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New York Yankees third basemen Alex Rodriguez is in the midst of another October slump.Through two games against the Baltimore Orioles, Rodriguez has just one hit in nine at-bats, while striking out five times.
Manager Joe Girardi is staying positive, lauding Rodriguez’s ability to draw walks. But he only has one walk in those same nine at-bats.
In today’s New York Daily News, one AL scout explained what’s at the root of A-Rod’s struggles:
“I think it’s more that his bat has slowed some. It’s been a couple of years now that he’s had more and more trouble getting to a fastball that’s even a little up in the zone. That’s how everybody attacks him now, especially in a big situation, and teams have had success doing it.”
Another bad sign is that opposing teams no longer fear facing Rodriguez at all.
Although Girardi deflected the idea that he would shift Rodriguez from the third spot in the lineup last night, ESPN’s Buster Olney said this morning on Mike and Mike that he would not be surprised if a change is made.
“It would not surprise me because Alex has been that bad. Scouts are watching this series, and they’re saying he’s like the lighthouse in the middle of that lineup, where you know you’re going after him. And you know he can’t handle really good fastballs right now.”
Whether the decrease in bat speed is a product of getting older or suffering a broken left hand in late July, it’s a problem that needs to be rectified for the Yankees to have their best chance at winning the World Series.
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