Jeter's Not the Only Guy Who Needs to Get Going

Jeter gets the headlines, but he's not alone among disappointing players

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    It's about time for Nick to find his smile.

    Judging by the amount of time spent discussing his struggles, you'd think Derek Jeter was the only baseball player in all of New York falling short of expectations this season.

    You'd be wrong. Jeter might be the biggest name and he might be the one whose performance is deemed the least acceptable to his previous standards, but he's got plenty of company in the waiting room of the local sports psychologist.

    1. Nick Swisher - It's pretty remarkable that the Yankees are fourth in the American League in runs scored. They've gotten nothing from Jeter, the next guy on this list or Swisher which, your local mathematician will confirm this, means one-third of the lineup hasn't shown up.

    Swisher isn't a perfect offensive player, but his first two seasons with the Yankees showed a consistent ability to get on base and hit with power. He's slugging just .276 so far this season, however, and he's graded out as a player with negative value to this point in the season.

    The good news is that Swisher's peripheral stats are in line with the past, making him a good bet to rebound. He's been a bit unlucky -- .253 batting average on balls in play -- and he's hit homers on just 3.2% of his fly balls, a number that will almost certainly rise based on past results.

    2. Jorge Posada - Color us less optimistic about the Yankees designated hitter's chances of turning everything around. Age is part of the reason, but the other part is watching how Posada has posted his dismal batting line this season.

    He's been almost the exact opposite of Jeter while sharing the damning lack of line drives. Posada's have turned into fly balls instead of grounders, which means he's kept some power, but he's just as unproductive when he does put the ball into play.

    There are aspects of bad luck where he's concerned as well, but they are mitigated by a stark dropoff in his walk rate and the rather obvious physical degradation that happens to anyone who spends their lives playing catcher in the major leagues.

    3. Jason Bay - Perhaps it is unfair to include Bay on this list since he's played so little this year, but that really only adds to the feeling that he needs to start doing more to earn his keep.

    His brief appearances in the lineup after recovering from his spring training injury showed the same kind of production that made him such a disappointment last season. Perfectly average in every respect which would be fine if not for the fact that he's expected to be a star player.

    The frustration with Bay appears to have extended to his manager. Terry Collins blasted the new paternity leave rule that took Bay away from the team this week and, frankly, it is hard to imagine Collins having such a negative reaction if David Wright was the guy missing a couple of games.

    4. R.A. Dickey - It's impossible not to root for a knuckleballing outsider who names his bats after mythical swords, plans to climb Kilimanjaro and possesses an intellectual side you rarely find in the big leagues. It's also impossible to root for a guy who has turned in one dismal start after another.

    Dickey will probably never have another run as good as the one he had in 2010. You can accept that and take something slightly above league average, especially on a team like this one.

    Dickey hasn't been that, though, and he isn't giving his team a chance to win nearly often enough in 2011.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.