Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees Forgotten Option At Second Base


If there’s one thing the New York Yankees learned in 2013, it’s that they better be ready for the unexpected.

It would sure be nice if the fortunes reversed this year and everything went right. But just in case it doesn’t, just where could the Yankees focus as they prepare a Plan B?

In the infield Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira hopefully can bounce back from their injuries. But what if either or both of them have challenges? Where would the offense come from at the infield positions?

The answer could come from a familiar position, second base. But who on the Yankees roster could possibly match the numbers that we have become a custom to there?

The answer is Alfonso Soriano. I can hear the grumbling already. Soriano’s too old. It has been too long since he has played there consistently.

Well, let’s take these one at a time. He covered left field surprisingly well last season. He also had 32 doubles overall and 18 stolen bases, so his mobility certainly isn’t gone.

The last time Soriano played second base regularly was in 2005 for Texas. In 153 games he had a fielding percentage of .972. His career average at second base is .971, very close to his .973 in left field. So from that standpoint, there is not much difference in his performance.

Of course, fielding percentage isn’t everything, but if the Yankees are struggling for offense from the infield at any point, Soriano could provide a spark.

And this is precisely the time for them to find out if he is a viable option. They could give him plenty of action there during spring training to see what they get.

If it works, this would open the door for Brett Gardner in left.  Gardner certainly gives them the defense, and with Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran in the outfield, there still should be plenty of offensive production out there.

And Gardner has shown that he can make things happen when he gets on base. So this move could wind up igniting the offense in two different ways, if necessary.

Nobody likes to have to resort to Plan B. But after what the Yankees went through last year, they better have one.

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Tags: Alfonso Soriano Brett Gardner Derek Jeter New York Yankees News

  • roy

    Dan, I have been watching the Yankees since 1960. Soriano was the worst 2B that I ever seen in 53 years. The exception being when Chuck Knoblauch, who had been a very reliable 2B, developed the yips which ended his career at 2B. Soriano was terrible and that was when he was young and more athletic. He never had the legs for 2B. He could not make the DP. He had no range. He was not able to get low on ground balls. I am sure that ground balls would whiz by him. Soriano said that when he sometimes goes out to 2B on pregame warmups, the ball seems to get up to 2B very fast.

    I do, however, see the sense of using him at 1B when Teixeira needs a few days off. The Yankees have four OF who should be in the game every day: Gardner, Ellsbury, Beltran and Soriano. Soriano and Beltran will DH from time to time. If Jeter and on less frequent occasions, Teixeira need be used as DHs, then Soriano would be useful at that position.

  • David Clark

    Where is Andy Stankiewicz when you need him?!

  • Jenffrj

    Has anyone contacted Horace Clarke yet?

    • Dan Dechenaux

      Thanks for reading everyone!

  • Jim Harper

    Dan, you certainly make some interesting points and they make a lot of sense. I have two concerns with it. First playing 2nd base is far more physical than LF. At his advanced age will his body hold up. Secondly I would like to know Soriano’s feelings on going back to 2nd. He may no longer be comfortable back there.