Thursday, April 30, 2015
CARLOS BELTRAN JUST LOOKS TERRIBLE
Carlos Beltran is not getting it done. Plain and simple, we signed a guy - albeit past his prime - who could hit .280 to .300 with some power and a decent glove. What we got was a guy who cannot seem to get a base hit. Beltran is a seasoned veteran with a long history of success, not mention a high salary. It is a good thing for him, because if he was 22 years old and trying to prove himself, he likely would be on his way to Scranton by now to work on his swing and hope for a June call-up.
If you have not watched him in the batter’s box this season, you are missing a Yankee tragedy. At no point this year has his batting average been over .200. This is the first time in his career he is without a home run in the first 16 games of the season. Anyone pitching to him would pitch around the guy hitting in front of him, only because he looks like the automatic out. I get that he is not in his prime anymore, but we expected at least some productivity out of him. It is no wonder that his bouncers to third are now starting to elicit boos from the crowd.
I remember the day we signed him to a 3-year, $45M contract. It was a few days after the Jacoby Ellsbury signing, which followed a disappointing season of lackluster hitting and an October on the golf course. Nobody was happy with what happened with the Yankees in 2013, and the signing of high profile hitters brought hope that the end of the hitting drought had arrived. While the hitting is now coming from other places, there is still the nagging frustration with Beltran’s lack of production.
We knew he was 36 years old when the Yankees signed him, and that he was not the dominant hitter he was 10 years ago. We knew he would need rest and that the occasional injury would happen. We even admired his ability to play through his elbow injury last year, hitting 15 home runs in the process. What I do not understand is what the heck is going on with him now. If he were on a normal downward shift that 37-year-old’s experience, I would expect him to hit .250-.260, maybe only go for about 20 home runs. Nevertheless, he would still be a threat at the plate. That is not the case here.
The Yankees have to do some serious thinking here. He is showing all the signs that he might be done. At $15M per year, that is a sobering thought. We continue to see him in the number 5 or 6 slot in the batting order, and I don’t understand why. The only rationale of keeping him in the lineup at all is that he needs to work through whatever funk he is in, and sending him to AAA is not an option. That requires him to take at bats and a spot on the lineup card. It does not mean that you cannot drop him to #7 or #8. Would anyone really raise their eyebrows if Joe Girardi did that? The hitting has been good lately, so the need is not that glaring, but that will not last forever. By the time the Yankee bats reach a dry spell, Beltran will need to have figured this out. Otherwise, it will not be pretty.
--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row
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