LADY AT THE BAT: Mets' Granderson Outshines Yankees' Ellsbury In Games 1 & 2 of Subway Series

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mets' Granderson Outshines Yankees' Ellsbury In Games 1 & 2 of Subway Series

Curtis Granderson is not the only reason the New York Yankees were swept by the New York Mets in the home part of the 2014 Subway Series. No, that ignoble distinction lies solely with the team's atrocious pitching. There’s no excuse. The Yankees should win games in which they score seven runs. 

It’s always a little painful when a former player returns to Yankee Stadium and inflicts damage, and when Granderson hit those towering home runs to right field, it triggered just a bit of nostalgia, plus a bit of wonder as to why the Yankees didn’t make any effort to keep him long term.

When the Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a long and expensive deal, signed Carlos Beltran to a short, but also expensive deal and signed home-grown Brett Gardner to a long-term deal, it was clear that Granderson was out of the Yankees plans.

The question is whether, after all that maneuvering, are the Yankees better off without the “Grandy-Man” or should they have re-signed him? Ellsbury is an overall better player than Granderson, that seems clear, but is he the $5-$8MM more per year better that his contract suggests? Through April it seemed like the Yankees were more than getting their money's worth from Ellsbury, as he shined on both sides of the ball, batting close to .350 and making jaw-dropping plays seemingly every other day.

Granderson, on the other hand, got off to a terrible start, hitting under .200 and showing essentially zero power. All the predictions about Granderson’s contract mirroring Jason Bay’s looked to be accurate.

Of course, contracts aren’t judged by one month. In late April, Granderson got a few clutch hits and started to hit better in May, boosting his average from .170 to .192 over nine games and hitting four HRs on the season.

Meanwhile, in keeping with the losing trend of the overall team, Jacoby Ellsbury has come back to earth, his BA dropping from .346 to .295 over the course of nine games with only 3 XBH’s and 2 SB’s in May. In this brief two game set against the Mets, he went 0 for 7.

Ellsbury isn’t the type of player who can routinely tie up a game with one swing and Granderson is more likely to end a potentially big inning as the strike out in a“strike-em out throw-em out DP.” Both players have their flaws. Ultimately the Yankees chose to put their faith in a purer hitter and an outstanding defender and, in the long run, that may be the right call.

Watching Granderson crush those HRs out of Yankee Stadium on Monday and Tuesday night, however, it’s clear it was a tough call to make.


Unknown said...

Granderson was offered the qualifying offer of $17 mil and he turned it down. He chose to take more money and more years to sit in last place. I'd take Ellsbury over Granderson any day, however, not for the 7 years the Yankees gave him.

Bernadette Pasley said...

Well said, Mike.