May
02

Poll: Which injured player do the Yankees miss the most?

By
(Elsa/Getty)

(Elsa/Getty)

No team has been more beset by injuries this year than the Yankees. They’ve used the DL ten times already, the most in the big leagues. Some injuries are more serious than others, and some absences are more noticeable than others. Still, ten players on the DL one month into the season is a little extreme.

With a lineup that is averaging just four runs per game since the blowout Indians series (team 106 wRC+ overall), it’s clear the offense doesn’t pack as much punch as it once did. The Yankees can’t hit lefties at all — .225/.300/.365 (78 wRC+) as a team — and the injuries are a major reason why. The pitching staff has been pretty awesome (4.22 runs per game, 3.64 FIP), and that’s why the club owns the second best record in baseball at 17-10.

Some of those injured players are getting closer to a return, and a month gives us a good enough to look to determine which guy the Yankees have missed the most. With all due to respect to Kevin Youkilis, Ivan Nova, and Frankie Cervelli, this is limited to players who started the season on the DL and would have unquestionably made the 25-man roster if healthy. That means no Michael Pineda and Cesar Cabral, basically, and it leaves us with four prominent position players.

Curtis Granderson
The Yankees lost their top power hitter five pitches into his Grapefruit League season, when an errant J.A. Happ pitch broke Granderson’s forearm and put him on the DL for more than two months. Curtis played in his first Extended Spring Training game just yesterday, getting two at-bats before it started raining. The Yankees have hit an MLB-best 38 homers this season, so they haven’t been the powerless punch and judy offense so many (including me) expected. Still, losing a legitimate 40-homer hitter is a blow to any team.

Derek Jeter
October ankle surgery turned into an April setback, which will force the Cap’n to the sidelines until the All-Star break. Jeter hit .316/.362/.429 (117 wRC+) last season and that’s close to impossible to replace at the shortstop position – the team’s shortstops are currently hitting .214/.289/.264 (52 wRC+) –  but the Yankees especially miss his right-handed bat against lefty pitchers. He hit .364/.399/.542 (157 wRC+) against southpaws in 2012, and boy would that fit nicely atop the lineup these days.

Alex Rodriguez
The Bombers knew about A-Rod‘s hip injury in December, so they were able to secure a more than capable replacement in Youkilis. That said, the old and broken down version of A-Rod produced more in 2012 (.272/.353/.430, 114 wRC+) than the totally awesome and rejuvenated version of Youkilis in 2013 (.266/.347/.422, 108 wRC+). The difference is especially noticeable against lefties, where A-Rod massively outproduced his third base replacement (152 vs. -40 wRC+). Rodriguez’s right-handed bat would fit perfectly into the middle of the lineup, especially against southpaws.

Mark Teixeira
Teixeira hurt his wrist in mid-May while with preparing for the World Baseball Classic with Team USA, so the Yankees didn’t have much time to find a replacement. Lyle Overbay has been decent overall (98 wRC+) and much more than that against righties (.322/.375/.610, 163 wRC+), but he’s also been useless against lefties (-63 wRC+). Despite his decline, Teixeira was very productive last year (.251/.332/.475, 116 wRC+), especially against lefties (.269/.333/.531, 129 wRC+). Once again, that ability to mash southpaws is something the Yankees miss in a big way right now.

* * *

Four players who, in recent years, occupied the top four spots in the lineup. All are missed in their own way, but some are definitely missed more than others.

Which injured player do the Yankees miss the most?
Total Votes: 3014 Started: May 2, 2013 Back to Vote Screen
Categories : Injuries, Polls

74 Comments»

  1. mitch says:

    As much as i want to say Jeter, I think it’s Tex. With Jeter you still have to worry about giving him enough rest and DH days. Tex gives them more flexibility.

  2. CS Yankee says:

    Jeet, as he;
    1) Owns lefty pitching.
    2) Would put a few more butts in the seats.
    3) Nuney is just starting to hit and no one else can play SS above high-A level.

    Arod…Youk offsetted most of that plus his “issues’

    Teix…Overbay has been pickin’ quite nicely and his bat has been better than a Tex’s April bat.

    Grandy…Wells has been great so far.

    • Bob Buttons says:

      Indeed.

