Yes, Granderson is on a hot streak. Yes, he is doing damage the past few days. Still, with all the work Kevin Long has put into Granderson this past year, Granderson is still batting only .214 against lefties. His K% against lefties is up from last year to 27.1%. He is slugging .286 against lefties.
What’s more his % for swinging at pitches outside the strike zone is up this year—up to 24.6 percent. Needless to say, obviously his walk rate is down this year, to 8.9 percent. His OBP is a sorry .318 percent—.257 against lefties. His slugging percentage against lefties is .286. This, with all the protection the Yankee lineup has to offer.
If it were anybody else, Granderson would be benched against lefties. But since Granderson was the big trade acquisition this offseason, he gets the benefit of the doubt. We get the whole “He’s working hard.” “It’s just a matter of time” nonsense from the Yankee coaches. But really, the man can’t hit lefties. He couldn’t hit them last year. He can’t this year.
And especially when you have Marcus Thames on the bench—a guy who hits .315 off of lefties this year. Thames and Granderson platooned would create a nice presence in the 7-spot for the Yankees.
Let’s take a look at the recent series against the Indians. This is what Granderson accomplished against lefty pitchers:
He bunted to moved players over
He popped up to the catcher
He was subbed for by Colin Curtis
He Grounded out to the pitcher.
And in the series before that, against the Royals’s lefties, Granderson:
Popped to short
Had a single!
Sacrificed to the pitcher.
Against Blue Jays last night, Granderson was subbed for against lefty Scott Downs. Marcus Thames singled—a god omen.
But against two of the three worst pitching teams in the AL, Granderson went 1 for 6, was subbed for by Colin Curtis, and had 2 bunt sacrifices. He got the ball out of the infield exactly once. I doubt this was what Cashman had in mind when he traded for Granderson, whom he lauded as a power/speed complete player..
But Cashman should have known. Granderson has a career .211 BA against lefties. What did he think, coming to Yankee Stadium would solve that? No, this guy can’t him lefties and guess what. The Yankees will be facing Cliff Lee, C.J. Wilson and David Price in the playoffs. And should they get to the World Series, they might be facing guys like Jamie Garcia or Wade LeBlanc. It would be better for Joe Girardi to start a precedent now to start platooning Granderson against lefties. As the last few days have shown, as has his .529. slugging percentage against righties, Granderson deserves to start against righties. He is a nice weapon against them. But his numbers against lefties don’t justify a spot in this lineup. But Marcus Thames’ does.
Girardi should platoon Granderson starting right now.