After a disappointing two and a half years in pinstripes, Chase Headley has not lived up to expectations. A dismal start to Spring Training indicates only worse to come for the aging third baseman, who should not be in the lineup for the New York Yankees.
Third basemen are expected to have lighting quick reactions and be able to drive in runs. Along with first basemen, third basemen are often looked at as one of the bigger power bats a lineup possesses. In 2016, nine third basemen hit more than 30 home runs, and 11 drove in more than 90 runners. The Yankees Chase Headley hit a measly 14 long balls and drove 51 runners in across 140 games. Those are not the numbers you want to see out of
Those are not the numbers you want to see out of any regular starter, let alone a guy who is supposed to be a catalyst for RBI — something the Yankees struggled to do in 2016.
After a breakout season with the Padres in 2012, which saw Headley slug 31 home runs and drive in 115 RBI — almost earning him the National League MVP, Headley has fallen back to Earth in a big way.
2012 was thought to be a breakout season for the then 28-year-old, but as his career has progressed, looks more and more like a fluke. Headley has only hit 51 home runs and drove in 212 runs in the four years since his magical year.
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The Yankees have been weak at third base ever since Alex Rodriguez became the full-time Designated Hitter. While Chase Headley has taken the majority of reps and at-bats since A-Rod vacated the spot, following another slow start to Spring Training, how much more disappointment can Joe Girardi and the Yankees tolerate?
The lack of production coming from Headley is almost like a wasted spot in the batting order. I mean, he’s hitting an agonizing .176/.167/.235 through seven games with two RBI and one extra-base hit. Come on!
Now it is only Spring Training and the games don’t really matter, but the spring is a time where spots can be earned and lost. While Headley’s spot is, for the most part, safe, he still could be in trouble if his bad play carries over into the regular season.
The Yankees have a number of options at the Major League level that could swoop in and take claim of the hot corner. Starlin Castro could be moved over there, or Ronald Torreyes — Headley’s backup could sneak in there.
The move of Castro to third is more likely than Torreyes taking over as long as the Yanks still have Refsnyder on the roster. Torreyes was a solid utility bat off the bench last year, and Girardi is likely to play him the same was in 2017. But Chase Headley should be on a short leash,
Chase Headley should be on a short leash, otherwise, the Yankees third baseman will disappoint again, leaving too many missed opportunities and runners left on base. It’s simple, the more runners left on, the more losses for the Yankees.