    • The Real Me says:

      Agree and I voted that way as well. I was a bit surprised more people didn’t vote Granderson, as driving in runs seems to still be a bit of an issue and Grandy would have helped there. Same goes for Teix, but I guess the vast majority here see the significant drop off from Jeter to Nunez as being more of a detriment to the team than the drop offs at any other position.

      (Wonder how many times EddardWorld voted for someone other than Jeter …)

    • ClusterDuck says:

      Your points correct. Jeter it is.

      In fact I wouldn’t be too upset if ARod and Grandy never came back.

  3. Havok9120 says:

    Methinks Jeter is the biggest upgrade on the list unless we’re talking the upgrade from Nix to ARod rather than Youk to ARod.

  4. Mike HC says:

    Derek Jeter. For many different reasons.

  5. Bavarian Yankee says:

    2007 A-Rod :D

    nah, I think no one really stands out of that group. tbh I would probably vote for Pineda if he was on the list. Healthy Pineda -> Yankees have one of the top 3 rotations in baseball.

    • trr says:

      um, no.

    • Scott says:

      Agree, Pineda: losing a #2 (or even #3) starter is deadly because he gets replaced with a #6-quality starter; if Pineda weren’t hurt, he’d be in the rotation instead of Nova, whose ERA+ of 65 (6.48 ERA) really hurt the team.

  6. Tom F says:

    Where’s the “none” voting option? The fill-ins have stepped up big time. If anything I miss Jeter for his leadership but that’s all

    • jjyank says:

      Really? You don’t think any of those players offers an upgrade over their counterparts?

    • Slugger27 says:

      the only counterpart that has stepped up big time is youkilis and hes on the DL.

      tex > overbay
      jeter > nunez
      grandy > ichiro

  7. Nate says:

    Cervelli!

  8. jjyank says:

    Gotta go with Jeter here. As much as Eddard believes in Nunez, he hasn’t shown much so far in 2013. A healthy Jeter would help the LHP woes and lessen our hand-wringing about who hits in the #2 slot. That might not even be Jeter, but his presence somewhere at the top of the lineup would probably make it harder for Ben Francisco so find a spot there.

    I miss them all though, including A-Rod. People love to hate him, but even a diminished A-Rod is still a productive player (assuming the surgery doesn’t make things worse).

    • YanksFan says:

      Agree. I’m a bigger Nunez fan than most people on this board(that’s not saying much). I’m higher on him because people don’t realize how bad SS is for the majority of the league. But even a .280 hitting Jeter is 80 points better than what we’re getting from the position.

      That being said, I wonder how much his getting hit is affecting his hitting. Or his standing straight up that he mentioned after watching video with Long.

  9. big lou says:

    Arod needs some juice.he needs to rage. I miss the roger clemens raging back in the day.

  10. Tiim says:

    Beyond just 2013, getting Arod back is critical for the Yankees. If he can hit .280/.350/.480 it would be a huge boost to the lineup, and hopefully would sure up third base for a couple more years

    • BeanTooth says:

      That’s a big if. At this point in his career, I think he’ll only continue to decline and spend lots of time on the DL.

  11. Jim Is Bored says:

    Voted Granderson, but I don’t really have any reason for doing so.

    I guess I’d just rather see Gardner/Granderson out there with ichiro and wells fighting for at bats than Gardner/Ichiro/Wells with no real backup.

    I can see arguments for Tex or Jeter too.

    • The Real Me says:

      I thought along the same lines as you for a bit. A perfectly valid selection, in my opinion.

    • Laz says:

      I don’t think you can choose Grandy. Wells has been fantastic, and if Grandy hadn’t been injured they wouldn’t have gotten wells.

  12. BeanTooth says:

    I voted for Jeter, but that’s the case only if the Granderson that returns is the 2012 version and not the 2011. Don’t forget that he led the majors in homers of lefties in 2011. If he could come back and be mashing like 2011, he’s the easy choice. I went with Jeter because I doubt that will be the case. Plus Nunez needs to get to the bench and quick.

  13. MannyGeee says:

    As much hate as Alex garners, a fully healthy Alex would extend this lineup much much more than Jeter, Tex or Granderson:

    – AT WORST you gain a RH DH better than Ben Francisco on his best day
    – you can spell Loverbay against LHP with a healthy Youk on 1B
    – you get Nix less ABs (which I am a fan of)…

    • Betty Lizard says:

      Thought I was the only one who voted Alex.

