clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Know Your 40: Lyle Overbay

New, comment

Lyle Overbay has been a better pickup than anyone had ever dreamed, but he needs to find a way to be productive despite his shortcomings.

USA TODAY Sports

Name: Lyle Overbay
Position: First Base
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Age as of Opening Day 2013: 36 (born 1/28/1977)
Height: 6'2" Weight: 235 lbs.
Remaining Contract: One year, $1.2 million (Free agent after 2013)
2012 Statistics: (MLB) 65 games, .259/.331/.397, 10 2B, 2 HR, .314 wOBA, 91 wRC+

Lets talk about Lyle Overbay for a few minutes, he's deserved at least that much. The man who came into camp, with three days to nail down a roster spot, after being discharged by the Red Sox, has, so far, proved himself to be an integral part of this makeshift Yankees roster. His glove gave him the leg up over Juan Rivera, but his bat has helped cushion the blow of losing Mark Teixeira.

He will never be as good as Teixeira, but considering how bad Tex is in April, Overbay has done a great job at imitating his production. Overbay has hit .261/.367/.446 in the first month of the season, while Mark Teixeira hit .244/.290/.395 in April of 2012. With all the fuss that was made over the Yankees' lack of home runs, Overbay has hit four home runs as well. One more than Tex hit a year ago.

His one drawback is his inability to hit lefties. For his career the left-hander has an 80 wRC+ against southpaws, while Teixeira, a switch hitter, has a 142 wRC+. He might be a replacement at first base for a month, but he can't be one forever. Right now he has a -67 wRC+ against lefties and, while he can't really get much worse, he's not going to be getting any better. It's no wonder the Yankees have tried Brennan Boesch and Jayson Nix at first base, considering they have a 109 and 94 wRC+ against left-handers, respectively. A team filled with Overbays and Nixes and Boesches needs to be versatile in order to make the roster as effective as possible. The problem is that now that Kevin Youkilis is hurt the team has no one to hit lefties at first base and no more room to bring anyone else in.

Lyle Overbay has done a much better job than anyone ever thought possible. He hasn't been relevant in two years, but now he has hit .328/.377/.656 against right-handers. Overbay won't be on the team all season long because once Teixeira comes back he'll be sent packing. The problem is if Teixeira doesn't come back by June the team will have to find an alternative or be stuck with a man who hits like April Tex.