The New York Yankees finally welcomed Alex Rodriguez back to the lineup in Week 19 of the season, and his presence on the team was met with mixed results. The home fans didn't know whether to boo him or welcome him, while the media added a ton of hype to his much-awaited 2013 debut.
The Yankees continued their slide during the week, though. They were swept by the Chicago White Sox and experienced three straight blown saves by Mariano Rivera. Justin Verlander fell victim to the team, however, so at least some good can be taken from the week.
Brett Gardner came up huge this week as well. He recorded two walk-off hits—one of which was a home run—and kept the Yankees from a complete downward spiral.
Gardner's emergence as a clutch hero this week gave the Yanks a boost, but it's worth remembering Gardner will have but a few more years to prove his everyday worth to the Yankees. A few strong outfield prospects in the minors could be within a few seasons of making an impact.
The infield has promising prospects as well, and the team's young pitchers could potentially make an impact as soon as September. Even if the 2013 season gets lost, the future seems bright.