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This just in: Curtis Granderson can't hit left-handed pitching

Aug 10, 2010, 1:16 PM EST

Curtis Granderson has been a huge disappointment in his first season with the Yankees, posting career-lows in batting average (.240), on-base percentage (.307), and slugging percentage (.417).
What’s interesting about Granderson’s career-worst production is that his numbers against right-handed pitching (.259/.339/.492) are only about six percent worse than his career mark. The bigger difference has been his total inability to hit left-handed pitching while getting more playing time against southpaws than ever before.
Granderson has never handled lefties well, hitting just .210/.267/.336 against them for his career, but after going 0-for-3 versus Jon Lester yesterday–including a strikeout with the bases loaded in the seventh inning–he’s now batting just .206/.243/.275 off southpaws this season.
That represents a 15 percent drop in production, which is compounded by the fact that Granderson has already racked up 110 plate appearances versus lefties. So far this year 33 percent of his trips to the plate have come versus lefties, compared to 23 percent prior to this season.
In moving to the AL East he’s facing far more lefties than ever before and Joe Girardi has been far less willing to bench him against lefties than Jim Leyland was in Detroit. Granderson is 29 years old and has 800 career plate appearances of a sub-.600 OPS versus lefties. For a team with the Yankees’ record and resources he has no business being in the lineup against them at this point. Finding him a platoon partner shouldn’t be that hard.

  1. Old Gator - Aug 10, 2010 at 1:28 PM

    Dumb right wing redneck just couldn’t hack New York, is all.

  2. YANKEES1996 - Aug 10, 2010 at 1:36 PM

    I didn’t like this trade when it happened and I just knew Granderson was going to be a disappointment to the Yankees. Last night when he went down in seventh inning I was so damn pissed I almost took out my plasma screen. Now, all Yankee fans that said he was going to be a good pick up for us I seriously beg to differ, he was a disappointment in Detroit and now he is a disappointment in NY! Thanks for nothing Curtis, A-Jax looks better everyday.

  3. El Bravo - Aug 10, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    Leave it to the Yankees fan to casually point out the fact he owns a plasma TV. Did the Empire buy that for you so you could see Jeter’s lady parts more clearly? SLAM!

  4. Md23Rewls - Aug 10, 2010 at 1:50 PM

    Seriously? You nearly took out your plasma screen because a guy struck out with the bases loaded and NOBODY OUT? You couldn’t even wait until the end of the inning to control your rage over that one out? What if Jeter had doubled in three or something? All of that rage for nothing.
    #1, the rage (if we’re going to accept rage here, which we shouldn’t) was misplaced–it’s a known fact that Granderson can’t hit lefties, you have to pinch-hit there, but more importantly, #2, just because Granderson is having a disappointing season doesn’t mean the trade was a mistake. Granderson is a very good player. To say “thanks for nothing” because the guy is struggling isn’t really fair. I would still make that trade every time. Yes, it sucks that the guy’s struggling, but sometimes players have down years. It happens. The Yankees still have the best record in baseball, throwing the plasma out the window over one strikeout isn’t a good career move.

  5. Detroit Michael - Aug 10, 2010 at 2:12 PM

    Granderson wasn’t quite as good as some believed in Detroit, but he was certainly not widely regarded as a “disappointment in Detroit.” For a guy who became a major league regular at his age, he should have been regarded, and was, quite favorably.

  6. YANKEES1996 - Aug 10, 2010 at 2:19 PM

    You guys are missing the point Granderson is a decent outfielder but as a hitter he is pathetic. Md23Rewls – He is not struggling, the word struggling implies that he is in a slump and is going to come out of it, the Tigers were willing to part with him because they knew what the Yanks didn’t or what they did not want to admit to themselves that he CANNOT hit left handed pitching. Pinch hitting for him is really not the answer either because our outfielder choices are thin at best. When you are being paid the money that he is being paid he is the player that you want walking up to the plate not some second string platoon player. The fact is that the trade was a mistake and should not have been done in the first place, resigning Damon and keeping Melky would have been an outfield that is just as good as the one we have now and the Yankees could have looked at signing Carl Crawford this offseason. The fact that the Yanks gave up on A-Jax without even giving him a chance is also mildly upsetting. The plasma screen is o.k., the Granderson strikeout was the final straw the Yanks really did nothing against the Sox yesterday and it was very aggravating. Emotions run extra high when the Yanks & Red Sox get together especially when I’m trying win a bet with a co-worker who is a Red Sox fan.

  7. Md23Rewls - Aug 10, 2010 at 2:35 PM

    Hey, I was annoyed with yesterday’s game, too, but with nobody out, the Granderson strikeout wasn’t the tipping point for me. And while the Yankee bench didn’t have a great bat to pinch-hit with in that situation, I would have put Gardner in there over Granderson. As for the rest, Melky is a fourth outfielder at best, and Damon wanted too much money. I think in the long term, the Granderson deal is going to turn out fine. He’s a very talented player, just has issues against lefties. I’ve never been a huge fan of Austin Jackson.

  8. YankeesfanLen - Aug 10, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    Hey, hey, settle down here, can’t I leave the room for ONE MINUTE? The fact that Curtis can’t hit lefties is right on his warranty card. Melky was getting to the point he couldn’t hit, much less field, and Cano was too distracted with his presence.
    Now, compare Gardner’s numbers to Damon’s. Not counting the fact that he could have had the same deal from the Universe.
    The most glaring problem for the past few series, highlighted yesterday, was lack of production with RISP. Not that batting average is the be-all-end-all, however +.25 on all the regulars would help.
    And Joe not pulling a LaRusso.

  9. Professor Longnose - Aug 10, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    Austin Jackson’s slash stats against lefties aren’t much better: .246/.295/.289. The trade isn’t the problem. The failure to platoon Granderson is the problem.
    Some OPS+s:
    Austin Jackson: 103
    Curtis Granderson: 97
    Johnny Damon: 111
    Brett Gardner: 110

  10. YANKEES1996 - Aug 10, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    I agree with your comment about hitting with RISP and the bump in all the averages would be nice. However, I still think the Granderson trade was a poor idea and looking back on his production so far this season I would think that most people would agree, he has not been effective. Another thing you have to take into consideration is that he has the benefit of the short porch in right field and a lot of people believed that would help his power numbers which as it turns out has not been a bonus at all. I think for what Melky was and what he was being paid he is a much better choice than Granderson and that is not even taking his post season into account. Damon absolutely could have been signed by the Yanks for the same amount that the Tigers signed him for when you consider the time of the year when he finally signed. The Yanks were willing to wait for CC and AJ to come up on the free agent market and I think they should have done the same to go and get a top notch center fielder. The outfield we could have put in place would have at least been as good as the one we have now. Now the Yanks have Granderson which may restrict their ability to sign a top notch outfielder this offseason. When you take a look back at Grandersons’ season this year and his 2009 season he may not even be a good trade option for the Yankees either, another team is most likely not going to take a chance on a player who has had declining numbers for two years in a row no matter how young he is.

  11. cleavie wonder - Aug 10, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    This experiment didn’t work out the way the Yanks had hoped. Not everyone is built to play in the big apple. There’s always the postseason however and if he turns it around then all will be forgotten. If not, NYC will turn on him and his psyche will be crushed. At that point you might as well trade him.

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