Looking ahead is not a bad thing. The Yankees looked ahead when it came to releasing the 2013 schedule, so why not look ahead to see who could be on the field when you go to a game in 2013. Here is how I picture the Yankees having their alignment of players in 2013.
Let us start in the outfield, shall we? In left field, we have none other than the Yankees speedster Brett Gardner (2012: .321 AVG, 0 HR, 3 RBI). Now keep in mind that Gardner has only played in nine games and was shut down for the duration of the season due to elbow surgery. Gardner is a catalyst for the Yankees and plays the game Joe Girardi hates to play–small ball. He gets on base, he steals, he bunts and he is one of the best defensive players in baseball. Gardner is arbitration eligible so do not expect there to be much of a fight since Gardner has not played most of the year.
In center field, we have another speedster but he is known for his power bat, Curtis Granderson (2012: .233 AVG, 37 HR, 89 RBI). 2013 is Granderson’s free agent year and after the Kevin Long tutorial in 2010; Granderson has become a home run hitter. Now, Granderson does not hit for singles or doubles (note the .233 average) but he is a power bat, which is something the Yankees could use in the heart of the lineup. What happens after 2013, we do not know but—at least the Yanks could see Granderson’s bat in the lineup in 2013.
In right field, you may be a bit surprised by my choice but I believe Nick Swisher (2012: .258 AVG, 20 HR, 78 RBI) will be in Yankees pinstripes in 2013. Now, why do I think Swisher will be a Yankee? Because along with Swisher’s good bat in the lineup, he has a charming and bubbly personality that would be sorely missed if he ever left the team. The Yankees were a serious bunch before Swisher came along and now the team seems livelier. Swisher has left an imprint on the team—but if Swisher signs with the Yanks, he cannot expect a $100 Million contract. We are still recovering from 3 of those.
In the infield, we have of course the third baseman Alex Rodriguez (2012: .276 AVG, 17 HR, 50 RBI). A-Rod this season is not A-Rod but he has come back a hot hitter since getting off the DL. In addition, A-Rod is stuck with the Yankees until his contract expires in 2018 (Yikes).
At shortstop, we have the Captain Derek Jeter (2012: .323 AVG, 15 HR, 53 RBI) who becomes a free agent in 2014. There is not much to explain about Jeter except for the fact he is having his best year average wise since 2009.
At second base, there is the young Robinson Cano (2012: .299 AVG, 30 HR, 77 RBI) who is by far the Yankees best player. He plays second base so smoothly and has a great pop to his bat. For a person who does not think he has home run power—he is mistaken. He is a home run hitter. That is all.
Finally, to round out the infield, we have Mark Teixeira (2012: .255 AVG, 23 HR, 81 RBI). Teixeira is stuck with us until 2017 and even if the Yankees wanted to trade Teixeira (they do not), they cannot because of Teixeira’s no trade clause. We might as well make the best of it so Tex…we are going to need lots of game winning and World Series winning HR’s until then.
According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees have traded RHP Chad Qualls to the Pirates for 3B/1B Casey McGehee. In 293 PA this year, the right-handed McGehee has hit .230/.297/.377. He will be beneficial as another right-handed bat in an otherwise heavily left-handed roster with the injuries to Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. This year against left-handers, McGehee has a very strong 119 wRC+, a .348 wOBA, and a .807 OPS. He also brings a lot of value as a pinch hitter with a line of .292/.382/.542 coming off the bench in his career which is rather impressive. McGehee plays both 3rd and 1st base so he can add some pop to the lineup at 1st base while Teixeira is out, and then he could probably platoon with Eric Chavez at 3rd with A-Rod out. Sherman also notes that the Pirates are giving the Yankees $225,000 of the $485,000 differential between the contracts of Qualls and McGehee.
Chad Qualls was going to be the odd man out of the bullpen anyway with Joba Chamberlain returning from the DL so this is a good move by Cashman to get some value out of the right-hander instead of simply sending him down or DFA’ing him. However, this trade doesn’t come without a negative side, as McGehee’s defense at third base is not anything to rave about. Also as William J. of The Captain’s Blog pointed out on Twitter, the trade makes the Yankees lineup even more suscepible to splits as McGehee is extremely weak against right-handed pitching (.222 AVG, .616 OPS, 67 wRC+ this year).
Joba will be activated tonight and will be a great piece to have in the bullpen as someone who can get both righties and lefties out.
* An A-blog for A-Rod writes that extra base hits are still a problem for Nova.
* Bleeding Yankee Blue looks at the rise of Joba Chamberlain.
* Bronx Baseball Daily looks into why Andrew McCutchen is MLB’s best player.
* Lady Loves Pinstripes has her power rankings for week 15.
* Pinstripe Alley has the staff analysis of Ichiro trade.
* River Ave Blues is scouting the trade market with Shawn Camp.
* The Captain’s Blog takes a look into the MLB draft.
* The Yankee Analysts has a good write up on the Yankees who got away.
* Yanks Go Yard looks into the sabermetrics of Russell Martin.
Lineup vs. National League:
RHP Justin Verlander
Lineup vs. American League:
RHP Matt Cain
And now onto today’s top stories in Yankees Universe:
– Joba Chamberlain pitched early this morning for the Gulf Coast Yankees and looked impressive. He went a hit-less inning giving up 1 unearned run and 2 strikeouts. This was the first time Chamberlain got into game action since having Tommy John Surgery last season. He believes he could be back to the Yankees by August 1st.
– David Aardsma got the results from his tests from his doctor and according to him all is well. Aardsma is just waiting for the doctor to give him the green light on when he can throw again.
– It didn’t seem like it was a possibility but today Mariano Rivera‘s rehab doctor Dr. Pyne revealed that Mariano Rivera might be able to pitch in 2012 after all. He says that since Rivera had did some pre-rehabilitation work before the surgery, he is in an advanced recovery state where he could possibly get on a mound by the end of the year.
– Well that didn’t last long. After telling Reggie Jackson to stay away from the Yankees indefinitely, Brian Cashman is now saying that Reggie Jackson could be back with the team on Friday.
– And last but not least, Brett Gardner will most likely be back in the next 2 weeks. Cashman and Gardner both gave the target date of July 27 in which he could return to the majors. Gardner had already been shut down twice during his rehab.Maybe third times a charm?