Mike Silva's New York Baseball Digest » Blog Archive » The Composition of the Yankees Bench

The Composition of the Yankees Bench

By Mike Silva ~ February 16th, 2011. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Yankees.

In all likelihood the Yankees will go with four bench players to start the season. One will be the backup catcher, which I suspect will be Francisco Cervelli, as Jesus Montero and Austin Romine will start the season in the minors. Andruw Jones will be the fourth outfielder that will also split time at DH. The final two spots will come down to the backup middle infielder, and whether they go with another outfielder (i.e. Justin Maxwell), or power hitting corner bat such as Eric Chavez.

The middle infield battle will come down to Ramiro Pena and Eduardo Nunez. It’s the classic offense vs. defense decision. For as good a glove that Pena possesses, his offense has been anemic at the big league level. He has a career .253 average with one homer. That bat negates his versatility since its well below league average at short, third, second, and right.

Nunez doesn’t possess the glove of Pena, but hit .283 in 51 at bats last season. He can play second, short, third, and has potential to hit around .280 with about 10 homers. I predict Nunez’s bat wins out over Pena’s glove.

Veteran Ronnie Belliard is a dark horse, but I don’t think he can play short good enough to beat out a Nunez.

The final spot might come down to newly acquired Justin Maxwell versus former All Star Eric Chavez. I give the lefty Chavez the edge since the Yankees already have a right handed hitting outfielder in Jones, and Chavez could play both corners, allowing Joe Girardi to give Mark Teixeira a rest. I could see Chavez producing similar numbers in a reserve to what Eric Hinske provided during the ’09 championship season.

Cervelli, Jones, Nunez, and Chavez isn’t the greatest bench in the league, but the Yankees high powered offense doesn’t require much depth.

Mike Silva is a freelance writer and radio host since March of 2007. This website is his own personal "digest" of New York Baseball He's also hosts NYBD Radio on Blog Talk Radio and 1240 AM WGBB. Check out his sports media commentary at www.sportsmediawatchdog.com. Check out his official website, www.mikesilvamedia.com
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