The majority of New York Yankees fans and mostly everyone in the front office is hoping that beleaguered superstar Alex Rodriguez does not come back so that the organization can collect on insurance money. If he goes away due to his supposed ties with Biogenesis, possibly have his gargantuan 10-year, $275 million contract voided.
However, in the smaller picture, where the 2013 Yankees are still trying to achieve their never-ending goal of winning a World Series, Yankees supporters have to ask whether they’d have the washed-up version of A-Rod hitting fifth or Thomas Neal. Neal hit fifth in both games of the day-night doubleheader against the Los Angeles Dodgers, another example of the desperation the Yankees have felt due to significant injuries to key players.
The chances that A-Rod, assuming Major League Baseball does not suspend him, has a successful return to the lineup are incredibly slim. He is 38-years-old and coming off his second major hip surgery in four years. Although, the Yankees did learn that Kevin Youkilis, who was signed to be A-Rod’s temporary replacement this season, will be out at least 10-12 weeks with a herniated disk in his back, putting the rest of his season in jeopardy. Plus, Mark Teixeira has landed back on the DL after reaggravating the same wrist injury that put him out the first two months of the year. Of course, Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson are still nowhere to be seen.
A-Rod’s .783 OPS of 2012 looks terrible against his gaudy career numbers, but it would be an uplifting for this lineup, which ranks in the bottom 10 in every major offensive category in all of baseball. He still put up above-average numbers relative to other third basemen (.272 BA, 18 HR, 57 RBI). There are too many sub-.300 on-base percentages and sub-.400 slugging percentages on a Yankees team that has managed to stay afloat despite being ravaged by the injury bug but is struggling to score runs of late. Not getting on base and not getting extra-base hits is not a good formula for offensive success. A-Rod can still help in that department.
The scoop is that A-Rod’s rehab is going very well, as he is driving the ball and moving well. Obviously, he has reached the point where most Yankees fans have lost trust in him and furthermore are disgusted by his appearance. It’s also obvious that he will never be the three-time MVP he used to be. But, whatever he has left is better than what the team is sending up in his place.