When news first broke of Alex Rodriguez’s MRI and then knowledge of a slighlty torn meniscus, everyone began wondering what do the Yankees do for the next 4-6 weeks? The easy answer is play Eduardo Nunez at 3B, since he filled in so aptly for Derek Jeter while he was on the DL for 18 days with a strained calf, but the answer isn’t that simple. While Nunez, definitely showed he can handle himself at the plate, his defense in his rookie year with the Yankees has been the polar opposite. The other problem that is left with playing Nunez at 3B in Alex’s absence is that bench which at the beginning of the season with Eric Chavez and Andruw Jones showed some veteran depth, the Yankees since Chavez went on the DL in mid-May have been playing with a weakened bench and isn’t exactly that of a Championship caliber team, which has holes. Chavez’s role was to be able to spell the corner infielders, which has been a problem and will continue to be one as long as the Yankees don’t use their minor league system to produce a corner infield role player.
As the Yankees sit now their bench consists of Ramiro Pena (SS), Andruw Jones (OF), Francisco Cervelli (C). This is a humongous problem on a team that is a 1st Place team. Losing Jeter while it was tough given that he is one of the longest tenured Yankees, Captain as well as steady at Short Stop was easy for the Yankees to move Nunez who is a natural SS into the position, but it is resoundingly different to lean on the kid for 4-6 weeks at 3B. The time is now for the Yankees to promote Brandon Laird, who is currently hitting .268 with 10 HRs and 48 RBIs at Scranton-Wilkes Barre. With Laird in the mix, he can play both corner OF positions, while also giving Teixiera a breather at 1B once and a while. Given the nature of calf injuries, Nunez will be needed to spell Jeter at short 2-3 times a week especially since the 1st 8 games of the 2nd Half of the season are being played on turf at Rogers Centre in Toronto and at Tropicana Field in Tampa.
The other thought of some fans is to move Russell Martin to 3B and promote Jesus Montero and use him as the primary Catcher until Rodriguez comes back from the DL, but the problem there is twofold, 1 Montero is on the DL in AAA, 2 Martin isn’t exactly Cody Ransom at 3B.
These are my opinions what are yours leave your comments at the bottom of the page.
Posted by Brian Capozzi http://www.bronxbombersbeat.com
While one win doesn’t exactly take away the sour taste left in our mouths after the Yankees-Red Sox series, an offense blowout can definitely help. Backed by a solid outing from Ivan Nova, the Yankees beat the Indians last evening in the Bronx by a score of 11-7. A 4-run 9th inning by the Indians is the reason why the score seems closer then it was. In the bottom of the 1st inning, patience… that’s right, patience is what led the Yankees to a 3-0 lead. Jeter led off the game with a walk, followed by a Granderson strikeout, and 2 walks to Teixeira and A-Rod. Cano stepped to the plate with bases load and drove a single to right field to plate Jeter. Nick Swisher followed up with a sacrifice fly to score Teixeira, and Posada singled in Rodriguez. Fundamentals helped the Yankees work their way to a 3-0 lead heading into the second. A Granderson home run in the bottom of the second was followed by abench clearing ‘argument’ after what appeared to be an intentional HBP at Teixeira. It was a bush-league move by Fausto Carmona who threw a cock-shot fastball to Granderson. That was his own fault and Teixeira should not be thrown at because Carmona can’t hit his spots! Brett Gardner had an RBI double in the bottom of the 3rd, and an Alex Rodriguez homer in the bottom of the 4th inning gave the Yankees a 6-0 lead heading into the top of the 5th where the Indians finally got on the board to make it 6-1.
A throwing error by Carlos Santana allowed Granderson to score in the 6th, and then the Yankees erupted for 4 runs in the bottom of the 7th thanks in part to back to back doubles by Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez. Outside of a poor performance from Amauri Sanit (0.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER) and 8 walks by all Yankees pitchers, the team won a game that they needed for a while. They played smart baseball and did not rely solely on the long ball. A game like this could help get the offense going and get the team on a hot streak they have needed for a few weeks. Fingers crossed that they can keep this up, and that it wasn’t just a one-game fluke. We know the team is old, but the fact is, they still have talent to get the job done. Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada each collected 3 hits apiece, while Teixeira had 3 RBIs. It was indeed a team effort that we need to see more of for the rest of the season.
Yankees Starting Line-up
- Jeter, SS
- Granderson, CF
- Teixeira, 1B
- Rodriguez, 3B
- Cano, 2B
- Swisher, RF
- Posada, DH
- Gardner, LF
- Cervelli, C