clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Could Alfonso Soriano be a decent backup option at first base?

Alfonso Soriano is taking reps at first base during spring training. Could he be a decent backup for Mark Teixeira in an emergency situation?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

As it stands, there is still not a real backup plan for first base. Kelly Johnson is scheduled to play first base in today's spring training game, but how can he be Mark Teixeira's backup if he's supposed to be the starting third baseman? Well, it seems that Alfonso Soriano could be another option. In case you haven't heard, Soriano will be taking reps at first base during spring training. When I first heard this, I thought to myself, 'Oh, great. Let's have the backup plan just be that on any given day, anyone with a glove can come off the bench and try out first base if Tex goes down. Why try to find someone with actual experience?'

On second thought, getting Soriano some time at first base does make some sense. There isn't very much room on the roster to add infield utility players (such as someone to platoon with Johnson, or replace Eduardo Nunez), so it is in the Yankees' best interest to have players on the team who can fill as many roles as possible. If Soriano could play "just in case" first base every now and then, it would be a good way of keeping his bat in the lineup while letting other players into the DH spot. Especially since half of the team is going to need to use the DH spot.

Soriano has the added benefit of having infield experience, primarily at second base, but he has played third base (65.1 innings) and shortstop (53.2 innings) as well. While he hasn't played more than 4 innings in the infield since 2006, it could possibly be an easy transition for him. Kelly Johnson is another player who has also played the bulk of his major league innings at second base, yet he has been able to move around to other positions, albeit not all of them well (-4.0 UZR in outfield last year). If Soriano is swinging a hot bat though, that could potentially make up for any weak defensive skills at first base. He could also fill in for Tex in the later innings of blowout games.

Even if Soriano could fill in at first base in case of emergencies, this would still in no way be a long-term solution to the "What if Tex gets hurt?" problem. If the Yankees do want this to be a thing, then I'd like to see Soriano get some time at first base in actual spring training games. What do you think about Soriano taking reps at first base--potential solution to the problem, or do you think it's a waste of time, and that the Yankees should find someone with real experience?