This will be tough for me. I’ve always hated Kevin Youkilis.
Now I’ll admit that the guy’s a gamer. I have nothing against his hustle. It’s just his attitude, batting stance, and the fact that he spent most of his career to date as a Red Sock has made me despise him. He’s always been one of my most hated players.
So what is he now? A New York Yankee. You can just imagine how difficult it must be now to root FOR him.
But necessity makes strange bedfellows. With Chavez gone and A-Rod missing 1/2 of 2013 due to the hip surgery (and probably being more and more the DH type when he returns), there was a huge hole at 3B for the Yankees.
A hole that Youkilis is signed to fill.
Now if A-Rod CAN play some 3B when he returns, esp. against a lefty, he may be able to play 3B, and the Yanks could play Youk at 1B and give Teix a 1/2 day off by DH-ing him. Youkilis has one Gold Glove award, and is an excellent 1B.
But it is 3b that he’ll be playing until A-Rod comes back.
I guess I can’t call him F-Youk anymore. At least not in 2013. It’ll be interesting how he gets along now with Joba.
Youkilis is a .283 career hitter. His 162 g. average is .283-23-96, OPS+ 124. But the last two years are an average of 121 games a year, .246-18-70, OPS+ 111, in 121 games. He hasn’t played 145 or more games in a season since 2008. This past season was not a good one. .235-19-60, OPS+ 99.
Youkilis turns 34 in March. You hope for .245-17-70 from him.
He did finish 3rd in MVP voting in 2008 and 6th in 2009. He is a 3x All-Star.
With A-Rod out, I could see him batting 5th. With an Ichiro signing coming soon, should Jeter be ready on Opening Day, I can see
Jeter, Ichiro, Teix, Cano, Youk, Granderson as the top six. If Ibanez is re-signed, then him 7th. Cervelli could be 8th (as of now) and Gardner 9th.
R, L, S, L, R, L, L, R, L
But the ages would be 39 (in June), 39, 33, 30, 34, 32 ….
and if the #7 hitter turns out to be DH Raul Ibanez, well, he turns 41 next June.
The Yanks would still need a righty hitting OF (Andruw Jones is going to Japan). Scott Hairston could be an option.
We still don’t know if they will look to upgrade the C position.
All we know is this. With A-Rod being out 1/2 a year, and with Chavez leaving, the addition of Youkilis was a must (unless you wanted Nunez, Nix or an untested rookie like Mustelier, Adams or Joseph playing there).
Which means swallowing our tounges and rooting FOR the guy.