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 Teixeira: Like 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 Rodriguez: Rodriguez 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 McCann: The 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.