Eric Chavez Filling Void Left by Alex Rodriguez Injury for New York Yankees

Mike MoraitisAnalyst IAugust 9, 2012

August 9, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Eric Chavez (12) receives congratulations from right fielder Ichiro Suzuki (31) after scoring during the second inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Most people would correlate the New York Yankees' most recent struggles with the absence of Alex Rodriguez, but how can that be when Eric Chavez is tearing the cover off the ball at the moment?

Chavez finished up another great day for the Yanks at third base. He went 2-for-4 against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday, capping off a series that saw him go 9-for-16 with two homers and five RBI.

Not to mention, Chavez hit the eventual game-winner in the series finale with the Tigers, helping New York leave Detroit with a split of the series. Thanks to the four-game series alone, Chavez's average has jumped 25 points.

Chavez entered Thursday's contest with a .450 average—a number that will undoubtedly go up after his most recent success—and is looking like the MVP-caliber player he was ages ago.

While the Yankees have been going through a rough patch, it certainly isn't Chavez's presence in this lineup that is the problem.

At the trade deadline, speculation was running wild as to whom the Yankees would bring in to replace A-Rod's bat in the lineup, but it seems the solution was already on the roster in Chavez.

After all, that's why they brought him here, isn't it? In order to backup A-Rod when necessary, giving him a full or half day off, and in the event that A-Rod's injury problems would persist.

Since joining the Bombers on July 31, Casey McGehee has only started in two games, one of which was at third base. Despite coming relatively cheap, it turns out the Bombers didn't really need his services in the first place, offensively or defensively.

If Chavez continues his incredible hot streak, the Yanks will have a nice problem on their hands when A-Rod returns by the tentative date of early September. But without a certainty in that timetable for A-Rod and at least still a month to go, Chavez's hot streak couldn't be coming at a better time.