Both Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman were quick to say yesterday that Eric Hinske can play first base, third base, right field and left field.
They are correct in the sense that he has played those positions in the past. But as far as third base goes, he should not.
Hinske has played 68 innings at third base since the start of the 2007 season, making two starts for the Pirates this season and four for the Rays last season. Based on the metrics, it is by far his weakest position. Most of his time at third base came early in his career.
Said one exec to Joel Sherman for his blog:: “If the Yanks think he can play third base one time a week for A-Rod, they are crazy. He stinks there.”
That’s pretty blunt. Probably pretty accurate, too.
Hinske is a passable corner outfielder. Having him fill in at one of those spots on occasion and take some pokes at that right-field wall is not a terrible idea. It might even be a good idea once in a while.
All that said, it’s nearly a mortal lock that Hinske starts at third on Tuesday in Minnesota when A-Rod gets a day off, assuming they actually give him a day off.