Sep
11

Replacing Mark Teixeira

By

(Rob Carr/Getty)

The Yankees got some bad news about Mark Teixeira yesterday, as the first baseman will miss 10-14 days after irritating his Grade I left calf strain on the final play of Saturday’s game. He had missed the ten previous games, so all told the Bombers figure to be without one of their core middle of the order bats for 20 games or so. Teixeira isn’t the hitter he was when he first got to New York, but it’s still a big loss at an important stretch of the season.

Thankfully there are no shortage of players on the roster due to September call-ups. Following yesterday’s Melky Mesa promotion, the Yankees are carrying 17 position players at the moment, not including Teixeira. I unofficially count five capable of playing first base at the drop of a hat, though the best solutions are Nick Swisher and Steve Pearce. Casey McGehee, Eric Chavez, and Raul Ibanez all have some experience at the position but aren’t exactly grizzled veterans at first. Given this cast of characters, it’ll take a bit of an unconventional outfield/first base platoon to replace Teixeira.

Right-Handed Pitchers
I’ve already written about using Chris Dickerson to replace Teixeira, which is the best thing Joe Girardi could do with his regular first baseman out. Swisher plays first, Dickerson plays right, Ichiro Suzuki plays left (or right, it doesn’t really matter), and Ibanez stays at DH. That gives the Yankees their best defensive alignment without Teixeira while getting their core platoon bats in the lineup. Chavez can steal some at-bats at DH or man third while Alex Rodriguez gets a half-day off, so there’s even more flexibility available. Point being, Teixeira’s vacated playing time against righties should go to Dickerson because he can help on both sides of the ball and add some speed to the lineup.

(Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post)

Left-Handed Pitchers
Against southpaws, you really don’t want Ibanez or Chavez in the lineup. Frankly you don’t want Dickerson or Ichiro in there either. Pearce has apparently usurped McGehee as the primary platoon left-handed bat, and his experience at first should land him there against lefties while Teixeira is out. Swisher goes back to the outfield, obviously. If the Yankees are unwilling to turn the reigns over to Mesa, Andruw Jones will continue to play left field against lefties despite his second half futility. A-Rod can DH while Jayson Nix (or Eduardo Nunez) take over at the hot corner. That was the plan coming into the season anyway.

* * *

At this point of the season the only thing the Yankees can do is rearrange the furniture during Teixeira’s absence. Dickerson steps in against righties while Pearce steps in against lefties. There’s enough roster flexibility to have everyone play their best defensive position as well. Replacing Teixeira’s offense will be impossible unless someone unexpectedly gets extremely hot, but using this platoon setup puts the team in the best position to succeed while he’s on the shelf for these crucial upcoming games.

Categories : Offense

24 Comments»

  1. Monty Capuletti says:

    Boy, I’d bet Tex was looking forward to hitting righty a few times in Fenway

  2. Better off Eddard says:

    Pearce already hit a big HR for us in the Os series and single handidly won a game vs the Blue Jays 2-1 which is more than Andruw has done in over 3 months. Pearce should play 1st vs lefties, Swisher in RF, Nix in LF. Andruw Jones shouldn’t see another AB this season unless it’s against Andy Pettitte in a simulated start.

    • Go Back To Syrio Forel says:

      Trade Andruw Jones.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        In the middle of September, when you could just as easily move him further down the bench with a not-full expanded roster. Right.

        With the way people drop like flies with injury, I wouldn’t get rid of a soul right now.

  3. Frank Messer says:

    Please no – he’d probably finally hit a line drive and break Pettitte’s OTHER shin

  4. blake says:

    Hopefully Jonesy will hit a fly ball tonight that carries out of Fenway….but otherwise this has to be Andrew’s last stand right?

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I don’t think they’ll be aching to bring him back next year, but what’s the harm with keeping him around the rest of the season? There’s no one busting down the door for that 40-man spot at the moment.

      I mean…..I know there’s contingents here calling for guys like Montgomery, Mustelier, etc., but it just seems like very bullish wishful thinking to me that either of those guys will offer anything of value right this second.

  5. tommydee2000 says:

    Can we replace him in the aggregate?

    /moneyballed

  6. Robinson Tilapia says:

    I’m fine with Dickerson and Sammy being the primary options at the moment. Melky 2.0 will get his late inning replacement and occassional at-bat opportunities. I hope he makes the best of them. Taunting my wife with “hey look! Melky’s batting!” and having it be Mesa never gets old at my house.

  7. Steve (different one) says:

    The stars just have to step up. If they do that, everything will be ok. Jeter, Granderson, Cano, ARod, Swisher. If those guys are hitting, you can fill in the rest with your platoon guys. Those guys need to be healthy and productive and the schedule will take care of the rest.

  8. anotherBen says:

    I call small sample size on the claim that Ichiro is worse against lefties. He has no career platoon split whatsoever. Even you just look at since he’s been mediocre, he was better against LHPs than RHPs last year.

  9. Robert says:

    I really think Melky Mesa is a better Idea than Andrew Jones!!!

  10. Yank The Frank says:

    Andruw will be playing pepper with Fenway’s left field wall tonight…book it.

  11. Marcy says:

    They better win these games – Price is pitching v. CC on Fri. night

  12. Robert says:

    Why didnt they bring up Corbin Johnson kid paid his dues, he is on the 40 man Give the kid a break!!!

  13. John says:

    why not DH Nunez and put Nix or Pearce in LF. gotta be better than Jones at this point. Jones since the AS Break: .143/.225/.242 2 HR + 9 RBI. good for a whopping 30 sOPS+

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