The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Beltran injury puts emphasis on every other Yankees outfielder

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on May 17, 2014 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Carlos Beltran

It’s now been a full week since Carlos Beltran last played for the Yankees. He could be back in another week or so — that’s being pretty optimistic — or it could be two months or more before he’s healthy enough to rejoin the lineup. Beltran had terrific the first three weeks of the season, brutal for the next three weeks, and now he’s shut down with an elbow bone spur that could eventually need surgery. Because of some National League games, and because Ichiro Suzuki’s been hurt as well, we have yet to get a perfect sense of how exactly the Yankees might adapt to the Beltran injury. All five outfielders on the roster could be taking on a more important role going forward.

Jacoby Ellsbury ; Brett GardnerBrett Gardner
From the bottom third of the order to the very top of the order. Without Beltran, the Yankees have so far changed their lineup so that Gardner — with his .290 average and .355 on-base percentage — is the new leadoff hitter instead of…

Jacoby Ellsbury
No longer batting leadoff, Ellsbury has so far moved into the pivotal No. 3 spot. That made a lot of sense earlier in the year when Ellsbury was red hot, but his slugging percentage is down to .412 these days. The Yankees could really use some increased power production from someone, maybe from…

Alfonso Soriano
In right field or at designated hitter, Soriano’s primarily value is in his bat; specifically his home run power. Beltran’s power bat is gone, which means a greater need for production from Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann and Soriano. For now, Soriano’s gotten the bulk of the time in right field. But going forward, that role might go to…

Ichiro Suzuki
He’s been out with a back injury, but Ichiro is the most natural right field replacement given his experience and his resurgent production so far this season. He’s hit .364/.397/.436, which an everyday level of production. Beltran’s injury opens a door for more regular at-bats for Ichiro. It might also open platoon chances for…

Zoilo Almonte
He hasn’t jumped into the lineup yet, and it’s hard to imagine him getting much time against lefties, but Almonte was hitting .323/.363/.583 against right-handers in Triple-A. That’s in 96 at-bats. It’s worth noting that he had 76 at-bats against big league right-handers last season and hit .250/.296/.342. Even so, Almonte’s minor league production — this year and in the past — suggest he might be a valuable power source in a platoon role.

Associated Press photo

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