Wednesday, February 3, 2016

It's now or never for Jacoby Ellsbury

As a Yankee fan, nothing beats stealing a Redsock player and having him do well. That's why the mere mention of Wade Boggs still provokes a smile, and it's even better with a Boston fan nearby, so you can enjoy the wince.

Ahh, imagining Boggs on the horse... nice, eh?

Which is why Jacoby Ellsbury is so frustrating...

Statistically, according to Baseball Reference, Ellsbury last year played like an unpleasant concoction of Cocco Crisp, Randy Winn and Roberto Kelly. Yes, he was Cocco Kellwinn. He hit .257 with 7 HRs and stole 21 bases, the lowest full-season SB total in his career. Worse, he was thrown out 9 times, so - basically - it wasn't even a good idea to have him trying to steal.

He melted like a popsickle, right before our eyes. He hit .318 the first half and .220 in the second. Yes, a 100-point variation. It was horrible to watch. Apparently, he was playing through an injury, though he didn't want to use that as an excuse. (Funny how, when an injury is mentioned, and the player doesn't want to use it as an excuse, because that's exactly what is happening.)

In the last three seasons, his average has fallen from .298 to .271 to .257. (He's five years away from his career season, when he was the best player in the AL.)

But here's the deal: Ellsbury is only 32. It feels like he's 38, because practically all the Yankee big names are 38. At 32, he should have a few good years left... right?

He should have at least two good years left. Maybe three.

We have him for five more.

I don't know what to expect from Ellsbury, because of the injury factor. Last year, he missed 50 games. And we'd have been better off if he missed 20 more. He is always a threat to hurt himself diving for a ball or sliding into second.

But if anybody is thinking about a Yankee resurgence in 2016, here's how it happens:

Ellsbury hits .290 with 15 HRs and 40 stolen bases. We have to see the good Ellsbury. And Boston fans have to grimace.

He is the difference between a Yankee playoff contender and - possibly - a complete 2016 collapse.


John M said...

The saddest part of this story is that Ellsbury was one of the very few Sox that I could watch and not feel a mixture of disgust, annoyance, nausea and repulsion. (I'm looking at you, Pedroia, you rodent.) He seemed like a decent guy, a very good player, and had a Jeter-like quality of doing anything to make the play, sometimes to his physical detriment.

So to bring him to the Yankees for seven long years and see this kind of collapse is heartbreaking. He is in his relative prime. Has the coaching staff worked their magic on him so soon? Is it the injuries, and are the effects permanent?

Whatever the truth, everything is not Jake with Ellsbury.

Alphonso said...

I think he needs a few nights with a really decked out, and good looking Tranny.

ceeja said...

When Ellsbury and Gardner were playing at the top of their game in the beginning of last season, the Yankee offense actually had a spark. I know we can't hope for much from Beltran and A Rod. But if the top of the order produces; and if power hitters like Teixeira, McCann, and Headley cough out one more good year; and if A Rod and Beltran are merely adequate, the team will do well.

I'd say there is an 80% chance the team simply sucks. But there is a 20% chance that the offense clicks and their pitchers stay healthy so that the team makes a post-season run. I know these kind of odds depress spoiled Yankee fans, but we are in much better shape than most teams.

jdrny said...

No doubt about it. Elsbury has loads of talent.
The team needs him to have a decent year.
If he shows a year he is capable of, he is the teams best all around player.

Anonymous said...