Mark Teixeira‘s been on the disabled list since four games into the season with a Grade I strain of his right hamstring (stringed hams for those of you from Albany). Fortunately, he looks like he’s ready to rejoin the team for the series finale Sunday against the Rays. Someone’s gonna have to go… Who is it going to be?
We know that one of Dean Anna, Yangervis Solarte or Scott Sizemore will probably be the one to go. I would say that maybe Vidal Nuño would be a candidate to get set down (if the Yankees wanted to only carry 11 pitchers), but he’s probably going to have to start Sunday against the Rays because of the doubleheader the Yankees had to play against the Cubs; So Nuño most likely stays, or gets replaced by another pitcher. The unfortunate part about this is that all three guys have shown that they can play at the major league level.
Anna has played brilliantly in the field when asked to give Derek Jeter and his old legs a respite. He hasn’t hit very much (.158/.190/.368 with 1 homer and 2 RBI), but he hasn’t looked lost at the plate either. Because of Jeter’s recent quad problems, Anna is a great asset to have on the roster, especially with Brendan Ryan hurt. Anna’s glove will be missed most of all if he’s the one chosen to be sent down.
Sizemore, meanwhile, was signed this spring as competition for Eduardo Nuñez, but neither guy ended up making the team. I think Sizemore has the most upside of any of these guys, as he was a very promising prospect before consecutive knee injuries (#KneeProblems) sidelined him for the better part of the last two years. He was still recovering in Spring Training and didn’t get into too many games, or he might have made the team from the get go. When you put that together with the strong showing he had against the Cubs, the Yankees might have a diamond in the rough with Sizemore. He also has an opt out clause in his contract in May, so the Yankees might want to keep him around to see what he can do.
Finally, we get to our boy Yangervis. There wasn’t a better story on this team than Solarte’s emergence this spring and his bat throughout the first week of the season. He’s cooled down a bit, but he’s still hitting .348/.434/.478 and has shown a lot of patience at the plate too (6 walks). He’s also a switch hitter, and can play all around the infield, which is useful. No one expected any of this from Solarte, but sometimes you have to ride the hot hand. Solarte has earned himself a longer look by stepping up when Tex got hurt in the first place and raking for the better part of the last month and a half.
Unfortunately, for right now, it looks like Anna might be the one to go. The Yankees would lack a true backup shortstop without him, but Sizemore could be a long term answer at second or third base, and Solarte has been swinging the bat way too well. I’m fairly certain someone else will get hurt (or Solarte will fully cool off) and we’ll see Anna again sooner rather than later, but I think he’ll be the odd man out come Sunday.
Featured image courtesy of: Ron Antonelli/New York Daily News
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