Monday, June 10, 2013

The End Appears Nigh For Kevin Youkilis

(Pictured: Injury risk.  Courtesy of the AP)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

Kevin Youkilis was out of the lineup again yesterday, for the same reason he's been out of the lineup for every game he's missed this season: his back.  Youkilis strained it diving for a ball at first base in Saturday's game and was held out yesterday by Joe after reportedly feeling stiffness "stiffness" in the back.  He'll get an extra day of scheduled rest today with the off-day, and Joe certainly sounded like he was going to play him on Tuesday.  But with the continued back problems limiting Youkilis' playing time and severely hindering his production, it's almost time to ask if he's done.

On Overbay's Role

The Yankees managed to pull out another squeaker yesterday, scratching a run across in the top of the 9th to beat Seattle and keep their "close game" record going strong.  Those of you who watched the game, particularly the final 2 innings, were probably left wondering if the game would have been that close late were it not a few questionable non-pinch hit moves by Joe late.  With 2 outs and a runner on 2nd, Joe let Vernon Wells hit against a righty, which led to an inning-ending groundout, and in the 9th he let both Reid Brignac and Chris Stewart hit with a RISP.

In both of these instances, Joe had Lyle Overbay ready and waiting on the bench and chose not to use him.  Overbay spent the majority of this weekend series glued to the bench after moonlighting as a right fielder against Cleveland earlier in the week.  Removing him from the outfield was the right move, but if Joe isn't going to use him as a lefty pinch hitter in obvious situations like yesterday then what the hell is Overbay on the roster for?

Jayson Nix: The Most Important Replacement-Level Player Around

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

Almost as if to troll the growing group of writers and fans out there who keep wondering what he sees in Jayson Nix, Joe had him out there again last night starting at third base and batting 7th.  This came a day after he started Nix at shortstop and batted him second.  The constant usage of Nix in spots better suited for better players is starting to become a bit of a running joke in Yankeeland, as Joe's preference for a guy he constantly tags with the "just a ballplayer," "just knows how to play" label continues to defy logic or any kind of statistical analysis.  Naturally Nix came up with 3 hits, 2 RBI, and 2 SB in those 2 games - both Yankee victories - and so continues one of the stranger replacement-level seasons in recent memory.

Who's Going For A New Contract Here?

Brett Gardner's Last 10 Games: 14-34, 5 2B, 1 HR, 5 R, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K

Robinson Cano's Last 10 Games: 4-33, 1 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, 5 BB, 8 K

Real tough go for Robbie right now.  He's swinging a lot, missing a lot, and his batting average has fallen below Chris Stewart's.  No matter how much weight, if any, you put into batting average, that's not a good comparison.  At least he's matched Gardner in SB over the last 10 games (1 to 1).

Good work, Brett.  Keep it up.  The middle of the order will show up to help you eventually.  Maybe.

(Nice dome too, bro.  Courtesy of the AP)