I know that’s an unpopular opinion, but it’s how I feel. I liked Eric Chavez last year, as I’m sure many of you did, but I don’t think he’s the right player for the back up third baseman’s job. At his face, yeah, sure. He can hit right handed pitching (kind of) and is still good enough with the glove, but the most important thing about being a back up is health, and Chavez just can’t stay healthy to save his life.
Let’s review. Chavez started out fine for the Yankees last year. He put up a modest .339 wOBA in April (109 wRC+). But then he got hurt in early May and missed all but two days that month, missed all of June, and missed most of July. In July, August, and September, he wOBA’d/wRC+’d .224/30; .305/86; .258/45 in 136 PA. It’d be one thing if Chavez produced a lot while he was healthy, but he didn’t. Now, maybe I’m being a bit hard on him because those PAs came post-injury and he was hitting well in his pre-injury PAs. But, at this point (hell, at any point) Chavez just cannot be relied upon to stay healthy. For the money he’ll cost, he made $1.5M last year, so you’ve gotta figure he’ll want at least $2M this year, he’ll miss too much time to be worth the money. As much as I don’t like them as players for one reason or another, it’s probably a better use of money to roll with Eduardo Nunez and Ramiro Pena since they’re probably a better bet to stay healthy.
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