Mark Teixeira is once again injured. For how long still remains to be seen. What no longer remains to be seen is the plainly, brutally obvious fact that Kelly Johnson has no business being Mark Teixeira's back up at first base. He is not a first baseman, which cannot be stressed enough anymore. While at this point it may only be three to four days before the host of Foul Territory is back at first base, it's become clear that Teixeira is still an injury risk every now and again. He needs a viable backup other than Kelly Johnson, Brian McCann, wishing wells, back alley bribery, and prayer. What's truly maddening is that most people saw this coming in the preseason.
Take this article written by one Greg Kirkland on the 24th of January. In fact, let's see that embedded tweet from that article once again.
Cashman: People want to see how bullpen and infield shake out. Those things are going to have to answer themselves.— Pinstripe Alley (@pinstripealley) January 22, 2014
Cashman said this on January 22nd. It's now July 22nd, six months later, and there is still no answer to the question of the infield. Only infuriating questions. Questions such as "Why is Rob Refsnyder not playing over Brian Roberts" and "No seriously, you had no backup plan in case Teixeira got injured?" and so on. They tried Yangervis Solarte at third and, for a while, Plangervis was working. He was the only thing that was really working though. Then he regressed as most expected him to. Even if he didn't, that still only solved the problem of third base. First base and second base were, and still are, question marks. Mark Teixeira is still an injury concern and Brian Roberts is still Brian Roberts.
As mentioned in my article six months ago, Brian Roberts could potentially work if he was platooned with someone else. It worked wonders for Ichiro Suzuki, who has slowly morphed back into 2013 Ichiro due to playing every day. Yesterday showed what a rested, athletic Zelous Wheeler could do at third base. Even if Wheeler potentially doesn't amount to much prospect wise, we've seen the apex of Roberts and Johnson.
It's always a slippery slope when fans and bloggers start to play GM or strength & conditioning coach. The people in the organization have access to more internal information than we do. However, we're rounding second on our way to third with the 2014 Yankees season and I just don't know what they see that we don't. Brian Roberts now leads all AL second baseman with ten errors. Just to put things into hilarious and depressing perspective, Roberts is only two errors away from matching Robinson Cano's combined error total between his 2012 and 2013 seasons. Roberts' bat does not come close to making up for his lack of defense. It only adds to the utter frustration of the situation. What exactly does Brian Roberts do that Rob Refsnyder cannot do? This is a question that really needs an answer.
Yesterday was a harsh reminder of how quickly things can go south for the Yankees with the team they are currently fielding. What's amazing is that even after losing 4/5th of their starting rotation to injury, the pitching is not the problem. Hiroki Kuroda, David Phelps, Shane Greene, and Brandon McCarthy are doing well. The offense and defense are not doing well. Far, far from it. They still have no back up for when Mark Teixeira gets injured, which unfortunately still happens. This issue needs to be addressed, especially if Teixeira is out for longer than three to four days. The issue of Brian Roberts needs to be addressed. "Those things are going to have to answer themselves" is an acceptable answer in late January, not late July.