Thursday, June 1, 2017


Not that I want to draw too many comparisons from last season....but just like last year there is a problem with first base. I'm not going to say "Oh it can't get worse than this" because I think we have all seen that it can. With only two months into the season the Yankees have a definite area of opportunity to address because the lack of production and consistency at first base is pretty scary.

As much as I love and defended Mark Teixeira I knew it was his time to bow out. His production last year was AWFUL (sorry Tex, please forgive my brutal honesty) so I thought there was NO CHANCE that this season could be any worse. He did have a .204 BA and 14 home runs so predicting a better 2017 seemed like a bet I just couldn't lose....until I did. So far this season the combined average for everyone filling in at first base is .167 and before you go back an re-read that to double check you didn't transpose any numbers I can promise that you haven't. It's just plain ugly.

Photo: Presswire
The Yankees have had seven different players either start or make appearances at first and some of them (Bryan Mitchell, anyone?) really had no business being there at all. Then there are some like Rob Refsnyder who does try, but really just don't have a feel for the position. When you can't field routine plays and make catches it's not a good solution. You can't blame the guy, the Yankees literally gave him a one day crash course lesson on how to play first last season. The Yankees just don't have a lot of first base depth right now. In fact, the Yankees are so short handed when it comes to first base that Aaron Hicks is even taking grounders at first base, read that HERE. I understand why the Yankees have him playing there. They want to capitalize on his versatility and find ways to get his bat into the lineup anyway possible I just hope they only put him there in an emergency situation. Hopefully that doesn't happen.

Photo: New York Post
I'm crossing my fingers here but it sounds like help is on the way....and possibly a new everyday first baseman. I' actually pretty excited about this one because it sounds like Tyler Austin our own Wonderboy will be back very soon! Joe Girardi said they would want Austin to have 50 at-bats before returning to the team, read that HERE and on Wednesday he was well over the halfway mark, probably closer to 30-35. If all goes well it looks like Austin would be ready for a call-up when the Yankees return home to face the Red Sox!

Photo: Presswire
So as Greg Bird continues his own rehab, the Yankees may decide to exercise more caution and extend his time down in the minors. I think with how inconsistent Bird was earlier this year they will probably wait to bring him back up and maybe even keep him down long enough to try and manipulate his service time. Who knows. But a healthy and rehabbing Austin means the Yankees could finally get a regular first baseman that could bring some fresh offense and fielding to the position. He may not hit for high average but, Chris Carter hasn't and Refsnyder isn't the right guy either.

I have a feeling the Yankees are going to use Austin pretty soon and when they do I wouldn't be surprised if they send down the eighth reliever of Refsnyder. No offense to Carter, but he had his chance and it hasn't worked. First base is supposed to be a big contributing offensive position and maybe Austin can give us some more pop and I have to would be nice to have Wonderboy back!

--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ

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