Friday, February 26, 2016


Many Yankees fans have expressed their dismay over the last 12 months over a myriad of different dilemmas; Overpaid vets, not enough pitching, Girardi's overuse of Stephen Drew and Brendan Ryan and obviously the play of certain individuals on the team. Chase Headley has been at the forefront of many of these conversations due to his poor season in the field in 2015 and his underwhelming performance at the plate. While the concerns are valid, the 2016 team should have some more versatility and some bounce back years from several players.

Chase Headley, for one, should and must have a better season in 2016. Hold the rolling of the eyes, let me get to my point! He nearly doubled his career high in errors in 2015 with 23 (13 being the most going in to last season). He seemed to have a case of the yips and balls would just get away from him when he threw. That happens to the best of ballplayers. I see him having a rebound year at third for the Bombers.

At the plate he did pretty much what he has done his entire career. He slashed .259/.324/.369 with 11 home runs and 62 RBI. With the exception of his monster 2012 where he batted .286 with 31 home runs and 115 RBI, his 2015 season is about what he offers. 13 home runs is the second highest total he has had in the Big Leagues. We Yankees fans have to accept that. Anything about .265, 12 home runs and 65 RBI is a good year for Headley. We need his defense to be top notch. That's priority number one.

When asked recently, Headley admitted that the team was tired when they played Houston in the Wild Card round in October. Granted every team is spent after seven months of baseball, the Yankees, and their lack of youth probably were a bit more. This year the Yankees have Starlin Castro, Dustin Ackley and Rob Refsnyder, both of whom should break camp with the team in my opinion as of now, which injects a little more youth and a little more versatility and athleticism. Guys like Ref could help spell some of the starters more often to keep them fresh down the stretch.

It's been said that Castro will be the everyday second baseman, but played primarily shortstop with Chicago. He acts as the backup to Sir Didi as well. Refsnyder can spell Castro (as well as Ackley) at times and perhaps even get some work this spring at third. With Mark Teixeira's age and glass-like frail body, Ackley will have to see some time at first as well as well as be a fifth outfielder, behind Aaron Hicks, for Joe Girardi. Hopefully regular rest and maintenance can keep the players on the field and off the DL.

The Yankees will likely have to look into acquiring a backup third baseman as the spring winds down and have even discussed giving Refsnyder a shot over at the hot corner. There hasn't been any chatter of any minor leaguers being ready to contribute at the position so Cashman will likely keep his eyes and ears open until Opening Day. There is a laundry list of players who may not have a roll with their current team so a late cut or a trade before the final 25-man rosters are announced is definitely not out of the question.

An old baseball adage is; 'If you hit, you'll find yourself in the lineup.' With several different players capable of filling different rolls and playing multiple positions, Girardi should have the flexibility to keep the hot stick in the lineup. Although the Yankees were among the league leaders in runs scored, they were streaky as hell. They need more consistent production. Sometimes competition can bring the best out of people.

While I still see this Yankees team, and probably 2017's team as well, as stepping stone teams as contracts expire and the youth develop, the versatility and rest that could come with it should help the Yankees stay more competitive in August and September this season. They cannot afford to have Stephen Drew's and Brendan Ryan's in the lineup several days a week and provide next to no offense...

That can't happen.

 --Dan Lucia
BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @DManLucia


Thank you for your loyalty to Bleeding Yankee Blue. 
Please shop at the BYB store!  
On Twitter: @BleednYankeeBlu 
On Facebook, LIKE Bleeding Yankee Blue!
Don't forget to check out the BYB Hub.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting on Bleeding Yankee Blue.