After a stint on the DL, 2 rehab games and an ELECTRIC bat flip, Alex Rodriguez will be back in the Yankees lineup today in The Bronx. While a healthy Alex can be a great addition to the lineup there’s considerable concern that with the team playing so well, adding him to the equation may throw things off. Carlos Beltran has benefited the most with A-Rod gone, batting .322 with six homers and 19 RBI in 15 games as the DH. Beltran enjoys playing the field but it’s clear that at his advanced age and with his knee problems, he’s a defensively liability and comfortable in the DH role. Unfortunately, Beltran can’t stay in that spot because not only is A-Rod healthy, but The Yankees need A-Rod.
After starting off strong last year it’s been all down hill for Alex since August 1 of last year. Comparing the 2 time periods, Alex had an OPS of .930 to start the season with 24 home runs at the beginning of the year, but from Aug. 1 on, he only had a .678 OPS with 9 homers in 56 games. Add in an increased strikeout rate and it is easy to see that time caught up with him in 2015. The start of 2016 hasn’t been great either, but in his last 7 games before his injury Rodriguez hit .304 with 3 home runs while looking comfortable at the plate for the first time in a while. If Alex can find a way to keep that momentum going, he can contribute in ways that the Yankees need.
With Tex missing time due to a neck injury and overall looking lost since the first week of the season, we need another consistent bat in the lineup. It’s too early to make a move, our AAA guys aren’t ready and we’ve got one of the greatest hitters of all time coming back from the DL so for right now Rodriguez is all we have. Will Alex come back and hit 35 home runs and bat .300 through the rest of the season? Probably not, but if he can find ways to get on base and drive in some runs in big spots there’s a role for him on this team because there are still big holes to fill.