• Time For A Perma-Wheel Play In Yanks Infield?

    Posted by on October 30th, 2008 · Comments (9)

    Not sure if you’ve noticed this or not, but, in the Fielding Bible 2008 Plus/Minus Leaders and Trailers, Robinson Cano was the worst fielding 2B in baseball last season. And, Jason Giambi and Bobby Abreu were the next to worst fielding 1B and RF, respectively, in the game as well. And, for what it’s worth, Derek Jeter (what a shock!) was among the worst in the bigs, with the leather, at SS (last year).

    On the bright-side, Giambi and Abreu should be gone from Yankeeland next year. And, hopefully, their replacements will be better defensive players. However, as of now, the Yankees keystone combo in 2009 still appears to be Cano and Jeter.

    Has a team ever won a championship with two terrible defenders up the middle of the infield?

    Makes me wonder: Does it make sense to move A-Rod to first base (in 2009) – selling it that he can be like his idol, Keith Hernandez – where he should be a Gold Glover; and, then, moving either Cano or Jeter to 3B and picking up a replacement middle-infielder who can provide world-class defense?

    Or, is that just thinking that’s too radical for the Yankees to ever consider?

    Comments on Time For A Perma-Wheel Play In Yanks Infield?

    1. Pat F
      October 30th, 2008 | 5:47 pm

      cano is a weird case because according to zone rating/range factor, he was amongst the top defensive 2B’s in baseball in 07. and he looked every bit of it. this year he looked terrible, so i absolutely believe he was low ranking. i wonder where this came from? at least we know it has it in him, and hopefully he turns it around in 08.

      although i’m sure jeter was still low ranking, he was definitely improved. i know at the all-star break he was a +2 vorp defensively, and if he can combine that passable defense with a bounceback offensive year, he’s can still be very productive at the position.

      at some point, the yankees are going to need to get creative with SS (and maybe even 2B). i just don’t know if it will be in 2009, at least i hope not. a lot of it depends on cano bouncing back generally, and jeter combining this year’s defense with better offense.

    2. AndrewYF
      October 30th, 2008 | 5:54 pm

      Cano was actually near the top of defensive rankings through about July. Then, he was absolutely atrocious for a six-week stretch, which left him at the bottom.

      2009 will (obviously) be very telling as to whether or not this year was a fluke for Cano, or some kind of horrible cliff he suddenly fell off of, onto spiky rocks.

      Meanwhile, Utley posted a +47. Absolutely insane.

    3. OldYanksFan
      October 30th, 2008 | 7:06 pm

      We all know Cano CAN play an excellent 2nd base. The question is: can he play an excellent 2nd base and chew gum at the same time?

    4. Raf
      October 30th, 2008 | 7:46 pm

      Or, is that just thinking that’s too radical for the Yankees to ever consider?
      Yes, it is. Jeter won’t move off SS until he’s good and ready, and I don’t know if I’m ready to give up on Cano as a 2b.

    5. YankeeBaseball
      October 30th, 2008 | 8:56 pm

      I’d be willing to TRADE Cano if Yanks got back a young top flight pitcher (Peavy-like) or a young excellent position player that fills a need (like Adrian Gonzalez). But before we trade Cano, have a deal in place to sign Orlando Hudson to man second and announce the trade and signing simultaneously.

    6. thenewguy
      October 30th, 2008 | 8:57 pm

      Your suggestion should really be about moving Jeter to first, leaving A-Rod at 3rd, and Cano and 2nd, and getting someone else to play SS. That will never happen because of Jeter. But of course he is the ultimate ‘team player.’ A ‘True Yankee.’ Pathetic. Too arrogrant and selfish to simply move positions.

    7. ChrisXS
      October 31st, 2008 | 1:00 am

      Move Alex to short, Jeter to 1B or 3B, and get Garret Atkins.

    8. October 31st, 2008 | 8:19 am

      i kind of had the feeling ARod’s next move, considering the Yankees long-term need for a 1B, could be to slide him across the diamond.

      i dont see it happening… but its not a bad idea.

      there was thought that if ARod left last offseason, Cano was a logical candidate to go to 3B, too, although he himself was hesitant to change positions.

      i guess my point is these moves make a whole lot of sense, and the potential for tremendous change on this roster is greater i think than most realize, if Cashman REALLY wants to get creative.

      but i dont see it happening, and i dont think you HAVE to get that creative to make this team the best potentially in the AL East going into 2009.

    9. EdB
      October 31st, 2008 | 11:35 am

      (egos aside) Maybe you move ARod to 1st, Jeter to 3rd and Cano back to SS. If he has had plus zone rating at 2B and we know he has an above average arm, sounds like a SS (which he played in the minors). It can’t be hard to find an above avg 2B and judging from recent performance (Soriano, Cano) the Yankees seem to do a decent job finding these guys.

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