Bob Klapisch in his Red Sox – Yankees series preview for ESPN, had this to say about the Yankees’ ability to hit with RISP:
In fact, one major league executive recently wondered out loud whether the Yankees’ inability to hit with runners in scoring position had more to do with Girardi’s uptight nature than with the advancing years of their core hitters.
“That’s how [the Yankees] miss Torre,” he said. “He had the ability to calm everyone down, especially down the stretch.”
This seems like a fine idea except for one thing: the Yankees the past several seasons, have been horrible with RISP. Yes, it came to a head this year, but if you look back at some of the reasons why I initially wanted Girardi to replace Torre, one was that maybe his motivation would help the Yankees hit better with RISP. Well, it didn’t and in fact the problem got even worse. In all likelihood then, this is a problem that resides with the players.
I don’t think there is any way to explicitly fix it except to bring in the best players you can and hope it clicks next year.