Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bench Options

With a team filled with as many old players as the Yankees, a good bench is critical and their thin bench last year may have been the difference between them missing the playoffs and making them. Clearly, this year they need to do a better job of building their bench. I`ll make a few posts on their bench this offseason and different guys who would be better than their current options.

Would Ryan Langerhans be a good fit as a 4th outfielder for the Yankees?

He stands to earn next to nothing this year in free agency. However, he's a very good fielder in center and not a terrible hitter. His EQA's over the past 3 years are .256, *245, and .282. 2006 was a pretty solid year for a centerfielder or especially a 4th outfielder and 2008 would make him a starter on any team. However, 2007 was awful by any measure. His LD% sunk down to 12.6% and his K% rose all the way to 38.6%. It seems like all of his LD's were replaced by strikeouts that year. Maybe all the trades bothered him. I don't really know what it was that happened that year but its such an outlier I`m just going to write it off as a fluke.

Langerhans doesn't have much power but he can hopefully give you a high OBP and a good glove at the end of the lineup. They know that they`ll have injuries in their aging outfield. If Gardner is the starter than Langerhans may be a good guy for that. He also has the advantage that if Gardner falters he can play centerfield.

*In 2007 he spent time with 3 different teams and BP doesn't include season totals. Just what he did individually with each team so I took the easy way out and took the team he spent the the most time with.