      • Havok9120 says:

        It was very close for me. I only went Jeter over Alex because of the dropoff from Jeter -> Nunez being less than the (theoretical, at this point) dropoff from ARod -> Youk.

        • Jim Is Bored says:

          The reason I didn’t lean that way is because I don’t know what a healthy ARod is right now. And I think a healthy Youk can resemble that, at least offensively. Between having no idea who’s going to be healthy and how they’ll play WHEN healthy, I decided to go a different route.

      • vicki says:

        i’m delighted to learn i voted with betty and manny.

  14. trr says:

    Gotta be Jete.
    Even at 39, coming off a broken ankle, he is the most irreplaceable of the 4. Not minimizing Granderson or Tex. But yes, I am minimizing Rodriguez. He’s done. Quote me.

  15. Yankee Fan 1 says:

    Gotta go with Jeet. A month into the season and it’s just damn weird without him out there. Plus I miss him mashing lefties

  16. pat says:

    2007 Arod.

  17. Monterowasdinero says:

    Difficult to answer since Jeter will be, in my opinion, a very poor defender when he returns. No fault of his own but the 38 year old twice broken ankle is not going to hold up at SS and batting/running/sliding etc.

    He will be a DH this year.

    ARod will probably not be back at any high quality level this year. His power at the plate has been poor for a year anyway…

    I would say the 70-80 HR’s a year that Tex and Grandy give us are greatly missed. Grandy will come back healthy but I worry Tex’s injury will recur and he will be Bautista’d at some point in 2013.

    So I will say-Jeter-but realistically-Grandy.

  18. hogsmog says:

    Feels really weird, but I’m going with Arod. There’s no guarantee Jeter would even be able to play ss with his injury, and first is a much easier position to find stopgaps for than third. They’re also hurting way more against lefties than righties, and the outfield is holding its own right now, so I think he beats out Granderson, too?

    Again, weird.

    • Rolling Doughnut says:

      Give ARod and his PED-induced crumbling body a month of .250/.280/.310 and he’ll be back on the DL

    • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod says:

      Valid point about Jeter, but you have to make the same point about Rodriguez. We don’t know what we’re getting back after a major sugery. And although I agree with Havok that A-Rod replacing Nix is probably the biggest upgrade on the list, him replacing Youk (assuming both are healthy and performing close to their most recent levels, big assumption I know) is not that much of an upgrade compared to some of the other options.

      Overbay has been an adequate placeholder for Tex, but he doesn’t come close to replacing Mark’s bat. Historically slow starts aside, Teixera is a much better hitter and offers much-needed lineup help against lefties.

      I agree the outfield is certainly holding its own and I hope Grandy coming back creates a good problem of deciding which well-performing outfielder plays on a particular day. I am looking forward to getting Grandy back but honestly doubt he would’ve produced at the level Wells has been (I obviously don’t expect this to continue). He might have a few more HR to go with a lot more K’s and less hits in general. Grandy back is a good thing, but I don’t think it offers the most upgrade of the options.

      Jeter over Nunez to me is the best upgrade on paper. I agree with your concerns regarding his injury but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt because Derek Jeter. Perhaps my confidence is misplaced.

      In the end I voted Jeter, but I almost went for Teixera. Alex 3rd, Grandy 4th.

      • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod says:

        Wow. Failed at spelling Teixeira not once but twice. Shame on me.

      • Jim Is Bored says:

        I guess I was comparing Grandy/Gardner/Wellschiro to Gardner/Wells/Ichiro/Francisco. Or whoever else they’ve been throwing out there. My hatred for our 4th OF situation colored my vision, possible.

        • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod says:

          Grandy coming back certainly turns the OF into a strength, I agree there. Grandy/Gardner/Wells/Ichiro is infinitely better than having Boesch and Benny F hang around as backups.

          If all four of these guys come back and produce, this team is deadly.

        • hogsmog says:

          Can you really argue for putting Wells on the short end of a platoon? It’s quite possible he’s the most productive outfielder of all four.

  19. Rolling Doughnut says:

    Jeter or Tex. The coin is in the air.

  20. Manny's BanWagon says:

    As a fan, Jeter is the obvious choice. From a team perspective, it’s tough to say, probably Granderson.

