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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Video: The Yankees complicated search for a first baseman

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Mar 08, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

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The video above is of Joe Girardi discussing his first base situation. Truth is, it’s fairly complicated. It’s not as simple as losing one player and replacing him with another. There’s more to it than simply choosing the second-best option. There are a lot of players involved, beginning with…

Mark Teixeira, who was hurt on Tuesday and won’t be ready to open the season. But the Yankees expect him back this season — possibly early in the season — which makes the team hesitant to spend significant money or prospects to acquire an impact replacement. And the Yankees can’t simply turn to his backup, because that’s supposed to be…

Kevin Youkilis, who already has a regular job at third base. Girardi intended to use Youkilis at first base from time to time to give Teixeira a few days off, but Youkilis can not easily move to first base because the Yankees don’t have…

Alex Rodriguez, who had hip surgery and won’t be ready to play third base until roughly the All-Star break. If Rodriguez and Youkilis were both on the team, Youkilis could slide to first base with no problem. As it is, Youkilis moving to first would create a hole at third, and the Yankees aren’t willing to fill a third-base hole with…

Eduardo Nunez, whose defensive inconsistency has been a problem. For now, the Yankees want Nunez to stay at shortstop, and they might have a fairly regular job for him there. At the very least it seems he could play regularly against left-handers, and the Yankees might need Nunez to play even more than that depending on…

Derek Jeter, who had a checkup with his ankle surgeon yesterday and seems to be getting closer to playing in an actual game. The Yankees have said Jeter is making good progress in his recovery, but he’s not yet a sure thing. And if the Yankees have to fill significant playing time at shortstop, their only alternatives are Nunez and…

Jayson Nix, who is the most reliable utility infielder on the roster. If the Yankees did decide to put Youkilis at first base, Nix might be the most obvious in-house alternative at third. Unless, of course, the Yankees believe in the glove of…

Ronnier Mustelier, who played third base yesterday and has played a lot of third base in the minor leagues and in Cuba. He has a legitimate bat, but he has no big league experience and a less-than-wonderful defensive reputation. He’s probably the most big-league-ready third base prospect in the system because of the ongoing injury problems for…

David Adams, who might have put himself in the mix at third — and opened Youkilis to move to first — if he hadn’t hurt his back. He spent all of his time in big league camp getting treatment and has already been reassigned to the minor league complex. In theory, that opened more of an opportunity for…

Corbin Joseph, who had good Triple-A numbers last year and has been playing a lot of third base this spring. But Joseph has also struggled these past few weeks — both offensively and defensively — which hasn’t done much to boost his chances. Instead, the left-handed infielder with the best chance to make the roster might be…

Dan Johnson, who came into camp needing to prove himself at third base and now has an chance to win a spot at his more natural first base position. Johnson has plenty of big league experience, which Girardi obviously likes. Question is, will he show enough offense this spring to win Girardi’s full confidence? It’s also worth wondering whether he might platoon with…

Juan Rivera, who’s a right-handed veteran and played a lot of first base with the Dodgers last year. He came into camp trying to win a platoon job in the outfield, but might now see more time at first base. And if Rivera is going to shift to first, that might open the way for…

Matt Diaz, who is another veteran right-handed outfielder trying to win a bench spot. Unlike Rivera, Diaz has almost no experience at first base and is not being considered for the Teixeira opening. But if Rivera does make the team as a first baseman, Diaz could slide into the right-handed outfield job without much of a fight. He could be affected by the infield decision without even being an infielder. Which is more than we can say for…

Travis Hafner, who has played 72 big league games at first base but is no longer considered even an emergency defensive option. He’s strictly a bat, so he can’t do what Raul Ibanez did last season and slide from DH to the field to fill an unexpected hole. And that’s certainly what the Yankees have because of…

Mark Teixeira, whose wrist injury created this complicated picture in the first place.

Mobile users can click here to view the video:
www.lohud.com/videonetwork/2209753451001.

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