Well, it looks like we’ve got ourselves into a regular Wally Pip situation. Last Friday, first baseman Mark Teixeira was removed from the game against the Toronto Blue Jays with a strained hamstring. Teixeira’s injury caused third baseman Kelly Johnson to shift to first and rookie Yangervis Solarte to take over at third base. The result has been the talk of the Yankees world as Solarte has been on an absolute tear since becoming an everyday player. Teixeira was moved to the 15-day disabled list and yesterday it was revealed that his injury is minor and he’ll likely only miss the minimum of 15 days. So when Tex returns from the DL, he’ll return to his spot as the starting first baseman and send Kelly Johnson back to third.
But what about the Yangy Clipper? How can you just take him out of the lineup? Luckily they won’t have to. Due to an unstable infield, the Yankees can now use Solarte in a revolving door role. The team’s second baseman, Brian Roberts, could use days off here and there and Joe Girardi can easily pencil Solarte in at second. Derek Jeter could benefit from some days off the field and Solarte could suffice as a fill-in. Joe Girardi could find that starting the switch-hitting Solarte over the left-handed hitting Kelly Johnson is more effective against left-handed pitching. Obviously the Yankees have options and Solarte could allow for the Yankees’ lineup to avoid the normal fatigue and wear and tear of the cookie cutter lineup. Throw in the rest of the bench that includes future Hall of Famer, Ichiro Suzuki, a versatile backup infielder in Dean Anna, and an above average backup catcher named Fransisco Cervelli and the Bombers could configure their lineup enough to keep the team fresh and still compete on a daily basis.
Solarte has been clutch for the New York Yankees and it has not gone unnoticed. Shortly after the Yankees’ win against the Orioles the team traded Solarte’s predecessor, Eduardo Nunez, to the Minnesota Twins which officially brought an end to the Nunez Era and proclaimed Solarte as “the guy.” He’s certainly stepped up to the challenge and he certainly is a different breed of youngster. He’s calm and humble and eager to prove that his 9-year minor league career is over for good. When Mark Teixeira returns, the Yankees will certainly do everything in their power to keep the Yangy Clipper in the lineup. Boy do us fans want to see him there.