Four outfielders? Sounds crazy. Not to Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira though. When asked about the Yankees using five infielders against two batters on Opening Day, Tex seemed to like the idea and even suggested that it might not be a bad idea to use four outfielders on occasion.
“You really could play it against everybody,” Teixeira told Chad Jennings of the Journal News. “Call me crazy, (but) I’m surprised people don’t play four outfielders sometimes. Game on the line, you don’t want a gapper, why don’t you put four outfielders out there? We’re not there yet, but I think we’ve gotten to the point where there’s so much information, computers are doing such a great job of showing you exactly where you need to play guys. That’s just the age of baseball we’re in.”
From what we’ve seen in these first two games of the season it is certainly not impossible (or unpossible if you are Ralph Wiggum). Joe Maddon and the Rays seem to be on the cutting edge when it comes to defensive positioning and it has hurt the Yankees in a number of at bats. Perhaps it will start to rub off on Joe Girardi.
Of course, the biggest issue would be getting a guy who could play both infield and outfield. Unless it’s the final batter or final two batters, like it was on Opening Day, teams would have to burn an extra bench player for it. Somebody like Nunez, who has outfield experience, could just go back and forth mid-inning, all game. Hypothetically speaking of course.