New York Yankees Editorial: Chase Headley’s Defense Failing Yankees


This past offseason, the New York Yankees gave third baseman Chase Headley a four-year, $52 million contract primarily due to his defense.  Headley, who was never committed more than 13 errors in a season, already has 11 errors only 51 games into his first full season as a Yankee.  Headley, a 2012 Gold Glove winner with the San Diego Padres, summed up his defensive woes perfectly, calling them “uncharacteristic”:

"It’s uncharacteristic.  I don’t really have any other explanation other than, it’s never happened to me before and I know I’ll get through it.  It’s frustrating.  It’s not for a lack of effort or attention to detail."

Not only does Headley lead the Yankees in errors, his 11 errors are also tied for the third most in the MLB.  Headley’s .923 fielding percentage ranks second lowest among qualified non-pitchers.

His 11th error was a crucial one, coming in Friday night’s 6-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics.  With two men on base, Headley saw a ball through his legs, and instead of a double play, the inning was extended, and the Athletics plated four runs, jumping out to an early 4-0 lead.

More from Yankees News

Yankees manager Joe Girardi called the miscue significant, but admitted he has no explanation for his starting third baseman’s defensive failures:

"It possibly changes the way you use the bullpen, it changes a lot of different things.  The extra out hurt us.  It’s hard to say [what is causing the struggles].  We saw him play great defense for us last year and he’s struggled some."

While the Yankees were concerned with Headley’s back and his bat before resigning him, he has remained healthy, and his bat hasn’t been half-bad.  After Spring Training which saw him play 115 perfect innings in the field, Headley’s defensive troubles are perplexing:

"I probably wish I would have.  It’s one of those things, but it’s just baseball.  That’s not an excuse.  You’ve got to correct the problems, but sometimes things don’t go that way."

It’s hard to envision the pace Headley is committing errors at continuing throughout the season, but the Yankees have to hope that his issues will work themselves out sooner rather than later.

Next: Yankees Editorials: More milestones coming soon for Alex Rodriguez

More from Yanks Go Yard