Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Youkilis Hoping To Return Soon

Kevin Youkilis, the man who was supposed to replace Alex Rodriguez at third base, is hopeful to make it back before the season’s end. But do the Yankees already have enough players who are trying to get enough at bats to be effective again?

Youkilis had herniated disc surgery on June 20. He was told by Dr. Robert Watkins, that the quickest return he could expect is twelve weeks. The schedule calls for him to start lifting a bat in the next week or so.

“You hope that you can get everything right,” Youkilis said. “The thing about the back is there’s no timetable. The surgery that’s done on it, it’s different for everybody in different ways. Guys can come back.”

So, Yankees fans who may have had a bad back or back surgery, what are your thoughts on his return? Of course, the Yankees need all of the offense that they can get at this point. But is it worth rushing a guy to get it?

In my view, it is not. A player’s health should always come first. It is not worth taking a chance to leave him with a serious life-long back problem. Remember, Youkilis only signed a one-year deal with the Yankees. So what if something happened that ended his playing career? Is that fair to him?

And the Yankees already have Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez who are trying to get enough at bats to return to peak levels. Plus, Alfonso Soriano is facing pitchers right now that he hasn’t seen often in his career. That’s enough in one lineup.

Besides, although he had a hot period, the overall numbers this season for Youkilis were not great. He hit .219 with two homers and eight RBI. Of, course, the decline in his numbers mostly came after his back pain accelerated.

It is admirable that he wants to return. Fortunately, he is allowing the medical advice to dictate his progress.

“I hope I’d be one of the quickest,” he said. You’ve also got to know what your body is saying and doing. We hope that we can come back and play this year at some point, but you’ve also got to go through the progressions first. That’s what I’m doing, going off their evaluations.”

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Tags: Alex Rodriguez Alfonso Soriano Curtis Granderson Kevin Youkilis

  • Jimmy Kraft

    I was really hoping Youkilis would rake this season and shut some of the naysayers up, but he’s done everything but prove them wrong. Even in 119 PAs, he wasn’t setting the world on fire, only hitting .219/.305/.343 (78 wRC+) with two home runs. What a waste of a $12 million contract. Hindsight is 20/20, but I think we all said at the time that that money would have been better served going toward retaining Russell Martin…

    • ikkf

      I think the potential in Youk was worth the risk because there wasn’t anyone in the system to play third. I’m actually hoping they re-sign him at a discount for next year because he’s still good when healthy. I really think Martin’s production is pretty flat overall in spite of his 20 homers, and I wanted to see Romine at least get a chance to prove himself.

      • Jimmy Kraft

        Backs are fickle beasts and very difficult to come back from. I couldn’t justify paying him, even at a discounted price, to come back next year.

        Romine — who has also had his share of back issues — deserves more of a look. He’s starting to come around with the bat, which is encouraging. Stewart is above average defensively, and that has value, but he’s not the answer even in the short term, IMO.