They’ve always said that to be a good writer, you have to write every single day. Well, how am I supposed to do that when the Yankees are all sitting on their couches, cheering on the underdog story of the Royals?
I can try at least. And that’s how I came up with this. As the off-season lingers on, I’m going to profile several players on the squad and determine the ultimate decision based on numbers, attitude and presence on the field: should the Yankees keep him or give him the boot?
They already let go of Kevin Long for the startling lack of offense the Yankees provided this past season, but let’s look first and foremost at Chase Headley.
With the exciting (?) return of A-Rod in the 2015 season from his lengthy suspension, there are questions circulating about who will find their home in the hot corner. With Headley being an option picked up later in the season, it would seem he would be the first to go.
While is offensive stats weren’t particularly impressive this year, nobody seemed to show promise at the plate on the whole team anyway. The 30year-old infielder ended the season with a .243 batting average, clubbing 13 home runs and bringing in 49 RBIs. While not overly impressive, since his June 22 arrival from a trade with the Padres (which meant getting rid of Solarte WHICH I’m still upset about), Headley posted a .262 batting average. Although it was only 58 games, Headley still did better than the majority of the lineup of pinstripes.
But what impressed me the most about Headley’s 58 game stint in 2014 with the Yanks was his glove. His defensive skills kept the team close in several games nearing the end of the season. A laser shot down the third base line? You just knew Headley was going to stop it and fire it accurately to Tex, or whoever decided to join the constant carousel of first basemen at the time. Line drives? Caught. Anything that ventured towards third base, Headley got it.
So, maybe not much offensive support from Headley, but he got his hits when he needed them. His first game in the Bronx = walk-off single. As any Yankee fan knows, that might have just been his “Yankee moment.”
His attitude in the clubhouse wasn’t as bubbly as Nick Swisher (may he rest in peace…with the Indians in non-playoff purgatory), but he showed a fire and intensity…and took that fastball to the chin like a true champ.
So in conclusion…Headley is 30, a solid third baseman and a clutch hitter. Plus, it gives us an excuse to give A-Rod less playing time (sorry buddy, I still can’t forgive you).
Verdict: Keep him.
Maybe this year he’ll do more with his bat, like in 2012, while still playing great defense.