Thursday, April 25, 2013
Posted by el duque at 6:33 AM
But let's hope it happens soon - as in, right now. If he doesn't spring to life, we've got problems. Because when the Grandyman finally can, he's going to take an outfield position from someone - that is, unless we see another injury - and it would be Ichiro going to the bench, and I don't think he'll like it.
Ichiro's on-base percentage currently stands at .266. In other words, if a guy is batting just .270 - he's ahead of Ichiro already - not counting the walks. It's the lowest on-base percentage among Yankee starters - (assuming we can agree that Jason Nix is not a starter) - and his four walks thus far amount to half of what the feared slugger Francisco Cervelli has attained. The red hot Eduardo Nunez - batting .174 - has an OBP of .273.
The other day, Ichiro came up with two outs, the bases loaded and a pitcher who had walked the last two batters. On the first pitch, he bounced a grounder to second. OK, that's baseball, nobody's perfect... and like I say, you can't count the guy out.
But I find nothing more frustrating than Ichiro sitting on a 3-1, 3-0, or 2-0 count. He never works a walk. He appears to have as much bat control as anybody in the game... but he never grinds for a walk. And face it: An on-base percentage of .266 is horrible.
Which leads me to one final lament: In the face of all our cost-cutting, we signed him for two years. The official line seems to be that we signed him because of the marketing possibilities with Japan, the action figures, the placemats and coffee mugs, etc. WTF? We're the Yankees. We're not supposed to be thinking of nickels and dimes. Two years? While we're trying to cut payroll?
It's hard to see Ichiro holding up for two years - especially if he can't adjust his game and start working the counts now - when his playing time is on the line.