There is slightly more than two weeks left in the season and while the AL East isn’t guaranteed for the Yankees the chances that they at least pull in a Wild Card are likely. So I wanted to take a look at a possible playoff roster today, but one where my dream is fulfilled and the Yankees stopped using the putrid Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones.
A lot of Yankees fans haven’t noticed yet, but since his amazing month of May, when he hit .288/.333/.613, Ibanez has been terrible. And lately he’s been even worse than terrible. Since the Yankees got Ichiro Suzuki, Ibanez has hit a terribly pathetic .176/.282/.333 over his last 40 games. Even strictly against right handed hitters he has hit just .183/.295/.378 in that span. For a guy who was signed to hit righties, he’s not doing his job well.
Lately even in Yankee Stadium, where Ibanez thrived in April, June, and July even when he struggled overall, he has been terrible. He’s hit .175/.267/.275 in his last 17 games while aiming at the short porch. Anyway you look at it, large sample size, small sample size, home/away, righty/lefty, outside of one hot month of May he’s been awful and should be left off the playoff roster.
Jones is even worse. Instead of one good month, he had one good series (the weekend before the All-Star break in Boston). Jones was signed to hit lefties and has hit just .200/.289/.394 against them in 190 plate appearances this season. Believe it or not, he’s actually hitting better against righties this year although his numbers there, .188/.297/.406 are bad as well. After a bad first half, he’s actually gotten worse and has hit just .143/.259/.235 in 39 games overall.
Carrying Dickerson and Nunez over Ibanez and Jones would provide the Yankees with a backup outfielder who can actually play the outfield competently and some speed off the bench. Not to mention it would be addition by subtraction as any at bats by the old men has come close to automatic outs these days.
The Yankees wouldn’t even need Dickerson or Nunez to bat and in Nunez’s case play the field. Derek Jeter will handle all of the playoff innings at shortstop. In case of an emergency Nunez could play short, but Jayson Nix could also cover it. Dickerson would be more in case of an emergency, occasional pinch runner type. Of course, he should probably be used in place of Curtis Granderson in center late in games too.
Here is what the playoff roster would look like if I had any say in it:
THE REGULARS (not the starting lineup):
Eric Chavez (starts at 3B vs RHP, pinch hitter for Martin vs RHRP)
Casey McGehee (starts at DH vs LHP, pinch hitter for Ichiro vs LHRP)
Jayson Nix (utility infielder)
Chris Stewart (emergency catcher)
Chris Dickerson (backup outfielder)
Eduardo Nunez (pinch runner)