The Yankees placed Alex Rodriguez on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday. The move is looked at as a precautionary one; the Yankees want to make sure that the injury does not turn into a bigger problem as we approach the playoffs.
With a win on Saturday, the Yankees improved to 11-0 when Alex Rodriguez is not in the lineup. They increased their runs per game value without him to 8.2, as opposed to 5 with him.
These statistics are creating a Web wide notion that the Yankees will be just fine without A-Rod. Although these numbers do tell us that winning is possible without Rodriguez, they certainly do not tell the entire story.
Most of the games that Rodriguez has missed have been against bad teams, which is why the team performs so much better. Eight of the 11 games he has missed have been against teams with a winning percentage below .500. Additionally, he has played in all but one of the Yankees 23 games against the Red Sox and Rays.
There may be a correlation between A-Rod’s presence and the Yankees performance, but it is not a causation. The Yankees perform better when A-Rod is not playing because they are playing worse teams, not because of the fact that A-Rod is not in the lineup.
However, these numbers do prove that the Yankees can win without Rodriguez, making the decision to put him on the disabled list a comfortable one. But come mid September when the Yankees are battling the Rays for the division title, the Yankees best have Rodriguez in the lineup.