NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Curtis Granderson struggled mightily in the 2012 postseason.
And that might be the understatement of the century.
In the American League Division Series against the Orioles, the center fielder went 3-for-19 with nine strikeouts and a home run. And in the American League Championship Series against the Tigers, he was literally a non-factor, going 0-for-11 with seven strikeouts.
The 31-year-old was even benched in Game 4 of the ALCS for Brett Gardner, but that move was overshadowed by the fact that Alex Rodriguez was benched twice in the series in favor of Eric Chavez.
Despite Granderson’s brutally bad postseason, the Yankees are expected to pick up his $15 million team option for 2013, as opposed to exercising their $2 million buyout.
“To get 43 home runs from a center fielder isn’t easy,” general manager Brian Cashman said, according to the New York Post. “And I don’t think one series erases that.”
So what caused Granderson — who finished tied for second in the American League in home runs — to endure such a dramatic drop-off in October?
Hitting coach Kevin Long thinks that his mindset at the plate might have been directly correlated with his poor performance.
“He started to struggle in situations where [his] swings and misses become more glaring than usual,” Long said after the Bronx Bombers were swept by Detroit in four games. “I think Curtis can take something out of this: ‘Where was my head at?’ And ‘Was I confident enough?’ There might have been a little bit of self-doubt that I saw.”
Though the three-time All-Star slugged 43 homers and drive in 106 runs in 2012, he batted just .232 and posted a .319 on-base percentage. He also struck out 195 times and finished below his career averages in stolen bases, doubles and triples.
Should the Yankees pick up Granderson’s $15 million team option for 2013, or pay $2 million and let him walk? Let us know in the comments section below…