With Jesus Montero off to the Pacific Northwest, the Yankees have a hole at designated hitter. It’s been popular lately to say that the Yankees should go with a “rotating DH” – using the spot to frequently rest Yankee hitters, primarily Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. This is a very bad idea.
A DH rotation essentially means that the team would give 162 games worth of at-bats to a reserve player. If Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez are the primary targets of a rotating DH, that means that Eric Chavez and Eduardo Nunez will receive the majority of those at bats. The two of them combined for .264/.315/.375 in 513 plate appearances in 2011. The average AL DH hit .266/.341/.430 last season. By entering the season planning to give the majority of DH at-bats to those reserve players, you’re immediately surrendering a lot of that potential value.
Now, Andruw Jones complicates matters. Against left-handed batters, he is a legitimate force, hitting .286/.384/.540 against. He would likely get some at-bats in a rotating DH scheme, when no regulars are being rested. But Nunez and Chavez aren’t exactly high-end platoon partners to take the remaining at-bats. The Yankees should find someone to take those at bats who can actually hit.
Carlos Pena has been much-discussed as a potential solution in a DH platoon. If the Yankees can land him within their budget, I’m all for Pena. But let’s assume for a second that either the Yankees can’t afford him, or Pena would be unwilling to take a part-time role. A cheaper option would be bringing back Wilson Betemit. He has not received much attention this off season, and likely wouldn’t be too expensive. Betemit has always been better against right-handed pitchers, hitting .277/.348/.469 throughout his career and .303/.365/.500 in 2011. He would be Alex Rodriguez’s primary backup at third base – a big improvement over Eric Chavez – and an emergency fill-in at shortstop and 2nd base. In fact, Betemit could quite a few games at 3rd base for Alex Rodriguez, if not the majority of games against right-handed pitchers.
Wilson Betemit, or another player like him, will cost more than your average part-time platoon or bench player. For most teams, this would be a prohibitive problem that would force them into a Chavez-like option. But the strength of the Yankee financial resources means that this is exactly the type of asymmetric advantage they should pursue. Alex Rodriguez will likely spend some time on the disabled list in 2012. This means that Betemit wouldn’t just be a right-handed designated hitter platoon player, but rather a big fat insurance policy on Alex Rodriguez.
Betemit is just one example of a player. I’m sure others could think of examples of players who would fit the role. My point is that the Yankees should take advantage of the presence of Andruw Jones and try to get some real production out of the designated hitter’s at bats. Eduardo Nunez and Eric Chavez are not the solutions to that problem. They are decent enough bench players, but are big liabilities if simply handed 600 at-bats over the course of the season.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- Cary on Will R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball Succeed In A Domed Stadium?
- Brenna on Links: Prospects, Support for A-Rod, Mariano is Love and Who’s in Center?
- Louis Vuitton Outlet Sale Singapore on The Monthly Prospector: April Edition
- Authentic Louis Vuitton Outlet Store on The Monthly Prospector: June Edition
- Louis Vuitton Outlet San Diego on Banuelos to Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Yankees Prospectors to Undergo Grief Counseling
- related web site on The Great Subway Race
- get your lover back on Contact Us
- Dorothy Silvan on Pineda’s Torn Labrum, or Does the lemon law apply to baseball?
- tao of badass on Open Thread | Game 3 | Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees | Sunday, April 3, 2011
- tube launch review on Why Has Attendance Fallen Year-To-Year?
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees