Sunday, January 12, 2014

Do The Yankees Need To Replace Alex Rodriguez Now?

Right after arbiter Fredric Horotiz decided to suspend Alex Rodriguez or the entire 2014 season, Yankee fans turned their attention to what the team should do at third base. Do they change their stance on Mark Reynolds and offer him a major league contract, as opposed to the minor league deal Reynolds turned down? Do they sign Michael Young, who they tried to trade for last season? Do they really turn over regular third base duty to a guy that's hit .226/.307/.395 in the previous three seasons?

"Ronery... I'm so ronery." *

Say what you will about Alex Rodriguez. Call him a lair, a cheat, misunderstood, or a victim of a witch hunt, but one thing you can't say about ARod is that he sucks. Even last year, his worst offensive season since he became a regular player in MLB in 1996, he was still better than average (111 OPS+). Going from ARod to somebody like Kelly Johnson, whose OPS+ between 2011 and 2013 was 91, is certainly a downgrade. But can the current Yankees offense take the hit?

If you go by the regular starters at each position last season, you'll find that their average OPS+ was a pathetic 87. Four, yes four, of their regulars had an OPS+ at or under 75 (Chris Stewart - 57, Jayson Nix - 71, Vernon Wells - 72, and Ichiro Suzuki - 75).

So what would the Yankees offense have looked like in 2013 had they gone into the season with their current lineup? Well let's see each man's OPS+ last season (or their last healthy season)...

Catcher - Brian McCann 115
First Base - Mark Teixeira 115 (going by 2012, as he missed 147 games in 2013)
Second Base - Brian Roberts 89
Third Base - Kelly Johnson 99
Shortstop - Derek Jeter 114 (going by 2012, as he missed 145 games in 2013)
Left Field - Carlos Beltran 128
Center Field - Jacoby Ellsbury 114
Right Field - Brett Gardner 108
Designated Hitter - Alfonso Soriano 112

Unlike in 2013, when they had four players at or under a 75 OPS+, not one of the current projected starters hit under 89. That lowest OPS+ was actually two points higher than the 2013 Yankee regulars averaged. And to be totally fair, that "89" comes from Brian Roberts, who was far from healthy last year, and hasn't been healthy since the 2009 season.

By the way, the average OPS+ by those nine players is 110. Just a tad bit better than last year's regulars.

Just a bit.

To say that the offense has gotten worse, or isn't significantly better, is plain ignorant. It's not even close. Which is why I shake my head every time I read or hear someone say the Yankees need to get Mark Reynolds, or need to get Michael Young, or need any other hitter. The only thing the Yankees need to do is add a starting pitcher or two. Going into the season with a starting rotation of CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Ivan Nova, and two of David Phelps, Michael Pineda, Adam Warren, or Vidal Nuno would not be good.

The only thing I can figure is that people are blinded by the team going from Robinson Cano, the best second baseman in the game, to Brian Roberts, a guy that shouldn't be counted on to play more than 50 games. While that's a legit concern in and of itself, that alone is not a reason to be concerned about the team's ability to score runs next season. It takes a heck of a lot more than one man to carry the offense, and in this blogger's opinion the Yankees have addressed that fact quite well.

*if you don't understand this quote, you sir... are beneath me.


  1. Sweet Daniel...
    Any news from anyone or anywhere about the Japinese Pitcher?
    We done gotta gets de guy! Or set our sights on Clayton Kershaw...if he can be had!

    1. I have not heard a single update ever since I halfway complained that all I was talking about was Tanaka... It has basically come down to us and the Dodgers. Whoever loses out def gets Kershaw in my opinion next season

  2. can call me, sweet patrick, also. Are you taking a new tacked ?

    Mr. Tanaka, has returned to Japan. Visions of millions dancing in his head.
    Kershaw ?....are you drinking Oneonta moonshine?

  3. I meant the quote he made.
    Although, you do look sweet in that sailor outfit! LOL

    Yup, I am aiming for the pitchers we need...the only two that we really need! Tanaka and/or Kershaw!

    Remember, great pitching can control a game, great hitting can not win a game by and unto itself.

    Maybe I need to take you to the school yard and draw you a map? I don't know about you young pups anymore, sic! The team in control of the game comes out the winner most of the time...remember the Tigers?
    In sports (my opinion) defence is the name of the game...where does defence start...the pitcher! A great defence behind a great pitcher is a very, very good combination. The best combination is, of course, covering both offence and defence. Even with Great Pitching one needs some semblance of hitting or one can't score runs themselves!

    Remember all the teams a year or two ago, from Cleveland? Power up and down the line-up, they won bupkis!

    This is what you get for saying I was drinking Oneonta Moonshine, you young whipper snapper! You know I don't drink! LOL

    Have a good nights sleep young Irishman!


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)