Lyle Overbay is an official member of the New York Yankees’ Opening Day roster after an intense three-day tryout. This is certainly a smart move by Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, as Overbay should be able to help New York significantly until Mark Teixeira returns from the disabled list.
The Boston Red Sox released Overbay on Tuesday after being buried on the depth chart. The Yankees decided to give Overbay a chance out of necessity. With Teixeira out until at least the middle part of May with a torn tendon in his wrist, the team needed someone who can handle the position while also bring something to the team offensively.
Juan Rivera was the favorite to take over for Teixeira, but his release on Thursday gave Overbay all the confidence he needed that he was going to be a member of the Yankees. To say Overbay was relieved about the news is an understatement, especially since his 2013 season was very much in doubt after being released by the Red Sox.
“It’s definitely a little load off the shoulders,” the 36-year old told the New York Daily News.
Overbay went 3-for-12 with one RBI and one double for New York over the past four games. However, his proven talent and outstanding defensive work at first base gave Cashman confidence that he was the man for the job.
The 12-year veteran must now work hard to prove that Cashman was correct in giving him the starting role. Overbay also understands that he will be constantly fighting for a spot on the 25-man roster from now until Teixeira returns. There is certainly no guarantee he will be on the squad when that day comes, especially if he cannot improve on his numbers from Spring Training.
“Obviously, if he’s healthy, that’s his job,” Overbay said, according to the New York Daily News. “But hopefully I can coexist somewhere or something. That’s a long way from here and now, so I’ll worry about Monday.”
The left-handed batter has posted a .270 batting average with 133 home runs and 581 RBI in 4,399 career at-bats.