How many games will A-Rod play as the DH?
Alex Rodriguez only appeared in 99 games in 2011. In order for the Yankees to win the division and avoid a dreaded one-game playoff as a wild-card team, they need A-Rod to have a productive season at the plate.
In games the Yankees won last season, A-Rod had a batting average of .350 and OPS of 1.081, which are magnificent numbers. However, in the losses that A-Rod played in, he hit .173 with an OPS of .548.
A startling difference.
Those numbers magnify how valuable Rodriguez is to the middle of the order.
A-Rod needs to be featured in more games at DH, with a competent backup in Eric Chavez filling in at third base. The Yankees need to come up with a plan for A-Rod in Spring Training in order for him to know his role and be comfortable going into the season instead of winging it as the season rolls along.
The Yankees need A-Rod playing and healthy in order to have the type of lineup that can win a World Series.