Friday, November 28, 2014

Alex Rodriguez Worst Case Scenario at SS?

"Take over Bro, I'm out."

Unless you have been living under a rock for the better part of a calendar year you have heard that Derek Jeter has retired and the New York Yankees are looking for a shortstop. While the market for shortstops is quickly drying up thanks to the Boston Red Sox buying all the top free agents available (and still telling New York fans how they "buy" their rings) the Yankees may start getting desperate for a replacement for Jeter. Let's be honest here before we get too far into this post by saying that whoever the Yankees get unless it's a Troy Tulowitzki the fans are going to hate at first because he's not Jeter and he's not "our" shortstop. Everyone already hates Alex Rodriguez, would he be the worst case scenario at shortstop? Boy I have a feeling this isn't going to be a popular blog post...

While we look at as many stats as we can to make a decision here we are going to use A Rod's 2012 stats as that was his last full season. Obviously it's hard, or impossible, to compare third base to shortstops and hard to quantify almost two full years off the team and another bad hip surgery for Rodriguez but what they heck, I'm still turkey drunk so let's go for it. 

Let's start slow, errors, where Derek Jeter made 11 in 267 opportunities in 2014. The good for Jeter is seven of those errors came on errant throws that Mark Teixeira could not dig out of the dirt or the air in time and the bad is that Jeter's range could have prevented a whole lot more. Jeter was below average in his final season, remember as a 40 year old shortstop, in league fielding percentage and far below league average in league range factor per 9 IP and league range factor per game. Jeter was worth a whopping -27 runs defensively and saved -12 runs in his final season but I think we all knew that Derek struggled, I think we're all here to see is Alex could fill in for Derek at short in 2015.

The short answer is obviously no but considering that the free agent market is dry, the farm system is dry for shortstops, and a one year pillow contract with a Stephen Drew or equivalent does nothing for the team as the free agent market and farm will likely be comparable this time next year. In 2012 Alex was worth -6 runs in the field and saved -2 runs in the field. Alex was above average using fielding percentage and just slightly below average in league range factor per 9 IP and per game showing the obvious signs of a defensive decline. Factor in the fact that Alex has missed the better parts of two seasons and had that hip surgery, which he has had plenty of time to let heal and rehab the injury to get back into playing shape, and his stats may look a lot like Derek's stats defensively in 2015. 

This wouldn't be Plan A or even Plan L but honestly I personally think it wouldn't be Plan Z either. The Yankees fans are used to spotty range at shortstop and can't expect much offense from the position either. I'm not saying announce him as the starting shortstop now and stop trying to build a better team and fill the position with a better suited player but I am saying with a rangy guy like Headley at third and one of Martin Prado, Jose Pirela and Robert Refsnyder at second base cheating a step or two on both sides I think the team could make it work, at least until July anyway. 


  1. Why not have A-Rod work-out at SS before spring training and see if he has anything left? IF his hip is ok, he can't be any worse than what we have had for the last 5 years. We add power to the SS position, with a guy that wants to get that 3,000 hit as soon as possible and 7 more HRs.
    Can he do it and would it be my first choice over Drew, why not, IF he can do the job? That clears the way for Yoan and Headley.

    1. That's more or less what I was saying Mr. Reed. He's not the worst option out there I don't think.

    2. Just backing your play Boss! LOL


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