Down Goes A-Rod

Some big news coming out this morning about the severity of Alex Rodriguez‘s hip injury – according to, Rodriguez is going to have surgery that will keep him out of the line-up until at least May. Regardless of how you may feel about Rodriguez, this is clearly a blow to the Yankees.

CHONE has Rodriguez projected for a .417 wOBA, and if he misses the entire month of April, that’s approximately 100 plate appearances that they’ll have to replace with… no one really knows. Cody Ransom is listed as the backup third baseman on the Yankees depth chart, but but the odds of Ransom starting on opening day for the Yankees have to be pretty slim. He’s just not a major league quality player, and especially not good enough to start for a team with playoff aspirations.

So, I think we have to assume the Yankees are going to make a move to bring in a temporary replacement at third base. Mark Grudzielanek is the only free agent with any real experience at third base, and that’s even being generous – he played 236 innings at the position in 1995. But, as a quality defensive second baseman, he could be expected to handle the hot corner fairly well.

However, CHONE has Grudz projected for a .299 wOBA, predicting a fairly massive fall for the 38-year-old. Even over just 100 plate appearances, the difference between Rodriguez’s projected offense and Grudzielanek’s projected offense is 10 runs. Ten runs in a month. And that’s assuming that Grudzielanek would want to play third base for a month before moving into a bench job.

In reality, even if Rodriguez isn’t affected by his hip injury at all past April, and plays a full season from May-September, this injury is going to cost the Yankees around one win off their projected total unless they can trade for a quality third baseman. In the AL East, losing a win is a pretty big deal.

This is bad news for the Yankees. Cashman is going to have to pull a rabbit out of his hat in the next few weeks.

Print This Post

Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

24 Responses to “Down Goes A-Rod”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. MFG says:

    good thing this happened after my Twinks signed crede. boras would’ve enjoyed having the yanks in the bidding.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Drew says:

    Probably should have hung on to Mr. Betemit. Whats Hank Blalock up to these days?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. MFG says:

    …or maybe check on Mr. Chavez’s availability?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. antone says:

    What about Ray Durham?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Chris says:

    Estaban German was just cut by the Royals and is projected at 330 wOBA by Marcel. It’s still quite a drop off, but not as much as Grudz and he might stick as a utility IF when A-Rod comes back.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. joser says:

    “What’s Hank Blalock up to these days?” — full time DH, and not just because Young has moved over to third.

    This is not the droid you’re looking for.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. MFG says:

    i’ll give ’em brian buscher for edwar ramirez.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Bender says:

    Maybe they’ll trade for Beltre

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. X-man says:

    Xavier Nady played 3B in college – great way to get both Swish and Nady in the lineup.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • alfonso soriano says:

      Hey, I played SS in the minors, but guess what, guys like me, braun, nady… we dont play in the infield anymore bc we cant catch a cold there. OF is a lot less demanding defensively than INF.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. joser says:

    I’d love to know what they’d have to offer the M’s to get Beltre, but if Arod is really only going to be out for a month, what’s the point? Spend a lot for a month of Beltre and then park him on the bench with the hope of flipping him at the trade deadline? They just need a stop-gap….unless ARod’s problem is worse than they’ve disclosed (or their medical people think there’s a sizable chance of discovering bad news when they cut him open) or “one month” is just the optimistic rehab schedule they’re publicizing to keep a brave face while quietly looking for alternatives. So any serious interest in Beltre (or any other non-stop-gap) is a Very Bad Sign for ARod, the Yankees, and their fans (and a source of extreme Schadenfreude for everybody else).

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Bender says:

    If they got Beltre, they could DH a-rod or convert him to the OF or something. Beltre is a premier defender.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. alskor says:

    You know who would be a perfect fit?

    Wilson Betemit.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. MFG says:

    they should trade swish for betemit.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. Nick says:

    The Cardinals have a plethora of young 3B. Wonder if the Yanks might come calling for one.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. Kevin says:

    Wow, people saying they should have Betemit back are pretty much crazy. Betemit is essentially a replacement-level player. He’s completely fungible. Is he really any better than Cody Ransom? Doubtful.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. dan says:

    I haven’t really thought about this in a while, but Sean Smith suggested it a while back… Trade Damon for Chone Figgins and play him at third until a-rod comes back. Long-term I’m not sure how everything would be figured out in the field, especially if Gardner is hitting well in CF. I guess that would be a good problem to have.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Kevin says:

      The only problem is that requires the Angels cooperating, and I don’t see that being the case.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Raf says:

        Not only that, with Rivera, Abreu, Vlad, Hunter & Sarge Jr, among others, the Halos do not have an opening for Damon.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. dan says:

    Oh yea, and Betemit sucks. I hope those comments were jokes.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. Ed Nelson says:

    Yankees now report ARod has a torn labrum in his hip. Surgery puts him out 4 months. I think this is the same injury type/severity that Chase Utley played through last year. On the other hand that was only a few weeks of the regular season and the playoffs, this is trying to get through a whole year and the playoffs (hopefully) which seems pretty unlikely as a tear isn’t going to be ok until he gets the surgery no matter what therapy they choose.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. Trev says:

    Brandon Inge would be a good fit for the Yankees, although I doubt he’s available.

    But if he was you could stick him in a catcher platoon with Posada where Inge catches and Posada DHs and Matsui sits.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. Jim says:

    Source? I didn’t see anything like that either.

    Vote -1 Vote +1