It is no secret the New York Yankees could use some help against left-handed pitching. So far this year the Yankees are 8-3 against lefties but have managed to hit just .222/.295/.359 against left-handed pitchers this season. A couple of weeks ago it was reported that the Yankees were looking for a right-handed bat to potentially replace Ben Francisco who has failed to live up to the tempered expectations.
There are few options available right now on the trade market but several options could become available as teams fall out of contention nearer the trade deadline. One player, however, that could be available right now is 31-year-old outfielder Justin Ruggiano of the Miami Marlins.
So far this season Ruggiano has flashed some pretty decent power hitting six home runs while hitting .236/.314/.462 with 15 RBI and six doubles. He has hit left-handers much better than righties this season posting a .257/.333/.600 line against lefties with three homers while hitting .225/.304/.394 with three home runs against righties. For his career, however, Ruggiano has been slightly better against right-handed pitching but doesn’t show as drastic a split as he has this year. For his career, Ruggiano has a .261/.328/.523 line against southpaws and a .275/.327/.429 line against righties.
Ruggiano would be able to fill the role that Francisco currently holds and wouldn’t be eligible for free agency until 2017 but becomes arbitration eligible in 2014 meaning the Marlins will most likely try to trade him before he is due for a raise.
Acquiring Ruggiano certainly wouldn’t cost the Yankees much in terms of prospects and would probably only cost a mid-level and low-level prospect.
OF course, the Yankees don’t necessarily have to rush into anything. Curtis Granderson could be back soon which would push Vernon Wells into more of a platoon role as a right-handed hitting outfielder. However, Ruggiano would be a definite upgrade over Francisco and the Yankees, devastated by injuries at virtually every position right now, could use the reinforcements.