Yankees Player of the Week: Week 1

New York Yankees Starting Pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, Of Japan,  Delivers In The Seventh-inning Against The Los Angeles

The New York Yankees had a solid week going 4-2 after 2 losses to open the season in Tampa. I discounted the first two games since then it would be over a week of evaluating. With that being said my Yankees player of the week for week number 1 is Hiroki Kuroda. I will try to give starting pitchers just as much love as everyday players in this award, since they most likely will only get to pitch once a week in most cases.

It came down to Kuroda, Derek Jeter, David Phelps, and Nick Swisher for this week’s award.

The Case for Jeter - Jeter hit .370 for the week with 1 HR and 3 RBI. He set the tone for the Yankees sweep in Baltimore with leadoff hits in all 3 games including a HR. In fact, Jeter is an incredible 6 for 8 leading off games this year.

The Case for Phelps – Phelps would have gotten more consideration had the Yankees offense helped him out and came back in yesterday’s game. I know that is not his fault, but with his best performance coming in a blowout, I could not give it to him. He also had a great outing against Baltimore, along with a terrific job of saving the bullpen after Phil Hughes hit the showers early yesterday.

The Case for Swisher - Swisher hit .261 for the week with 2 HR, 8 RBI, and had two big clutch hits during the week. The first was a game winning home run on Thursday in Baltimore to break a 4-4 tie in the 10th inning. The second was a bases clearing 3 run triple in the 1st inning of the home opener on Friday.

The Case for Kuroda - There was a lot of talk about Kuroda going into the home opener after his failure during his Yankees debut. Most of it centered on how he would not be able to make the switch from the NL to the AL. Eyebrows were also raised when he said he was nervous about starting the home opener. Kuroda proved all those doubters wrong on Friday in his start against the Angels. He was extremely dominant on the mound, pitching 8 shutout innings, allowing only 5 hits, and striking out 6. He tried for a CG shutout but was pulled after an infield single in the 9th. In addition, Kuroda did not allow a batter to get past 2nd base.

Kuroda barely even used his splitter which is his best pitch. Instead he primarily used his fastball, sinker, slider, and curve, and the sinker and slider were his most effective pitches. That is what is so great about Kuroda. He has multiple plus pitches and knows how and when to use them. Kuroda used that sharp sinker of his to induce 3 double play ground balls. He also pitched very quickly so he could assure that the fielders behind him would field to their potential.

I think Kuroda deserves the award this week because of the way he proved his doubters wrong in his domination of the Angels’ lineup on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium, but feel free to disagree with me. Vote for who you think deserves the award and give your reasoning in the comment section.

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About Matthew B

I am a student at William Paterson University and studying to become a sportswriter. I have a huge passion for the Yankees and love sharing my opinions on them. I can analyze every aspect of the Yankees very well. I am very active on Twitter so feel free to contact me there Twitter: @RAYROBERT9

Posted on April 15, 2012, in Player of the Week and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. How can you make any case for Jeter when he can’t hit right handed pitching anymore? The Yankees have faced 4 left handed starters so far so that has inflated his numbers.

  2. Ok well I’m just looking at this week and nothing else. How can u possibly hate on what he has done this week? I don’t care who he faced. He would have been my 2nd choice.

    • I don’t hate Jeter I just see him for what he is and that isn’t a good ballplayer anymore. He is a lousy baserunner which he showed again in yesterdays game when he couldn’t go first to third. He can’t hit power right handed relievers. All he is good for is hitting lefties which will happen about 30% of the time.

  3. I voted for Phelps. i took what he did so far and I am liking what I am seeing. His line so far: 8.1 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 1 HR, 9 K.

    • Phelps looks great so far. He’s showing good maturitiy on the mound and NY doesn’t seem to big for him.

  4. Wow very close race so far. I can see why as it was a tough choice for me. Keep the votes coming!

  5. Matthew this was niceley done I am looking forward to this article each week. It should bring alot of arguements and discussion.

  6. I have no problem with Jeter getting votes. It doesn’t mean he’s their best player or going to have a good year. It just means he had the best week of anyone on the team.

    So far this year, no one is hitting consistently. Jeter is batting .361 while no other regular is above .242 for the season. Gardner is at .316 but has ony started half the games because of all the LHPs.

    When the team was struggling at 0-3, Jeter went 4 for 4 in Baltimore leading to the 1st win. The next day he led off with a HR in a 5-4 win. He is 10 for 27 (.370 BA) this week and has a hit in the last 5 gms. Swish had 2 big hits but is 5 for 22 (.227) on the week. Phelps has been magnificent and Kuroda threw an awesome game. So Matthew definitely has the 4 correct candidates up there.

    • I voted for Jeter to retire!

      • i vote for you to retire —1 day on the blog and over opinionated

      • george….
        I was for that last year and again this year but, you are a Jeter hater if you say anything like that. Some fans can only see what they wish to see, Jeter will have a few days or weeks like this one but the days of him being the hitter/fielder he once was are long gone!
        Before this year is over A-Rod may join him…I hope not, I had great expectations for him. :)

        • My hope is that all of Jeter, Alex and Girardi are all gone ASAP. I do not hate Jeter I just see him for what he is now. It looks like he’s gotten off to a great start but he’s scored 2 times so far this season excluding his homerun. He’s hitting .250 after the first inning.

          Now I do think Girardi can put Jeter in better position to be successful and be more useful. He is not a leadoff hitter anymore. He should bat third in the lineup against lefties because he still crushes them. Bat him 7th when he plays against right handers. Jeter also needs to start being pinch hit for late in games against power righties.

          • but that’s not going to happen. As long as they win they are staying. No way Jeter or Arod are leaving before contracts are up and you know as well as I Jeter is staying for the option year as well. A-Rods contract is gross espically how he is playing but with young talent I think they will be ok.

  7. So when we face all RHPs in a week, and Jeter hits .000, then nominating him for the weekly award can be deemed ridiculous. But he got the job vs. who he was facing, so stop being a hater and answer the question.

  8. I voted for Kuroda, but only A-Rod and Jeter can get bashed like this when they are playing well. One of these days people are going to realize that A-Rod and Jeter aren’t going anywhere any time soon. If you liked them in there prime you will have to understand that they will be playing until their contracts run out. These guys will get a least this year before they are moved in the line-up. To me, Girardi’s move with the 3 and 4 batters is irrelivent. It’s all comes down to production. I for one an not sold with moving Jeter or A-Rod in the line-up.

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