Here comes the short stop debate

An old dog learns some new tricks
Checking in on an old friend

With Jeter injured, the great Yankees short stop debate kicks back up again. We all know Derek Jeter isn’t the best fielding short stop around, but how should the Yanks replace him? Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports thinks that using A-Rod at short is so crazy it just might work. John Harper thinks that A-Rod, who has played just a few innings at short since 2003, should stay at third. I think using Morgan Ensberg at third and A-Rod at short isn’t the worst idea the Yanks have put forth recently.

An old dog learns some new tricks
Checking in on an old friend
  • Glen L

    If Jeter is only out for a week or so, I say just use Betemit at short, don’t disrupt A-rod at third and cause some BS controversy among the idiot NY columnists

    Duncan will be back, meaning we’ll have one of him or Ensberg available on the bench

  • Eric SanInocencio

    Call up the Attorney General if Jeter has to go on the DL.

  • Tripp

    Agreed. Betemit is dumpy and can’t hit a lick anymore.

    • steve (different one)

      he’s had 9 AB’s. i guess he’s finished.

      the Yankees should cut him and Hawkins. Cano has made 3 errors so far, they should get rid of him too.

      • Count Zero

        lol…thanks for saving me the trouble

      • Tripp

        Steve, he hasn’t hit since he came to the Yankees last year. Look it up.

        • Clayton

          Yes the 84 at bats last year definitely trump the over 1400 with an OPS+ over 100.

          • steve (different one)

            what he said.

          • Tripp

            Why do people like Betemit so much? For the amount of talent he’s had he’s wasted it away over the years.

            And his career ops + is 96. Hardly impressive at all.

            How many more times does he have to go 0-4 with 3 strikeouts?

            His fielding isn’t impressive either.

            • steve (different one)

              why do Yankee fans hate him so much?

              he’s young, cheap, plays every IF position, and has some power. that makes him one of the best bench players in baseball.

              • Yankee Fan in Chicago

                I like him and thought it was a great trade, but he looked atrocious at the plate yesterday against not very good pitching.

  • TurnTwo

    Dont mess with ARod… if Jeter is going to be out for the series against KC, let Betemit play… if it is more long term and Jeter needs to hit the DL, you bring up Alberto to play SS everyday, and allow Betemit to be the primary IF off the bench.

  • Jim Johnson

    No no no no no no no

  • Manimal

    I always though with jeters arm diminishing he should play second, cano third, and Arod short.

    thats another discussion though, for now leave arod be, ensburg looked bad at first put him at short stop, and then betemit at first.

    Or trade for the Ray’s Pena

    • steve (different one)

      did Ensberg look that bad? he fielded everything hit to him pretty easily.

      i assume you are referring to the ball he didn’t scoop on Cano’s error. yeah, he probably should have scooped that. but Cano had a ton of time, so Ensberg was probably expecting a throw at his chest and he got crossed up.

      i don’t know if he’ll be good or not, but i think it’s too early to say he was “bad”.

  • Dylan

    No, Betemit to SS. Leave ARod alone.

  • dookie

    You guys need to add Carl Pavano to the Injury/TJ watch. I know everybody hates him, but I have a feeling that the karma of old Yankee Stadium could see Mr. Pavano fill some valuable innings for the Bronx Bombers. If the Yankees are going to compete for the World Series this year, which I have yet to hear a coherent argument as to why they cannot, they will need contributions from both starters and relievers that are currently not on the big squad. Honestly, LaTroy Hawkins is the one middle reliever that we cannot afford to implode, because they will be so hesitant to send him elsewhere. If Brian Bruney were to struggle, Scott Patterson would be up to the Bronx in a New York minute.

    • Ben K.

      While this comment has absolutely nothing to do with the post, it wins the comment of the day award. Carl Pavano? That’s a good one. Are you practicing your stand-up routine on us?

  • Troy142

    Jeter on DL= Gonzalez at short. While Gonzalez has not hit well historically, he has been “on fire” (for him) over the winter and in the spring. Blind squirells do find nuts. Try him out if a shortstop is needed for any real amount of time. Part of the value (albeit a very small part) of Arod is his ability to play SS. Use it if if makes the team better. I have to believe that the new administration has discussed what the game plan to move Jeter off SS might be. Hopefully a voluntary graceful departure when he realyy start hurting the team. Showing that other people can play might be a good start to that process.

  • mustang

    Agree with moving A-Rod to short and Ensberg to 3rd until Jeter get back.

  • Joseph P.

