We’re still waiting for the official diagnosis and treatment needed for Xavier Nady’s injured elbow, but everyone expects grim news that will sideline X for the remainder of the season. The Yanks called up Juan Miranda yesterday to replace Nady on the roster, but more than likely this is just a temporary solution. This morning MLBTR pointed us to a report indicating that two possible options are Jason Repko of the Dodgers and Austin Kearns of the Nationals. The problem is that both Repko and Kearns kinda stink.
Let’s just eliminate Kearns as an option right now. He’s hitting .167-.310-.375 this year after hitting .217-.311-.316 last year. He’s owed $8M this year with a $1M buyout on his $10M option for next year. Sure he sort of has a big name after being an elite prospect back in the day, but Kearns doesn’t offer the Yanks anything they don’t already have in John Rodriguez. So he hits righthanded, big deal. I’ll take a good lefty hitter over an inferior righty hitter any day of the week. Pass. Pass emphatically.
Repko, on the other hand, is only slightly less useless. In nearly 500 big league plate appearances he’s hit .229-.300-.375 but has a spiffy 8.9 UZR rating in the outfield (primarily in center). Melky Cabrera’s career line is .268-.329-.375 and his UZR is a combined -2.4 in the various outfield spots, but he’s four years younger than Repko. Where’s the upgrade? Really, the best replacement option would have been Delwyn Young, who the Dodgers traded to the Pirates the day before Nady got hurt. It’s just a case of unfortunate timing.
I understand that the Yankees have likely just lost an everyday outfielder for the rest of the season, but given their current roster construction, why does he have to be replaced with another outfielder? They’re already carrying four players on their roster capable of manning the big swath of grass past the infield, and all four of those guys can play center in a pinch. That’s normally what a team carries. They could use this opportunity to upgrade the black hole that is currently third base, perhaps by picking up Mark Grudzielanek. That, of course, assumes he would be willing to assume a utility infielder role once Alex Rodriguez comes back.
We do know one thing for sure, Brian Cashman won’t rush into finding a replacement for Nady outside of the organization. He’ll let the market come to him like he did with Bobby Abreu and … well … Xavier Nady.