As it stands right now, if the Yankees had a game today, based on who is on their roster, the DH in the line-up would be Andy Phillips, Tony Womack, or Kevin Thompson. Ouch.
Now, some like to say that Jason Giambi should be the Yankees DH next season. But, there’s two problems with that. First, someone has to play 1B if Giambi is the DH – and, right now, that would be Phillips. So, that’s no gain. Secondly, and more importantly, Giambi should not be the Yankees DH next season (or maybe ever?) because of the following statistics:
It’s pretty clear, based on the above, that Giambi does not take well to being a DH.
Now, what about Gary Sheffield? Could he DH? Sure, he could – but, then you need someone to play RF. And, right now, based on the Yankees roster, that would be Tony Womack or Kevin Thompson. Again, no gain.
What about Posada? Could he DH? Yes, and the Yankees would probably like that. But, then, based on the current roster, Wil Nieves would be your starting catcher. So, does that help?
Clearly, the Yankees need to add another player to their team for 2006. It can be a catcher (which allows Posada to DH) or an OF (who would allow Sheffield to DH) or someone who could DH most of the time and maybe spell Giambi and/or Sheffield in the field on occasion.
When I think of this, I start to get those Kevin Millar nightmares again. If Millar is the target, I’d much rather see the Yankees offer Jeff Conine a one-year deal.
Of course, getting Brian Giles to play for the Yankees would solve this problem. But, there’s still a question as to whether or not that can happen.
And, others may like to say this is why Bernie Williams should come back in 2006. But, I think those folks are forgetting that Bernie’s best days are far behind him.
I’m not forgetting that the Yankees have some great offensive players – like A-Rod, Jeter, and Matsui (to go with Giambi and Sheffield). Also, Cano should be OK with the stick. But, that’s just six positions. Posada is declining with the bat and Bubba Crosby (in CF) is not an offensive performer. So, if you go with a sub-par DH, you’re probably spotting the other team 6 to 9 outs per game.
That’s too much. Given the Yankees issues in the bullpen – and their questions in the rotation – New York cannot afford to play just a 6 or 7 inning game at the plate. They’re going to need as many runs as possible.
This is why the Yankees still need one more bat for 2006. I hope that Cashman & Co. know this as well.