clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Let's Ask Play Index Why Jesus Montero Can't Be A Full-Time DH

New, comments

I said this in reference to Jesus Montero in yesterday's Gavin Floyd trade target thread:

DH is already permanently locked up for the Yankees by A-Rod, Jeter, and Tex beginning in about 2013 or so.

Admittedly, I may have jumped the gun on Tex since he'll only be 33 in 2013.  But A-Rod will be 36 and Jeter will turn 37 next season.  During 2013 season, they'll be 38 and 39.  Want to guess how many players in baseball history have managed to play 100 games on the left side of the infield during a season in which they were at least that old? 

Photobucket

It isn't really surprising that the list is so short.  3B and SS are among the more difficult positions to play, and as players age, they tend to lose range, flexibility, and agility, all things that are critical to fielding these positions well.  As a rule, old infielders tend to be poor ones, which means that more often than not, they tend to not be infielders at all anymore.

Why do I bring this up?  Because if you're in the camp that says Jesus Montero can just be penciled in as the Yankees full-time DH going forward, it also means the Yankees are going to have to try and defy history pretty soon as well.

22 players in baseball history have managed to played 100 games at 3B or SS in a season when they were at least 38.  Only twice have two players done it in the same season.  How scary is it to think that the Yankees could be asking two players to do it for the same team in the same season(s)? 

Counting on one of them to do it is a risk.  Counting on both?  You might as well buy some lottery tickets while you're at it.   It's a a near certainty that either A-Rod or Jeter, perhaps even both, will need the DH slot, and sooner than we may be willing to admit.