Monday, March 25, 2013

Riding the Bench

The Yankees' bench is more of a question entering Opening Day than it has been for the previous two years. There are clearly holes on the Yankees bench and there are a number of ways to go about playing men off the bench.

Eduardo Nunez has been named the Yankees Opening Day shortstop in place of Jeter, who is still feeling discomfort in his ankle. This takes care of that position, and the Yankees will likely carry Jayson Nix to play the utility role throughout the middle infield.
With Kevin Youkilis as the Yankees everyday third baseman, the Yankees have given a long look to Ronnier Mustelier who has opened eyes this spring. The Cuban defector has hit for power, and played a stellar third base, so there is a good chance the Yankees will carry Mustelier on the bench to start the season.

Juan Rivera is almost a lock to become the Yankees first baseman, with Teixeira out and Dan Johnson showing no signs that he can hit. Rivera is a natural outfielder, but is learning first base in case he is called upon to play the position in the regular season.

The outfield is an interesting point of discussion. With the Yankees acquisition of Vernon Wells, all three outfield spots are spoken for until Granderson recovers from his forearm injury. The Yankees outfield, which has been lacking power, should get a boost when Wells comes over to play left field. Wells will be the starter against left handed pitching, and after Granderson returns, Wells can serve as a good compliment to Brett Gardner. I believe that Gardner has the ability to be an everyday outfielder with his glove alone, however Girardi does not trust Gardner against certain lefties. Just trying to play along to what the manager will do when the regular season bell rings.

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