below-average guy who’s way too hittable, and Phil Coke is currently walking more guys than he strikes out, can’t wait to see how that one turns out.
    The Yankees need to make more trades like that, because honestly they should try to have an all-star at every position. It makes for a better team. Yeah, it would be interesting to have guys from the farm come up and perform adequately, but is it really that much more satisfying than signing a free agent or acquiring a guy through trade that performs admirably?
    It will be interesting to see exactly how much Cashman is willing to give up for whatever mediocrity or above-averageness shows itself at the trade deadline. I think we can safely say that teams licking their chops thinking they can get Montero for their every-day commonalities can forget about it. Unless that other player is named Felix, or Josh Johnson, or any starter who qualifies as truly elite (note: this does not include Liriano or Carpenter), they can settle for other such every-day commonalities like Ivan Nova or Adam Warren. You’re not going to acquire premium prospects for non-premium talent. That road runs both ways.

    AndrewYF April 25, 2011, 12:57 pm
  • “I am waiting for someone to start bashing IH (not me) just as Paul was bashed for the Lowrie-Tulowitzki non-comparison comparison.”
    Perhaps there would be more such reactions if I had stuck with my original title for this post:
    “Babe Ruth + Troy Tulowitzki + Jesus < Curtis Granderson”

    IronHorse (YF) April 25, 2011, 3:09 pm
  • “Babe Ruth + Troy Tulowitzki + Jesus < Curtis Granderson"
    Over what period of time, though?

    SF April 25, 2011, 4:43 pm
  • “Perhaps most surprisingly, he has been one of the more dangerous power-hitters in the game over that stretch.”
    I agree that this is surprising, but there was definitely talk about how big a difference his homerun numbers would be when he left Detroit to play here. I think the Yankee front office and their scouts loved him because they saw the potential in his swing and Yankee Stadium being a good match. I remember talk of him reaching 30 plus homers with the Yanks when he first arrived.
    Anyway, I think it’s been an interesting deal so far. I think all the teams have done well from the deal.

    Nick-YF April 25, 2011, 7:06 pm
  • “Anyway, I think it’s been an interesting deal so far. I think all the teams have done well from the deal.”
    Its early yet but Jackson has been something worse than awful so far this year. Coke’s been pretty good though.

    sam-YF April 25, 2011, 8:11 pm
  • Correction: Babe Ruth + Troy Tulowitzki + Jesus + John Coltrane < Curtis Granderson

    I'mBillMcNeal April 25, 2011, 8:37 pm
  • Interesting face IBM…Russ Martin’s middle name is Coltrane. His dad was a big fan…

    sam-YF April 25, 2011, 9:14 pm
  • that should have read FACT… not face!

    sam-YF April 25, 2011, 9:15 pm
  • OK, Sam. I read that and I almost looked it up. Almost.
    But that is pretty funny. A good joke. You almost had me.

    I'mBillMcNeal April 26, 2011, 12:02 am
  • I’m confused. That is his middle name.

    Nick-YF April 26, 2011, 12:08 am
  • It is his middle name…Im being serious here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_Martin

    sam-YF April 26, 2011, 10:29 am

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