This season, the Yankees have certainly had to go to Plan B, C, and so on. There have been injuries to practically the entire starting infield – Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, and Alex Rodriguez that have forced the Yankees to go out and acquire some additional talent – Kevin Youkilis and Lyle Overbay, to name a couple. They have also promoted some young talent, like Eduardo Nunez, to fill in for certain spots. Once Youkilis and went down for what appears to be an extended period of time, and Nunez sustained a rib injury, the Yankees have dug deeper into their bench and minor league teams for stop-gaps. They dug and struck and gold in Jayson Nix.
Jayson Nix first filled in at third base to replace Youkilis when he himself filled in at first base, and then fell to injury. Nix is a guy who is 30-year old career .219 hitter with decent fielding abilities. He has 5 years of major league experience playing for five different teams jumping around infield positions, with a few games in the outfield. He has had double-digits in home runs for two of his five years, so he is not a power threat. There is no stat to show his high-value in any bench role. So why is he gold?
Since he has been pressed into service as part of the Yankees Plan C, he has been exactly what we needed. He has hit .266 since April 20, and he became an everyday player, which is about 50 points higher than his career average. For the season, he is sporting a .978 fielding percentage, which is better than average for third basemen and just about average for shortstops. In short, he has been a respectable fielder and a good hitter. For a team that has sustained as many injuries as the Yankees have, and with the challenges of having a gaping hole in our lineup and infield, this is worth gold.
No one is under any illusions that Jayson Nix is a player who can fill in for the entire season. We need him to hold the fort down until our regulars are healthy again. For that, we tip our hat to him and express our gratitude for the fact he is doing all this without complaint – as a man worthy of the pinstripes he wears.
--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Writer
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row
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