Kevin Youkilis Can't Do Worse Than Other Chicago White Sox Third Basemen
Kevin Youkilis will soon be wearing a different Sox jersey, as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe confirmed via Twitter that Youkilis had been traded from the Boston Red Sox to the Chicago White Sox. Youkilis hasn't been pleasing at the plate, but he can't do any worse than those who the White Sox have had at third base.
Youkilis' performance in 2012 has been a far cry from his prime years, or even last year. He has a sad slash line of .225/.311/.359. After averaging a walk every eight plate appearances in most seasons, he has walked once every 11.5 plate appearances (14 times in 161 plate appearances).
The 33-year-old had been on a steady decline for the previous two seasons, but dropped off by a much greater margin this season. Youkilis had a 6.3 bWAR in 2009, a 5.1 in 2010 and a 3.7 in 2011. This year, he has a bWAR of -0.2.
At least that beats the -0.4 bWAR of Orlando Hudson, Brent Lillibridge's -0.7 bWAR and the -0.5 mark Brent Morel had before he went down.
Hudson has a miserable .247 on-base percentage and an equally unimpressive .289 slugging percentage. Before Saturday, Hudson had gone five straight games without reaching base.
In just six games at third base, Lillibridge has three hits in 20 at-bats. Overall, he has a .175 average and a .232 on-base percentage.
Morel had a .225 on-base percentage and a .195 slugging percentage before going down in mid-May.
Third base wasn't a strength for the White Sox going into the season. Morel wasn't expected to be a big-time bat entering the season.
Will Kevin Youkilis help the White Sox's situation at third base?
Now, Youkilis is expected to provide some sort of presence. He's dealt with injuries at times this season, which could limit him to a platoon role with Hudson.
Perhaps a Youkilis-Hudson platoon can bring the best out of both of them. Hudson usually can be counted on to reach base. Playing fewer days could help him get on base just a little more often. For Youkilis, it could help him stay well-rested and mentally set for the patiently played plate appearances he's expected to have.
Youkilis might not be doing well, but he's still doing better than the White Sox third basemen. The White Sox didn't have the chips to get more than Youkilis. Thus, White Sox fans shouldn't be disappointed with not getting a stud to save the situation.
Even a small boost from Youkilis would be welcome as the White Sox try to stay competitive. They'll need a fair amount of help as they struggle to maintain health in the starting rotation.
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