Sunday, September 20, 2015

While We Wait:By the numbers: A break is (almost) always good for A-Rod

While we wait on tonight's Sunday Night Baseball game on ESPN I wanted to take an opportunity to bring you a great article written by Chad Jennings over at Lohud. Jennings looks at Alex Rodriguez in this article to see whether the days off the Yankees have been giving him, like the three games in a National League park against the Mets and the off day on Thursday, affect his production at the plate or not. CLICK HERE to read the entire article at Lohud and see below for a sample blurb while we wait. Enjoy. 

Last week, when he hit his fourth home run in five days, Alex Rodriguez talked about perspective.

As a younger player, he’d never liked days off. He played all 162 games three times in his 20s, but Rodriguez’s late 30s taught him the value of rest and recuperation. Durability is no longer be taken for granted, and strength in September is no longer a given.

Four home runs in five days? Rodriguez pointed to the week before when he’d more or less taken four days off in a National League park.

“I’ve felt much better,” Rodriguez said. “One of the good things about getting old is you have some perspective. I talked about that in Atlanta, and the days off for me have been good.”

In almost every case, taking at least two days off has paid immediate dividends for Rodriguez. An extended break has been helpful for the 40-year-old, and he should get one more break this weekend when the Yankees play at Citi Field. An off day Thursday followed by three games in a National League park should leave Rodriguez with an extended break leading into the final 14 games of the season.

And those final 14 games start with three against Toronto, so this would be a fine time to continue the pattern of being productive right after a few days off.

“I think one thing is, Joe (Girardi) deserves a lot of credit,” Rodriguez said. “He’s been very disciplined. He’s rested me. I took a day off after the three homers in Minnesota, and I think that has been good. Obviously I’ll have a break against the Mets. I’m in a position now where I can find the strength.”

Here’s every example of Rodriguez being kept out of the lineup at least two days in a row this season.

April 30-May 1Off day, at Red Sox
One pinch-hit appearance
Ten games before: .135/.319/.270
Ten games after: .286/.341/.657
This was A-Rod’s first extended break of the season. He was kept out of the lineup April 28, took an 0-for-6 April 29, April 30 was an off day, and he was back on the bench May 1. On that May 1 game, Rodriguez hit a pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning, which would be the start of another hot streak.

May 19-20at Nationals
Two pinch-hit appearances; one inning in the field
Ten games before: .297/.364/.730
Ten games after: .405/.452/.514

This was early in the season, at a time when it seemed the Yankees had to find a way to get Rodriguez into these National League games. He came back from the short break to have a hit in his next 11 games in a row, including five multi-hit games. Didn’t necessarily need the break, but the time off didn’t seem to hurt him.

June 15-16at Marlins
One pinch-hit appearance
Ten games before: .205/.367/.333
Ten games after: .400/.500/.686

Had eight hits in his previous 10 games, and half of those came in one game, so his slump was perhaps a little worse than the slash line suggests. He was cheered at home in Miami, got into only one of those two games, then returned to hit a home run in three of his next seven games.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)