After such a historic weekend at Yankee Stadium, with Captain Derek Jeter now officially in the 3000 hit club and ace CC Sabathia blanking the Tampa Bay Rays in a four-hit, complete game shutout, it was easy to overlook the bad news.
Peter Botte of the New York Daily News reported that Yankees skipper Joe Girardi is well aware that in A-rod’s absence some people are going to have to step up to keep the Yankees in the AL East division race.
A-rod’s injury comes as no surprise to Yankee fans, as the slugger has been obviously hurting for weeks now and finally admitted that the injury dates back to a June 19th game against the Chicago Cubs. The blow came with news of the surgery because as proven in the past the Yankees line-up sans A-rod is not as effective.
Even though A-rod has not gone deep since June 11th, he still produced plenty offensively and his defense never faltered.
What A-rod lacked in home-runs, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson made up with a joint 50 heading into the break. The Yankees have 123 homers, most in baseball and shockingly A-rod has only had 13, which is a career low.
If history dictates A-rod’s absence would cripple the Bombers right out of the playoffs, but this time it doesn’t seem as dire.
Would the Yankees rather have A-rod active?
Without a doubt, but unlike the past the Yankees offense is better. Whether the line-up can withstand four to six weeks without their clean hitter will be up to guys like Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira.
Was surgery the right decision or should A-rod have played through it?
The alternative of A-rod playing through the injury was never an idea I supported. Suppose if A-rod opted not to have surgery, then fast-forward six weeks.
The baby steps on his decline in production would eventually catch up and A-rod could wind up on the DL anyway… at a more critical time, for a longer period.
So, the decision to bite the bullet from the get-go is without question the smarter option. Just think about how lethal a fully healthy A-rod is in comparison to the alternative.
What are the Yankees options till A-rod gets back?
Now would be an ideal time to get news the Eric Chavez is finally healthy, but that doesn’t seem likely for the immediate.
Rookie Eduardo Nunez will fill in for A-rod like he did for Jeter. Nunez’s bat was fierce, but his defense not so much. The other option is Ramiro Pena, who adds nothing to the line-up; and the two youngsters combined for 11 errors when holding down the fort for Jeter and they were tough to swallow.
It would seem very un-Yankee-like, with the July 31st trade deadline creeping up for GM Brian Cashman to sit on his hands and resort to patience until the All-Star third baseman recovers.
One familiar option would be Kansas City Royals Wilson Betemit, who played in the Bronx from 2007-2008. Betemit is not known as the greatest fielder but his experience supersedes that of the two youngsters, which will appeal to Cashman.
Two other names that are being thrown around are Houston Astros Matt Downs and Florida Marlins Greg Dobbs, who are nothing but cheap fillers and are nothing to get excited about.
The long shot in the group is Cubs Aramis Ramirez, who would cost but that is not a word familiar to the Yankees. Ramirez also said he wants to stay in C-Town and he does have a no-trade clause but that will not stop Cashman from trying.
Cashman seems to be big on cheap-experience and he has shown it can work. Going off that trend, my bet is the Royals will be getting a call soon on Betemit and that is fine with me.
Overall A-rod to the DL is not what Yankee fans wanted to hear and now get to stir over the three days of the All-Star Break.
- Yankees’ A-Rod To Have Knee Surgery Monday, Will Miss 4-6 Weeks (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- You: New York Yankees: Alex Rodriguez to Undergo Knee Surgery, Out Until August (bleacherreport.com)
- New York Yankees: Why Wounded Alex Rodriguez Will Hold Team Hostage for Years (bleacherreport.com)
- New York Yankees Rumors: Alex Rodriguez Injuries Mount (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- Derek Jeter: WIll Yankees Shortstop Deliver in Alex Rodriguez’ Absence? (bleacherreport.com)
- Video: Mets may Trade K-Rod to the Yankees (metsreport.com)