    As I said in the previous thread, you might as well swap Shelley for Alberto as long as Jeter is on the shelf.

  • Bruno

    I agree with leaving A-Hole at 3rd. Yes, he’d probably be better at SS than anybody else, but we’d weaken the 3B defense, plus no need to stir the pot unnecessarily. As was mentioned, the media would have a field day with that. Let Betimit play SS till the Captain returns, that’s why he’s our util.IF.

    However, Jeter has looked pretty bad defensively so far this year. I realize the season’s only a week old, but it’s hard to imagine him getting better as the year goes on. Especially following a quad injury. After his (lack of) defensive performance last season, it’s looking more-n-more like he’ll be in LF next year. If Furcal is signed (PLEASE!) then Damon gets traded. If they go young, then probably Matsui goes, with Damon being the full-time DH. I really really really hope it’s the former. Furcal makes more sense than Texeria on many levels: obviously the money factor, plus a solid defensive 1B is easier to find than SS, Damon doesn’t look like the spark-plug at leadoff that we need him to be, and Furcal is. Let Jeter (not the FO) make the announcement about moving to LF for the good of the team, being what a Captain is supposed to be, etc.
    Jeter, Melky, Duncan/A-Jax would be a fine OF. Marquez & Tabata to PIT for Marte & LaRoche & low-level prospect?


    • Joseph P.

      No on Furcal. Not big on spending a lot of money on a league-average-at-best shortstop.

      • Bruno

        I disagree that he’s LgAv. Last year, yes. But he played all year with bum ankle. Defensively, he’s a HUGE upgrade over Jeter. Offensively, it was the first year his OPS was under .750 since ’02, and he looks to be back to the norm this year (sample size taken into account). A SS with a career line of .285/.350/.408 isn’t LgAv. By comparison, Edgar Rentaria’s line is .291/.349/.407. Jeter’s a step above all SS, we’ve been spoiled.

        • Stryker

          defensively, furcal is NOT an upgrade over jeter. jeter is above league FP for his career, while furcal is well under league RF..

    • TurnTwo

      i’d say im not exactly ready to blow up the roster for 2009 when we’re only what, 7 games into the 2008 season?

      • Bruno

        Neither am I. Read my post again. I was speculating on what to do AFTER this season. I’m fully aware there’ll be no position changes mid-season. A-Hole to SS included.

        • Ben K.

          There is no dumber nickname than A-Hole.

          • Bruno

            Not even calling Hawkins Paul O’Neill? LOL. I know you don’t, but just saying.

            I’ve called him A-Hole since he was in Seattle, and will continue to do so no matter how much I man-crush him.

    • Geno

      A-hole? Coud you have any less class?

      • Bruno

        You have no idea how much. LOL

    • Mike A.

      We should trade for Furcal just to watch him throw across the diamond. That man has a rocket launcher attached to his right shoulder.

  • Edwantsacracker

    Another important thing to think about is that quad injuries are one of the injuries that linger. Even after a week or so when he can run and play baseball without pain his range in the field is still going to suffer.

    It might not be a horrible idea to ease him back into playing everyday. DHing, 1st Base, eventually getting to shortstop. If the infield is going to be Jeter, Cano, Betemit (or Ensberg), Alex Why not let Alex take short, betemit (or Ensberg) play 3rd and Jeter play 1st for a little while.

  • E-ROC

    Leave A-Rod at third. He’s probably too big to play SS. If Jeter lands on the DL, I think the Yanks would call up The Attorney General. I don’t think Jeter will go on the DL.

    • kunaldo

      eroc, this is a common argument, but arod has actually lost weight since 2006, and his natural position is SS…he hasnt been great at 3b, but the time he did move to SS for a while w/ the yankees when jeter was out, he was very very good

  • Adam

    alex is one hr short of cal’s hr by a shortstop record. put him at short, i want to see it fall.

  • pete

    keep a-rod at third, bring up alberto gonzalez. He’d probably hit as well as jeter has so far. When jete comes back, put him back at short. When healthy, we should keep jeter at short until we have a viable home-grown SS ready to play in the majors, or a guy like J-Roll is available (only make a trade or even FA move if it is somebody who excells as much offensively and defensively as rollins – we don’t need han-ram b/c he’s as bad defensively as jeter.

  • kunaldo

    i agree, if jeter is out for an extended period of time, the best SS in NY should take his rightful place on the field….betemit’s better at 3rd anyways

  • Casey

    A-Rod is no longer quick enough to play SS. 2003 doesn’t sound like that long ago, so put it in perspective this way: A-Rod hasn’t played shortstop since the last time the Yanks were in the World Series. Seems like a lot longer that way than just saying 2003, doesn’t it? Also, that was 4+ seasons ago, let’s be realistic.

