What to Expect from A-Rod?

What to Expect from A-Rod?

What to Expect from A-Rod?

This time of the year used to be when we had the annual debate over how Alex Rodriguez was going to fit in with the rest of the team. Those days are over, but questions about Rodriguez remain. After four consecutive seasons of health issue and production decline, can A-Rod stay healthy and give the Yankees 25 HRs/90 RBI/ and an OPS around .850? Just a year ago that might seem to be a silly question, but I doubt many don’t at least pause before giving their answer.

I think realistic production from A-Rod would include about 135 games and 595 plate appearances. If he produces at a similar rate as 2011, that would be about 22 HRs and 85 RBI and an OPS of .820; certainly not worth his ’12 salary of $29 million dollars, but still in line with the top-five third baseman in the game. Ask yourself this, would the Mets take that type of season from David Wright coming off last year’s injury? Can we honestly expect even a return to ’09-’10 when A-Rod averaged 30 HRs and 112 RBI with a .888 OPS.

The second question is where does Rodriguez bat in this Yankees lineup. Last year, 94 of his 99 appearances were in the cleanup spot. That type of production is more in line with a five or six hitter than cleanup. Perhaps moving Derek Jeter down in the order will not be the only tough decision that Joe Girardi will face this year.

Which makes more sense? Cano, Rodriguez and Teixeira? Or should Rodriguez move down to the fifth spot in the order between Cano and Teixeira; perhaps taking pressure off him, as well.

I think it’s too early to answer any of these questions, as we need to see what the 36-year old has in store. I don’t, however, think it’s unfair to question Rodriguez’s productivity.

By Mike Silva
Tuesday, 28 Feb 2012


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