“Lord, that I’m standin’ at the crossroad, babe
I believe I’m sinkin’ down”
Well actually, it would be more correct to say, Curtis Granderson is sinkin’ up. The reason for that statement is that Terry Collins has moved him up to the number two position in the batting order. So, he is out of the “RBI production” spot and moved to a spot where he can be productive even with an out.
Prior to the final game of the series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Granderson was hitting .125 in 20 games. He had struck out 25 times in 72 ABs. In his last seven games, he had gotten one hit. This was the longest hitless streak of his career. During this prolonged slump, it has been reported that Granderson has devoted significant time working on his hitting with coach Dave Hudgens. The Mets, of course, don’t want to push him into an even deeper funk by over-responding to his disappointing opening performance. They have been using historical tapes of his ABs to help him overcome the current situation.
This is also not to say that he has done nothing, just very little. To his credit, he had the game winning sacrifice fly against the Atlanta Braves in the 14th inning on April 20th; this was big (but he did go 0-6 in that game). He made a very nice running catch to end the game and preserve the win for Jon Niese against the Cardinals on April 23rd.
Currently, Fangraphs charts Granderson with a -0.4 WAR score. They also chart him with an UZR rating of +0.6 with his plus range being partially offset by his sub-par arm.
In the final game of the series against the Cardinals, Granderson appeared as a pinch-hitter and knocked in Anthony Recker for the Mets’ third run of the game. Still, after Recker scored, Granderson was caught in a run-down play between first and second base.
Last night, despite getting only one hit in five ABs; it was the game-winning hit for the club in the bottom of the ninth against the Miami Marlins. He struck out only one time and his batting average now stands at .141.
So, admittedly, the season is still early and Granderson will have ample opportunity to recover from his slow start. Later this year, we might discover that even if he was standing at the crossroads for a while, he never sank completely down.