2011 has come and gone and now the Yankees have to have a new mentality when they enter Spring Training in February. The players can look at their stats from the 2011 season and find a way to improve themselves in 2012 in their off-season work. Here are some of the Yankees that could improve their game in 2012.
1. Alex Rodriguez
We can all say that it was injuries that plagued Alex Rodriguez, but that is exactly where A-Rod needs to improve. He needs to try not to get injured all the time in 2012. Last season, Rodriguez had a .276 AVG, 16 HR & 62 RBI’s. That was a career low in HR’s and was the first time since 1994-1995 that A-Rod has not hit 30+ HR’s. We could all say that the injury messed with his power. We could also say that he came back too early. All I say is “excuses, excuses.” A-Rod needs to do better, or there will be a lot of angry fans in New York with A-Rod’s results.
2. Mark Teixeira
Home Runs are fine from time to time but Mark Teixeira needs to stop thinking HR every time he's at the plate
Mark Teixeira is an interesting subject. Sure, Tex had 39 HR’s & 111 RBI’s but this is what really hurts the beautiful picture: A dismal .248 AVG. From observing Teixeira from the last 2 seasons, he looks as if he is trying to aim for the RF seats. All the time. His power is definitely there, but it would be nice if Teixeira didn’t try to play hero and attempt to hit a game winning HR in every game. Hopefully Teixeira can work on this in the off-season and head into Spring Training a new player.
3. Eduardo Nunez
Eduardo Nunez isn’t an everyday player, we know that but when he does play it affects the Yankees. When Derek Jeter needs to take a simple day off, Joe Girardi puts Nunez to start. Nunez is an okay hitter since he has a .265 AVG, but the problem with Nunez is that he needs to improve his defense. In the 2011 season alone, Nunez had committed 20 errors. That’s a lot of errors for someone who started only 39 games. Nunez needs to work on his aim a bit better so when Jeter sits out, we can all breathe easily.
4. Brett Gardner
Brett Gardner is the fastest Yankee on the team and he always shines when it comes to his defense and his speed, but when it comes to offense Gardner can be a bit streaky. In 2011, Gardner hit a .259 AVG, which could have been much higher if he didn’t pull a Katy Perry “Hot & Cold” throughout the season. At times Gardner will pop up the ball at every at-bat, and at times you can rely on him to be “Mr. Clutch” and score some RBI’s, but the issue that Gardner has to work on is being a consistent hitter. Gardner has all the talent in the world to be a complete All-Star, but he has to be more consistent in order for fans to see that shining star in the making. He’s halfway there, isn’t he?
A.J Burnett needs to pitch better. Simple as that
5. A.J Burnett
Oh A.J Burnett. For the past 2 seasons, A.J has shown to be inconsistent as well. The issue is here, everyone notices because he’s the one in control of the game. Burnett in 2011 had a 5.15 ERA which was slightly better than his 5.26 ERA in 2010. Burnett has shown that since he has came to New York he has been nothing but an average pitcher. He’s not terribly bad, but he’s not amazingly brilliant either. Burnett’s stuff was beginning to work for him late in the year, so if he can keep those mechanics throughout the whole year then the fans and A.J should be on more pleasant terms. Just to let you know A.J…the season doesn’t take a hiatus in May-July and pick right back up in August-October. It’s year round.
6. Joe Girardi
Girardi isn’t a player anymore, he’s now the manager but he has some improving to do on his part as well. Game after game, Girardi depends on one thing: The Binder. The binder is what gets the Yankees in trouble from time to time and what costs them games. Girardi needs to do managing based on his gut because sometimes it will work. Here’s an example. If the Yankees have a 2 run lead in the 6th with A.J Burnett pitching, take him out. Don’t leave him there to get a chance to implode. With that, Girardi needs to realize that you can’t manage everything by the book.