Looking ahead to 2014: The Infield

Mark Teixeira 4

Previously, we took a look at the current Yankees outfield. Today we’ll take a look at the current infield and point out the holes across the diamond. 

Mark TeixeiraLike most of the 2013 Yankees, Teixeira didn’t have a good year. It wasn’t because his power numbers were down or his average dipped dramatically; it was because Teixeira was injured. Teixeira injured his wrist in Spring Training while preparing for the World Baseball Classic, returned for about two weeks and ended his season by having surgery. In general, Teixeira plays Gold Glove defense, hits for power and drives in runs. The only issue is his batting average. Going into 2014, the thought on everyone’s mind should be if Teixeira can stay healthy and if his power numbers will decline due to the wrist injury.

Derek Jeter: Like Teixeira, Jeter also spent most of his season on the disabled list with an ankle injury dating back to the 2012 postseason. Jeter’s future at shortstop is uncertain, especially with the difficulty to come back from such an injury at his age. The main question for 2014 would be if Jeter could play shortstop for most of the season or would the aftermath of the ankle injury be too much for him.

Alex RodriguezRodriguez is currently on the roster for the 2014 season and Brian Cashman is planning to have Rodriguez at third base on Opening Day. Rodriguez played decent baseball when he returned from his hip injury but what could possibly keep him off the field is his looming suspension of possibly 211-games for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. If Rodriguez is able to play on Opening Day, there would be no reason to keep his bat out of the lineup. Rodriguez still has some power and can still play third base for the Yankees.

Brian McCannThe newest signing for the Yankees gives the team a promising catcher behind the plate. Before the McCann deal, Yankees catchers had a batting average of .219 and the fifth lowest OPS in the Majors in that position. A catcher that can hit 20 home runs and drive in about 50 runs is a step in the right direction. He could also eventually make the transition to first base after Mark Teixeira’s contract expires. But just looking ahead to next season, McCann will be a good fit at the catching position and his bat should be friendly to the right field porch at Yankee Stadium.

Overall: The Yankees infield on the roster needs some work, but with the recent addition of Brian McCann, the Yanks are taking a step in the right direction. Obviously, the Yankees need a second basemen and if the Yankees play their cards right, it could be Robinson Cano once Cano lowers his demands. The shortstop situation has a backup plan with the Yankees signing Brendan Ryan for the year, just in case Jeter can’t fully commit himself to the position after coming off the broken ankle. The Yankees also might have a competition for the backup catcher with Austin Romine and Francisco Cervelli in the mix. It will most likely end up that Chris Stewart will be non-tendered and J.R. Murphy will go back to Double-A Trenton (hey, he had an eventful last week of the season catching both Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte‘s final games of their careers).

Verdict: Prior to the McCann deal, the Yankees needed desperate help. Now, they just need a second basemen and possibly some backups in order for Joe Girardi to rest the regulars. 

Next Time: We’ll break down the 2014 Yankees bullpen.

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10 Responses to Looking ahead to 2014: The Infield

  1. Anja says:

    I have strong faith in the team for 2014, hopefully Mark Teixeira will find his strength back.

  2. John says:

    Obviously the McCann acquisition is excellent. Moving around the infield we have Teixeira at first, a top quality player if he's not injured. At second, I believe that Jay-Z somehow promised Cano that he'd get him $300M if he joined Jay-Z's new agency. I don't think anyone will match that, including the Yankees and I expect he'll be back with New York. The situation at shortstop is very iffy. Hopefully Jeter will have recovered well enough to play. If not, we have the very talented fielder, Ryan, to fill in, although he doesn't hit much. In all the discussion about A-Rod, everyone seems to have forgotten Youkilis. The ex-Red Sox player has had back trouble but underwent surgery last year and if that fixed his problem, we have a quality player to fill in for Alex. Soriano will be in left, Gardner in center and Ichiro/Wells would be in right. The situation with Granderson is still up in the air, with no one making a move in his direction yet. Pitching is also a very fluid situation with CC presumably returning to form, Nova having done well and we all are waiting to see if Pineda is the real deal. No one will ever fill Mariano's shoes, but the immediate candidate is Robertson. All in all, the foregoing is a lot better roster than what we had last year.

  3. vavoom says:

    The power is there, I hope he finds his Batting average. I would much rather he hit 280-300 with 30 hr's than the 240-250 35+hr guy he has become.

  4. Vin Giordano says:

    i would rather see him bat over .290 with runners in scoring posistion and 20 HRs

  5. Teixeira's days of hitting .300, or even close to it, are over. This wrist surgery is going to sapp a decent amount of his pwoer. I think what we saw in 2012, .250/.330/.475 is going to be typical Teixeira for the rest of his contract.

  6. mikefoxtrot says:

    I think he'll do a little better than that with Soriano and McCann behind him instead of Swisher

  7. hotdog says:

    I agree with Rob…unfortunately Tex is not the ballplayer he used to be…and the shift has hurt him…i'd be happy if he hits .250 because he will throw up some decent numbers with hr's and rbi's…capable of 25 hr's and 90 rbi's…

  8. Scooter10 says:

    Teixeira is a great defensive 1B and I think can return to .260, 30 HR, 100 RBI. With 3 years left on the contract, we absolutely need production.

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