The Yanks are off today (Monday) and are also off on Thursday. In between, they have two games in Washington, D.C. against the Nationals, which means no DH.
Which means that Joe Girardi will have to decide if Alex Rodriguez plays the field.
Making the decision more complicated is whether Mark Teixeira will be ready to go in those games (see the update below). Teix was removed from Sunday’s loss against KC with a bone contusion on his toe after being HBP.
Which means that if he can’t go Tuesday or Wednesday, the Yanks lose the DH and their top HR hitter.
Which means if A-Rod doesn’t play the field, the Yanks lose their top TWO HR hitters.
Going into Sunday’s game (in which they were shutout), the Yanks were hitting .247 as a team. The offense has struggled lately as the Yanks have lost five of their last six. You want to stop that bad momentum. Losing the DH won’t help stop it.
If Alex doesn’t play 1B or 3B (with Headley sliding over to 1B), and Teix can’t play 1B, then it’s up to Garrett Jones to play 1B. Jones has disappointed so far in 37 AB (.162-0-1). Teix and Alex have 21 of the Yanks’ 46 HR.
The Yanks, going into Sunday, were 9th in the league in batting average, but 2nd in HR. Losing both Teix and Alex for the two-game series against the Nationals would be a huge blow. The Yanks were third in the AL in walks. The top two guys on the team in drawing walks? You got it—-Teix and Alex.
If Alex doesn’t take the field against the Nats, and Teix can’t go, you could be looking at:
Hmmm. Going into Sunday, Beltran was at .233, McCann .237, Headley .228, Jones .162, Drew .183 and Gregorious .210.
Now throw in the pitcher.
If Teix can’t play, Girardi’s decision may have to be to play A-Rod in the field.
There may be no other choice against a Nationals team that boasts Scherzer, Strasburg, Jordan Zimmerman and Gio Gonzalez among its starters. Granted that Strasburg has struggled (2-4, 6.06) and Doug Fister is on the DL, but…
If Alex DOES sit, it would be a good time for the bottom of the lineup—Drew and Didi Gregorious, to snap out of it.
Heck, it would be a good thing in any case. The two combined are at about .200. Now they are hitting before a pitcher, and you can’t expect much there. Which means if they continue as they are, you are basically giving away three innings in each of these games.
Hopefully the offense picks it up.
Update: Girardi states that Teix is day-to-day and will probably play against the Nationals. That is good news. For if he wasn’t ok, you can see above what the ramifications would have been. Still, losing Alex as DH will hurt.