Happy Tuesday morning, everyone. Glad you all survived Monday and are joining us bright and early here at TYA. Today’s mailbag question comes courtesy of Travis:
Matt mentioned Casey Blake as a potential backup infielder. What about if the Red Sox non-tender Mike Aviles? I know his 2011 wasnt stellar, but his 2010 seemed a bit more interesting. What is the real Aviles and would the younger player be an option for the backup spot? And what about Adam Kennedy or even bringing up a youngster, like David Adams (if he’s healthy)?
Let’s start with David Adams. Adams definitely has shown a nice bat, but he hasn’t exactly been a model of health since he joined the Yankee organization. With the exception of a .325 wOBA this year in A+ ball, Adams has hit well everywhere. The problem is that he’s only played in 68 games since the start of 2010, while only racking up 294 plate appearances in that time. That lack of consistent playing time is probably going to keep him from a Major League spot in 2012 unless he absolutely tears the cover off the ball and stays healthy.
As for Aviles and Kennedy, the short answer is no. Both guys can play all over the field, but if the Yankees want that, they as well just keep with Ramiro Pena and Eduardo Nunez for the infield spot. Both guys are flawed, but they’d probably be cheaper than Aviles or Kennedy. Aviles has shown the ability to hit for around average power at times, but that’s inconsistent at best and he doesn’t walk at all. Kennedy hits for no power (.112 Iso) and doesn’t walk at all either. Yeah, I know, they’re bench players so of course they’re going to have flaws. But, these guys have too many flaws and aren’t big enough upgrades over the internal options of Pena, Nunez, and Brandon Laird.
For the Yankees to open up their wallets to anything more than cost-controlled players on the bench, there needs to be a clear upgrade or advantage. Andruw Jones as the fourth OF/lefty-masher is a clear upgrade over someone like Greg Golson or Chris Dickerson. Sure, I don’t love Brandon Laird, but I think he could at least run into a few pitches and drive some into the gaps or over the fences, but at this point, neither Aviles nor Kennedy do anything significantly better than any of the current options.
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