5 Apr 2014
Is anyone surprised that the Yankees are facing a injury in the first week of the season? I don’t think so, but the parlay of Mark Teixeira and his hamstring was probably further down your betting list.
I will never understand how Brian Cashman didn’t learn a thing from 2013. Last year the Yankees suffered injuries all over the place and Cashman had to scramble to try to fill those spots. This offseason, he brought in a lot of talent, but also a lot of fragile players. Yet he didn’t exactly stock the system with injury replacements. The Yankees readily admitted that they didn’t have a backup first baseman entering the season, but it appear likely they will need one now.
Kelly Johnson looked ok over there last night, especially when you take into account the fact it was only his third game ever at first, but I don’t think he is the solution. For one thing, that would open a hole at third. And while some will clamor for Solarte to fill that hole, I wouldn’t jump on that bandwagon just yet. If you look at Solarte’s minor league numbers, they suggest he is a guy who really only hits LHP. For instance, in 2013 he had an OPS of .681 as a LHB and an OPS of .828 as a RHB. The difference was less in 2012 (.716 vs. .809) but the trend is clear. This isn’t the guy you probably want facing righties every day. Putting him into a platoon seems like the best use of his talents.
And that will be the problem with Canzler if they call him up. His split in 2013 was almost .500 OPS points between LHP and RHP. Plus, Canzler isn’t on the 40-man roster and activating him will require the Yankees to say good-bye to another player. But there are not a lot of choices here. If Teixeira is going on the DL the Yankees need someone to play first. It’s too bad they didn’t plan for this in the offseason.
UPDATE 11:15 AM- Jack Curry tweets that the Yankees have DL’ed Teixeira and recalled Romine. Johnson is the first baseman for now with Solarte and Cervelli as the backups.
So, the Yankees are going to use a guy who has four games at first in his career as the starter and back him up with two guys who have combined for one game at first in their careers. This is depressing, but with their 40-man issues I understand it. I wonder what happened to Soriano’s work at first?