    IMO, it’s actually been kind of nice without Arod and all the bullshit that surrounds him.

    • YanksFan says:

      ARod says some things that don’t come off well. That being said, how much of the bs that surrounds him is the media? They want quotes from him and make everything bigger because it’s ARod.

      Sunbathing in Central Park was front page shit for crying out loud.

  21. Dougko says:

    Hideki Matsui.

  22. Rubano says:

    Definately Grandy bc he allows them to get Ichiro the hell out of the lineup

  23. In order:

    Jeter – mostly for his RH bat and ability to mash LHP
    Tex – Defense at first, not that Lyle has been terrible…and Tex switch hits.
    Granderson – OF depth
    ARod – haha…haha.

  24. Mike says:

    Arod….by far.

    His D at third is superior to Nix and Youk, and even as a DH his RH bat and ability to take pitches is missed.

    I dont think Girardi would platoon Tex to benefit his RH side, and even if Jeter alternates with Nunez the drop-off from Nix-Arod is clearly the greatest.

  25. JGNYC says:

    I voted Arod based on who’s currently replacing who. Nunez replacing Jeter, Overbay replacing Tex, Wells replacing Granderson. Arod currently has Nix/Nelson, and I think that’s the worst swap.

  26. mt says:

    Yankee’s biggest weakness so far has been against lefty pitching and Jeter would shine as a solution there – Nunez could then be back-up SS and at times righty DH (although he has not hit so far).

    I did not say Arod because also not sure what Arod is at this point and can you imagine the drama if Arod were around every day with the Biogenesis stuff still in limbo? However, he may be gaining on Jeterfor the number one missed player spot since Youkilis has now gotten hurt and that means more Nix.

    2012 version Grandy as a lefty batter challenged by lefty pitchers and normally slow starting Tex would be third and fourth on my list. Offensively Wells and Overbay have also held down the fort as replacements for Grandy and Tex a little better than Nunez has as a replacement for Jeter (although Nunie looks better at plate in last 2 games.)

  27. Magilla Gorilla says:

    Nice article Mike. Send it in to Bleacher Report.

  28. Magilla Gorilla says:

    Vernon Wells is a decent sub for Granderson

    Lyle Overbay is a decent sub for Teixeira as projected

    Youkilis has been a decent sub for Rodriguez. Let’s see where we go now.

    There is a big dropoff from Jeter to Nunez. Even on fielding (in very different ways) but the clutch bat is missing.

  29. TogaSean says:

    To me this is a toss up between Jeter or grandy. Jeter gives a great bat against lefties which they miss right now, where as grandy provides some pop with the bat and improves the OF overall.

    Tex is missed, but the production at first has been solid in the interim.

    Arod, just no.

  30. Mandy Stankiewicz says:

    It was hard to not to choose Jeet, but I chose Tex mostly for the flexibility his switch hitting gives the lineup. Overbay has been a great defensive sub, but Tex is still the yankees best defensive 1B. Huge when you think about saving throwing E’s.

  31. Paco Dooley says:

    I wanted to vote Jeter, but I have this feeling that he will not return to be all that affective, and hence not a huge an upgrade over Nunez.

    I voted based on who I think will have the biggest impact when they return. That made me vote Teix since the 1B situation needs help, especially if Youk stays at 3B.

  32. Rob in CT says:

    I think I could argue for any of the 4. I voted Jeter, but that presumes he can actually play SS, and I’m not sure that will be end up being possible. I also have a suspicion ARod will never be useful again.

  33. I'm not the droids you're looking for... says:

    Tino
    Bernie
    O’Neill

  34. Cool Lester Smooth says:

    I’m pretty sure that Pineda would have unquestionably made the 25 man roster if he didn’t have a torn labrum.

  35. Cuso says:

    I’m going with the only switch-hitter on this list. He offers the most versatility offensively and the best glove of the four defensively.

    We used to have a deep lineup with a rare commodity of several power-hitting switch-hitters. Now there’s one on the roster. And as bad as he gets sometimes, teams always pitch around him.

  36. Yankee in Exile says:

    Went with A-Rod. It’s not just the upgrade from Nix (which is huge), but also the extra $12million to spend on somebody besides Youk. That’s a serious chunk of change that could’ve been better spent (Swisher…)

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