  • Bob Saget

    Bring up Alberto Gonzalez. He is a vacuum at SS.

  • kunaldo

    casey, he played a few games in 2005….you dont know that he’s not quick enough…you’re assuming because he’s a big guy that slug homers….but he’s about the same size that he was in texas(yeah, he gained weight in the first two years as a yank, but he’s slimmed down recently)….

    SS is his natural position…he knows the in’s an out’s better than he does 3b…and better than jeter given that he was always a better SS…and honestly, how can he be worse than the worst defensive SS in the league??

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos

    All the more reason to prepare for Jeter moving to LF. Not in 2008, not in 2009, but in 2010. Jeter is the cornerstone of this Yankee dynasty, and he’s earned the right to be the starting SS for the new stadium, but as he gets older and more brittle, his defensive limitations continue to grow.

    Let’s look at where we are, and where we’re going:
    Catcher– Jorge probably has two years left in his knees before he’ll have to move out to 1B or DH. Need a replacement in 2010.
    First– Giambi has to be gone after the year. Need a replacement in 2009.
    ThirdSet. Moving ARod back to SS would be a mistake; he’s bigger and less flexible now than he was in 2003. 3B should be his position for the rest of his life.
    Short– Just like Jorge, Jete’s got two more years, and then he needs a new home. Need a replacement in 2010.
    Left– After Damon’s contract expires in 2 years, he’ll retire. Need a replacement in 2010.
    Center-Ah, the eternal question… Either Melky hits his way into being our CF of the next decade, or he get’s bumped off by Gardner/Tabata/AJax. Either way, this is filled in house. Set.
    Right-At first I thought we’d let Bobbywalk… now i think he comes back. He’s still an OBP machine (like Jeter), and it’s good to have two of those in front of ARod. Set(unless AJax lights the world on fire this summer and earns the RF job for ’09).
    DH– Matsui should have this locked down for two more years.Need a replacement in 2010.

    So, what to do? Jeter goes to left and Posada goes to 1B/DH when Damon and Matsui leave the books. That gives you 2009 and 2010 slates that look like this:



    Looking at that future, it’s clear weneed to add one a corner infielder and a middle infielder, and preferably a righty power bat. That’s why, assuming he hits the market, Texiera makes the most sense; he’s a power 1B who should be available this offseason and he balances our lineup nicely. (and yes, we can afford both him and Sabathia.) Also, Tex allows us to focus on Defense when looking for Jeter’s replacement, since a 2-3-4-5-6 core of Jeter-Abreu-ARod-Texiera-Cano is plenty of offense. Maybe Adam Everett? Tony Pena? Jack Wilson? David Eckstein?

  • Yankee Psycho-fan-t

    Don’t move A-Rod, baseball players fear change. Alberto Gonzalez is a very talented defensive short-stop and we theoretically have enough offensive to pick up for his lack of pop. Besides, the only person in baseball who really can’t hit is Wil Nieves, the Attorney General will put his bat on the ball from time to time. Betemit’s power potential only makes sense when he comes off the bench because his K-rate is enormous and he only hits with runners in scoring position. As far as the future goes, I don’t buy into the sentimental philosophy that a player has earned a right to be the worst defensive option at his position and make the kind of money that Jeter does. While he doesn’t look that bad, the fact is there are several players who are a lot better. DJ has a lot of pride and it will certainly get in the way of moving him from his coveted position at short, but it is the right move and should happen sometime next year. I have always thought Texeira would be a good fit for the Yankees. He’s a tremendous second half hitter, he has power and contact ability from both sides and a very good glove at first. Whether he sticks with the Braves or not is the questions. I can’t see the Yankees not at least making an attempt at him. I am still not sure whether the Yankees will sign C.C. Sabathia or not. I understand the profile fits perfectly, and I’m sure the Yankees will go after him I just don’t know if we will win that lottery. It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming years. I haven’t been as excited about the Yankees’ future as I am now in quite a long time. I know this for sure, in any other organization Jeter would have been supplanted last year. He’s earned my respect, fanaticism and admiration but in a utilitarian sport like Baseball you need to be willing to put the greater good in front of yourself. Jeter has always been all about doing things for the good of the team. He’s earned a contract to finish his career with the Yankees, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him open 2009 in the outfield.