The Yankees' infield woes

Jim McIsaac

Why did the Yankees even start the season with such a bleak infield (and so many catchers)?

In case you missed it, Francisco Cervelli started last night's game at first base, so that Kelly Johnson could cover third base, and Yangervis Solarte could start at second base because Brian Roberts was on the bench with a lower back injury. When Cervelli pulled his hamstring in the fourth inning, the Yankees chose to move Carlos Beltran to first base, and put Ichiro Suzuki in right field. That was Beltran's major league debut at first base, which must mean that Alfonso Soriano looked terrible at first when he took drills there during spring training.

Then there was a scary moment in the sixth when it looked like Solarte might need to come out of the game (and the only real option would have been playing Derek Jeter with a sore quad, or a pitcher). This was followed up by a scary moment in the eighth where a ball hit A.J. Pierzynski, then hit Brian McCann's bare hand, and if he had to leave the game, apparently Dean Anna was going to be the catcher. In between innings early on, Girardi had said, "Dean Anna doesn't know it, but he's my third catcher." If you missed this game, consider yourself lucky.

I feel the need to point out that it's April 14th. The season has barely started. We shouldn't be wondering if a pitcher is going to come in to play the infield in the sixth inning. Why did the Yankees' front office even start the season with this infield situation? It's not like half of the infield being old and injured/injury-prone is a total shock. It's not like Roberts was as healthy as an ox for his entire career and just randomly injured his back yesterday. Add to that the fact that Jeter and Mark Teixeira both missed most of last season with injuries, and it just makes the situation even more ridiculous.

This also begs the question of: Why are there five catchers on the 40-man roster?! Since Cervelli is hurt, it's good that we have Austin Romine and John Ryan Murphy available, but the two of them, plus Gary Sanchez is an excessive amount. You have to think that last night's game was a wake-up call that the team needs infield help ASAP. The Triple-A options of Scott Sizemore and Russ Canzler aren't amazing, but at least they can actually play the infield. Stephen Drew is still available, so the Yankees might want to rethink their apparent strong opposition to him. The Yankees need to do whatever it takes to ensure that we don't experience another game like that during the rest of the season. If Solarte had left the game in the sixth, CC Sabathia seriously might have been playing second base. That is not okay. That game probably shaved five years off of my life expectancy. Thankfully, Beltran did a fine job at first base, the outfield made a lot of amazing plays, and the Yankees somehow won the game.

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