Joe Girardi had a press conference yesterday and discussed many of the concerns people are yelling about as we enter the beginnings of the 2013 season. In true Girardi fashion, he fought off all the complaining with a healthy dose of vanilla, so while he wasn't as informative as you folks at home might have hoped, some of his words did speak volumes. The most glaring thing he mentioned concerned the Yankees' current offense after losing the likes of Nick Swisher, Eric Chavez, Raul Ibanez, Russell Martin, and Andruw Jones to free agency.
He was asked how he hoped to make up for 112 home runs lost in the offseason. Girardi believes that the offense has been changed and they'll have to find new ways to score. "We're going to have to find different ways to score runs," but what are those different ways? Stealing, bunting, hit and runs, small ball? But is this team equipped for that? The Yankees have never really employed those methods on a regular basis, even when they've had the tools for them. They might have Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki, but beyond that they still have a club filled with power hitters and declining talent. If they truly want to be a speedy, small ball team, then they would have to have a roster that included the likes of Eduardo Nunez and Melky Mesa.
As a very rough estimate, take the average stolen bases for the players on this team over the last three years and add them together: Melky Mesa stole an average of 24 bases in the minor leagues, Nunez 12, Gardner averaged 32, even after missing most of last year, Ichiro has the highest average with 37, Granderson can still steal around 15, Jeter 14, but I imagine they'll hold him up for the first month or so until everyone is sure that his foot won't fall off. Unfortunately the team won't be able to count on the 13 stolen bases from Alex Rodriguez because they're not going to let him run after he gets back midway through the season.
Joe Girardi's New Offense
Pinstriped Bible | Feb 13