Why Alex Rodriguez's return is crucial for the Yankees

Alex Trautwig

Yankee third basemen have been very bad this year. Thankfully, there is Alex Rodriguez to save the day, or season.

The Yankees need bats. This is nothing new. They've needed bats since early Spring Training when Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira went down with their respective forearm and wrist injuries. Those two came back, of course, but got re-injured again; the former should be back sometime soon, hopefully, while the latter is done for the year. Thankfully (yes, thankfully) the Yankees will get their regular third baseman back in Alex Rodriguez on Monday.

Believe it or not, there are actual fans of the New York Yankees who are upset A-Rod is coming back. Why? Your guess is as good as mine, but the Yankees need him in the worst way. Yankee third basemen (and there have been seven of them, if not more) have combined to hit .216/.281/.291 with just six homers and a 56 wRC+. In fact, A-Rod's 2012 wRC+ of 114 is more than double of what Yankee third basemen have "produced" this season.

Though Rodriguez is coming back on Monday, there is still one pretty big, obvious problem: he is injury prone. Very injury prone. Since signing his mega-deal prior to the 2008 season, A-Rod has missed 280 games due to injury, including the first 97 of 2013. With the way the offense has performed this year, it is not only critical that A-Rod produces, but also stays healthy, and that is a huge question mark.

Yes, the past nine months for A-Rod have been ugly. Disappointing in the playoffs while getting benched on several occasions, having to have major hip surgery (again), and being squarely involved in this Anthony Bosch-Biogenesis mess has really put a damper on Alex's image. What really matters, though, is that he will be back on Monday against the Rangers. Like it or not, the 37-soon-to-be-38 year old third baseman is a much-needed presence in the middle of the order, and I am glad to have him back.

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