After missing the entirety of the 2014 MLB season due to a suspension, he’s back. One of the most polarizing figures in sports history, Alex Rodriguez will return to the Bronx in 2015 to play in the MLB as a member of the New York Yankees.
Rodriguez has claimed he believes the starting third base job is his to lose, but in reality, that is far from the case. The Yankees re-signed Chase Headley to a 4-year deal worth $52 million, and he is expected to start at third this upcoming season.
At Designated Hitter, the Yankees will most likely employ a platoon of Rodriguez and Garret Jones, as long as Carlos Beltran can still be trusted in the outfield, which is a major question mark as well. If he falters, he also could be “demoted” to the Designated Hitter role.
So, Rodriguez may even be the third string Designated Hitter. Looking at his stats from 2014, he hit .244 with 7 home runs and 19 RBI’s in 44 games. That would put him at a pace to hit 24 home runs and 64 RBI’s in a full 162 game season. While those stats aren’t bad, it isn’t factoring in off days and injuries. As a 39-year old player coming off hip surgery and a full year out of the league, who knows what the finished product will be.
Rodriguez also struggled mightily vs right handed pitchers. In 2012 (his last full season) Rodriguez his .308 against lefties, compared to .256 vs righties. His averaged was just .200 against righties last season. With the majority of MLB pitchers being right handed, that should limit his playing time even more.
Rodriguez will turn 40 years old in July of 2015, has missed a full year, and has had the always dangerous hip surgery. His play will be limited, but expect to see him as a left handed pitcher, Designated Hitter specialist for the New York Yankees this season.