Yankees fans are well aware of the Yankees lack of offense over the past two seasons. Even if Stephen Drew provides a boost on the defensive side, it's time to stop starting him in the every day lineup.
Per Yankees.com reporter Bryan Hoch, 25-year-old Jose Pirela, after suffering a concussion during spring training, has resumed baseball activities. Pirela would be a front-runner to replace Drew in the starting lineup. In his 24 major league at-bats last season, Pirela hit .333. Meanwhile, in Drew's 46 at-bats with the Yankees last year, he hit a mere .150 (while also hitting .111 in this young season). Meanwhile, on the defensive side of the ball last season, Drew had a .970 fielding percentage, while Pirela had a .917 fielding percentage. Even if Drew has the defensive edge, the difference in offense is just too big to ignore. Even in spring training, Pirela hit .370 and Drew hit .259, which actually isn't a low number for him. Also in 2014, Drew's OBP was only .237, while Pirela had a .351 OBP. It's clear that on the offensive end, Pirela has a much higher value than Drew.
Pirela is not the only answer to Drew's struggles. Fellow minor-league infielder Rob Refsnyder was one of the final cuts in this past spring training. In his 2014 season in the minors, Refsnyder hit for a .300 average and an OBP of .389. The biggest problem with Refsnyder is on the defensive side of the ball, as Cashman is noted as saying that the defensive side of the game was why Refsnyder did not make the big leagues out of camp. Along with Refsnyder being a final cut, Nick Noonan was also among them. Noonan's 2014 offensive season was average, hitting .237, while his OBP was just .282. While Pirela seems like the best replacement for the struggling Drew, Refsnyder and Noonan are not far behind.
Right now, the Yankees have recently-acquired infielder Gregorio Petit to back up Drew. In 2014, Petit hit .278 and had an OBP of .300, not bad offensive numbers for an infielder known for his fielding. Petit was acquired from the Astros for cash considerations back on April 1. The Yankees also have 33-year-old Brendan Ryan, who is currently sidelined with a calf strain. But he, like Drew with his offensive struggles, may have worn out his welcome in pinstripes.
At last year's trade deadline, the Yankees traded infielder Kelly Johnson to Boston in return for Drew. At the time, the Yankees felt the need to pick up a backup for Derek Jeter and a replacement for second baseman Brian Roberts. Drew was struggling offensively at the time, and the Yankees organization thought that a change in scenery would provide an offensive spark to his game, But this was not the case. Drew slowly turned into an everyday starter at second base last season, occasionally moving to shortstop on Jeter's days off.
Some may say that Didi Gregorius is similar to Drew, in the fact that both are stellar defensively, but struggle offensively. This is not the case, however. In 2014, Drew's total average was a mere .162, while Gregorius hit .226, which is a bit low, but still a good amount better than Drew. Compared to Drew's .237 OBP, Gregorius was a .290, which is a slight improvement. Not to mention, Drew is 32 years old, while Gregorius is just 25. Anyone who says Drew and Gregorius are similar players are just plain wrong.
Yankees fans, what do you think the Yankees should do with Stephen Drew?