Sunday, June 03, 2007

DhjawiuyttL

That's how you spell "DL" in Doug Mientkiewicz speak. You never want to see a guy get hurt. Never. As much as I wanted to see Minky out of the lineup, and as good as he's been at 1st defensively, the kind of injury he sustained is really unfortunate. I can't say I'm sorry to see someone else getting his at bats though.

Let's look at what the Yankees first base 4-some has done with the bat:

Doug Mientkiewicz (2007 to date)
138 plate appearances
OPS+ 77
EqA .228
WARP3 0.7
RC27 3.15

Josh Phelps (2007 to date)
66 plate appearances
OPS+ 106
EqA .263
WARP3 0.9
RC27 4.80

Andy Phillips (2006 performance)
263 plate appearances
OPS+ 77
EqA .225
WARP3 0.3
RC27 3.78

Jason Giambi (2007 to date)
179 plate appearances
OPS+ 122
EqA .286
WARP3 3.5
RC27 5.79

Okay, putting Giambi in there is cheating, but it shows you that despite his atrocious defense, that probably would end up costing runs over the course of the season, he probably is still a greater value to the Yankees standing at the bag with a glove on his head than the other 3 players. He's out, so the point is moot. Replacing Minky with more Phelps and a dash of Phillips is probably more of the same based on what Phillips did in 2006 for the Bombers. He looks a lot like Mientkiewicz version 2007 with the stick. However, if he can translate any of the success he's enjoyed at the AAA level, we may actually benefit a great deal from the injury. Here's Andy Phillips' AAA career 162 game average (including 2007 to date):

162 games
631 AB
110 runs
188 hits
30 2B
5 3B
35 HR
109 RBI
65 BB
113 K
.298/.364/.527 for an .891 OPS

Those numbers look pretty good. He hasn't been able to do anything resembling this at the Major League level, but then again he's only had 294 at bats in 142 career games with the Yankees. He actually had a very nice June last season, OPSing .970 in 69 at bats. One thing is obvious, he should never hit against lefties, particularly with Phelps on the roster. Phillips left-right split is fairly extreme. Let's compare his and Phelps MLB career splits:

Phillips
Left .188/.224/.265 (.489 OPS in 102 at bats)
Right .250/.288/.458 (.746 in 192 at bats)

Phelps
Left .291/.355/.483 (.838 OPS in 443 at bats)
Right .256/.327/.462 (.789 OPS in 820 at bats)

The irony is that Phelps should get all the at bats, given the fact that his numbers against righties are better than Phillips over a much longer sample. Still, as a platoon, this could be a decent solution to the 1st base round robin that we've been looking at for awhile. To give you a sense of what Phillips adds to the Yankees if he takes over Minky's position as the lefty batting platoon-mate of Josh Phelps, Minky had a .722 OPS against righties in just over 100 at bats. That's about Phillips territory. Don't expect much to change at the bottom of the order if Phillips gets to hit. More at bats for Phelps would be a good thing, but don't count on it.