Manager Joe Girardi recently referred to new Yankees DH Travis Hafner as a "field goal kicker." It is a fairly-apt description. No one is under the guise that he might play a game in the field at all--he's just here to hit. Hitting is something that Hafner has been quite good at over the years (when healthy of course), and despite only averaging 107.8 games per year during his decade with the Tribe, his total of 200 homers ranks eighth in Cleveland Indians history.
The Yankees are hoping that Hafner occupy the "pure masher" role recently held by the homer-happy Raul Ibanez (2012), Andruw Jones (2011), and Marcus Thames (2010). Unlike the other three though, Hafner is good at simply getting on base through walks, as evinced by his .381 career OBP (Ibanez has the highest of the other three at .340). Limited time may help him stay healthy, and everyone associated with the team will have their fingers crossed.
Today, the Yankees and Mets washup/Marlins starter John Maine saw a demonstration of why Hafner is still considered to be such a dangerous threat at the plate. "Pronk" demolishes mistakes.
Maine's expression after the pitch says it all. You can't even see where it landed. Yeesh. Look for more of that from Pronk in 2013.
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- Battle for the Yankees' Fifth Starter: Nova vs. Phelps
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