Perhaps the title of this piece is misleading. I want to talk about something left and something right relating to the Yankee outfield, but it has to do with batting, not fielding. First, let’s talk about the “left” side of this equation: Raul Ibanez.
The Yankees have had preliminary discussions about bringing Voldemort back for another go ’round in pinstripes. As Mike pointed out in the River Ave. blurb, Ibanez hit to a 102 wRC+ this season, including a 115 mark against right handers, which is whom he’d primarily be used against. Due to Brett Gardner‘s injury, Ibanez had to play an inordinate amount of games in the field and that could have negatively affected his (still decent) production in 2012. My gut reaction with him (as it would be with most of his ilk) is that it’s better to let him go a year early, rather than a year late. However, if his deployment is limited, like Mike pointed out, to only DHing against right handed pitchers, Ibanez and the Yankees could be set up for mutual success. If the Yankees want to bring Ibanez back, it should be with the intention (and execution) of giving him the 2009 Hideki Matsui treatment: NO PLAYING THE FIELD.
Now let’s move on to the right side of things. Andruw Jones‘s days in the Bronx are likely numbered after his poor second half performance. That saddens me ’cause I’ve always liked Jones and his smiley countenance is always a nice reminder that this is just a game. There aren’t many candidates to replace him, but I think I’ve found someone interesting. Here are his numbers (PA followed by wOBA/wRC+) against lefties over the last few years:
2012: 106, .256/59
2011: 134, .398/157
2010: 81, .335/108
2009: 154, .416/149
As we can see, though, health has been an issue for this player. He’s been sidelined quite a bit lately and despite his best efforts, he just can’t seem to get his health or performance right. Obviously, the 2012 numbers against lefties are just putrid, but I don’t think that’s indicative of this player’s talent. Of course, the plate is only part of the equation; this guy will need to play the field at some point and he’s not all that great. The best part of this player is that he is not likely to cost a whole lot, though he shouldn’t be guaranteed a roster spot given his health and performance over the last two years. If you haven’t guessed yet, the player I’m talking about is Jason Bay. He probably needs to get the hell out of New York and never look back, but if put in a low-pressure situation–one that sets him up for success–maybe he could reclaim some of what he’s lost in the last few years with the Mets. Give him the 2010 Marcus Thames treatment with an invite to Spring Training and go from there.
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