Yankees: Making the Case for Mike Ford to Play More in 2020


How Mike Ford could play more in 2020 for the Yankees.

Luke Voit has provided the New York Yankees with power and production in his first two years in the Bronx. Barring an injury, the same should happen this season.

If something should happen to Voit, New York could continue the great Miguel Andujar experiment, or even shift DJ LeMahieu to first and keep the Tyler Wade experiment going. But why bother getting so fancy? Mike Ford is on the roster for a reason.

Even though the 2020 season will be a 60-game shortened sprint instead of the 162-game marathon, the bench could still play a key role in whether games are won and lost. And the Yankees have arguably the deepest bench in the league, giving Boone many options for a pinch-hitter or defensive replacement late in games.

As evident in the Yankees’ 2-2 tie with the Philadelphia Phillies Monday night in their final Summer Camp exhibition game at Yankee Stadium, Ford can provide a thump late in the game for the Yankees. He blasted an estimated 680-foot home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game (of course, he busted StatCast on that one, but it went WAY out).

Boone will have plenty of options from the right side of the plate as a late-game pinch-hitter, with the likes of Andujar or Clint Frazier, but the left side is highlighted by Mike Tauchman. That’s where the power bat of Ford’s can come in. If New York needs a lefty late in place of an infielder, Ford’s your puzzle piece.

In 50 games last season, the 27-year-old Ford had 12 home runs and 25 RBI in 143 at-bats. He had a two-home run game in late August against the Seattle Mariners, and then a week later, he blasted a walk-off solo home run off Oakland A’s closer Liam Hendricks in the bottom of the ninth inning, just six pitches after Brett Gardner tied the game with a solo homer.

Not only a pinch-hitter, Ford could also fill the role of designated hitter if Giancarlo Stanton heals up, returning Brett Gardner to the bench. He could also be a spot starter against right-handed pitchers at first base in Voit’s stead. As we have also learned in the last couple of years, Voit is also injury prone, so having Ford as an option is not a bad idea for that either.

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Whatever the situation might be, one thing is for sure: Ford can provide the Yankees with left-handed power off the bench after what he showed last year and Monday night. Who knows? There might even be a spot DH start against a right-handed pitcher, too. The possibilities are there for Ford to see playing time in a shortened season and contribute to the Bombers.

Regardless, he’s certainly happy to be here.