He's easily the most criticized player on the Yankees. Maybe it's because of the contract, maybe it's because of how good he was at such a young age, or maybe it's something else. Whatever the reason may be, he's the one fans love to hate and the one that all of the team's troubles fall on. If you ask me, it got absolutely ridiculous during the playoffs last season when he wasn't hitting and everyone wanted his head; as if he were the sole reason the Yankees were losing. But that's not what this is about and that's another topic for another day.
|(The Cardboard Connection)|
Sure he wasn't the same hitter when he came back (.196/.369/.353 in September), but at least he was still getting on base. It's not like he completely lost his ability at the plate. A lot of this can be put on the shoulders of rust and not being 100%. Remember, only a few days after he came back from injury, he hurt his thumb and had to be sidelined for about another week. It's not like he had plenty of reps heading into October.
Another reason I feel Alex can easily bounce back is because he still looks like he can move pretty well. Despite his bat going cold in the ALDS, he still looked very good at third base. He moved laterally and forward and back pretty well for a guy who had knee surgery just a few months prior. It may not be something that's objective, but it's definitely worth noting. As old as he is, he still has ability left; we shouldn't be saying that he has nothing left because that is absolutely not true.
Obviously the big issue with Alex is his health, and maybe he won't be able to stay healthy, but he has entire off-season to rest up and prepare for Spring Training. The Yankees aren't exactly set at designated hitter so with some flexibility there, they could use him there which could help keep him stay on the field. Say what you want about Alex and his contract, but he can still produce for the middle of this order and I think he can have a big year in 2012. Do I think he's still that 30 homers/100 RBI guy? No, but he can still be a big piece of this offense.