With most of the infield locked down, what should the Yankees do about first base? With lots of great talent on this team, sometimes it’s hard to give every one a spot. Lucky for the Yankees, they have options for first base.
Let’s start with Jason Giambi who will be batting in the DH spot for most of the season. With so many options in the outfield available, players like Hideki Matsui, who is coming off his knee injury, or Johnny Damon could very well take over the DH spot depending on injuries or just to take a break. Then, Giambi likely could move to the first base position or to the bench.
Next we have Morgan Ensberg, who was added to the 40-man roster on March 22. Doubtfull hat he will become the full time starter, Ensberg probably will share time around the diamond. After ending last season with the Astros, he batted .230, with 12 home runs and 39 RBIs in 115 games. He will most likely spend most of the time on the bench and could provide the Yankees a first baseman if the starting first basemen becomes injured or fatigued during the season.
Another good candidate would be Wilson Betemit, who is the back up for third basemen Alex Rodriguez. He could see time on the other side of the diamond. In 121 games, he batted .229, with 14 home runs and 50 RBIs with the Dodgers and the Yankees. In 2007, he played all around the diamond for the Yankees and could find a new home over at first. There’s a good chance he'll remain in the back up role for most of the season.
Finally, we have one of my favorite rising stars, Shelly Duncan who saw some playing time last season. In 34 games, he batted .257, with seven home runs and 17 RBIs. He looks likely to be the best choice for Girardi for the 1st base position. Duncan, who has played in the first base position for most of the pre-season, seems to be quite comfortable there. I would put money on him playing first base on opening day against the Blue Jays and for most of the season.
All and all, I feel the Yankees have some good options for first base. Even if Enseberg, Betemit, or Duncan don't get regular playing time over at first, they will be valuable back ups in case of injuries that may occur during the season.