What Did the Yankees Actually Lose with the Alex Rodriguez Injury?

Dan PizzutaContributor IIIJuly 25, 2012

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 24:  Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees is tended to by manager Joe Girardi #28 (L) and a trainer after being hit with a pitch on the arm by starting pitcher Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on July 24, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. Rodriguez was removed from the game.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Alex Rodriguez was placed on the 15-day disabled list after suffering a non-displaced fracture from being hit on the hand by a Felix Hernandez fastball Tuesday night.

The injury is set to keep Rodriguez sidelined for six to eight weeks. As the Yankees are in the midst of losing five of their last seven on a West Coast trip, A-Rod’s injury seems as if it could set the Yankees back even further.

The question is: What do the Yankees actually lose without A-Rod?

The short answer: nothing.

The Yankees are going to be fine, and they are still going to win the American League East comfortably.

The awesome guys at ESPN Stats & Information tweeted out the Yankees record playing without Rodriguez in the lineup over the past three seasons:

2009: 21-17

2010: 21-4

2011: 39-24

That’s 36 games over .500 in games without A-Rod. I don’t want to speak for the Yankees, but I think they’re okay with that.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman has already stated the Yankees won’t be looking for a replacement at third base before Tuesday’s trade deadline, so that means Eric Chavez will be taking over.

Let’s compare Rodriguez and Chavez this season. Rodriguez is batting .276/.358/.449 with 15 home runs in 94 games. Chavez is hitting .266/.324/.468 with eight home runs in 64 games. Those are pretty similar numbers for the most part.

A-Rod has a slight edge in average and on-base percentage, but Chavez has out-slugged him and has only seven fewer home runs in 227 less plate appearances. Add in the fact Chavez is striking out significantly less (17.3 percent to 21.0 percent) and the offensive loss is very minimal, if at all.

Chavez is also still a superior defensive player to A-Rod; the Yankees defense might improve. There are concerns Chavez’s body might not be able to take the wear and tear of being an everyday player again.

Those are legitimate concerns, but it’s not like A-Rod was playing third base every day either. The Yankees still have super utility man Jayson Nix on the bench and just recalled Ramiro Pena to fill in at third when Chavez needs a day off. 

With a lineup that still consists of Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano, there will be no shortage of offense in the Bronx. If the Yankees are going to make a move it should be for a starting pitcher, not a third baseman.

Alex, I’d like to say the Yankees are going to miss you, but really they’re not.


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