Monday, June 22, 2009

The New York Yankees...Leading the AL in Designated Hitters

The New York Yankees recently completed an 18-game errorless streak, the best in Major League history.

They have a solid infield, and can make up for some weak outfielders with a dependable CF, whether it be Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner.

But the roster is generally loaded with far too many players who are best fielding baseballs while in the batters' box. If you've got no glove, you get no love in this post.

Exhibit A: Hideki Matsui.

This one actually is the DH. He was an average OF when he got to NY and those skills have deteriorated, whether it be by injury or a rapid aging process.

He's still formidable at the plate in stretches, but has become completely one-dimensional.

Exhibit B: Jorge Posada.

Never recovered from last year's shoulder injury. Not that throwing has everything to do with being a catcher. Nobody can make a 9-figure starting rotation look more disjointed.

It's no surprise that the Yanks' errorless streak took place primarily while Jorge was on the DL, or that he was the one to end it.

Still a clutch, feared hitter, and an enduring Yankee. But his future is likely as the backup catcher and the primary DH.

Exhibit C: Johnny Damon.

He can still run. But he can't really catch. The move from CF to LF seemed to be a good one for him a couple of years ago. Now I just cringe when a ball gets hit out there.

I have the exact opposite reaction when he's at the plate. He is an extremely productive hitter with no signs of age on offense. But he's probably a DH too.

Exhibit D: Nick Swisher.

Now he's probably the best fielder in this group. The former Buckeye will always give it the ol' college try and for that he became a Yankee fan favorite instantly. He even pitched a scoreless inning in an early blowout.

But despite the occasional great play, he's still below average defensively. He hides pretty well in RF or at 1B. He's a gregarious team guy and is hard not to like, but he's also a DH.

I'm glad my team plays in the American League, but you can only start one guy at the specialized position.

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