📌 Join the BPCrew Chapter in your city and meet up with more Yankees fans! 👉 CLICK HERE
BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 04: Alex Rodriguez #13 and Rob Refsnyder #38 of the New York Yankees talk during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 4, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Alex Rodriguez is not the answer at first base

As reported earlier this week, Alex Rodriguez will begin to take grounders at first base and work with infield coach Joe Espada over the All-Star break.  In 2015, he played two games at first, made one error, and big picture did not look comfortable at all.  He quickly returned to being the Yankees’ designated hitter.

In 2016 while acting as the Yankees’ full-time DH, A-Rod has not seen the field once – and it should remain that way.  He is not the answer at first base.

Rodriguez has previously spoke on playing DH, as mentioned in an article by Randy Miller of NJ.com from earlier this season:

“I actually enjoy DH a lot,” Rodriguez said.  “I played the field for over 20 years and I realize that the biggest impact I can make helping us win games is by doing damage in the middle of the lineup, and DH is just a great asset for me.”

Now, this doesn’t sound like a guy who wants to play in the field, rather a player who is starting to realize that his role on this team is becoming obsolete – but who knows.  And “doing damange” in the middle of the lineup is just what he has…not been doing.

On Saturday in a pinch-hit appearance, he grinded through an at-bat drawing a walk to load the bases during the Yankees’ three-run sixth inning.  This is not the A-Rod the Yankees need.  The Yankees need Rodriguez to be in the middle of the lineup as the every day DH, wielding the power bat he displayed in 2015 when he posted 33 home-runs and 86 RBI.  He needs to find his stroke; especially against right-handed pitching.

Rodriguez has struggled all season at the plate, posting a .220/.256/.382 slash line with just eight home-runs and 28 RBI.  Against righties, the batting average drops to a measly .198 with five homers and 17 RBI.

Manager Joe Girardi has just ignored him against righties, instead playing Carlos Beltran at DH, but has indicated that A-Rod’s at-bats have improved a bit.  Also as part of this statement, he mentioned Rob Refsnyder‘s at-bats this season and how they have been good as well, but stated they would “look at things” when back from the All-Star break.

If Girardi wants A-Rod in the lineup, it has to be as the designated hitter.  Simply put, he is a liability in the field at this point in his career.  The only way A-Rod is going to improve in the second half is with consistent play time as the DH and by having more chances to hit against right-handed pitchers.

Fortunately for A-Rod, the upcoming weekend series against the Red Sox looks favorable for him with two lefties (Eduardo Rodriguez, David Price) and a knuckleballer (Steven Wright) pitching in the Bronx.  He should be able to start at least two of the games, so long as Beltran’s hamstring is ready to go in right field.

To address the latter portion of Girardi’s statement and who should play first base for the Yankees, look no further than plugging in Refsnyder.  He should be the guy in the field, getting the reps to improve his defense ability, and getting more chances at the plate in the bigs.  He has played consistently well at first, and has hit .276/.336/.368 with 10 RBI and eight extra-base hits in just 99 plate appearances in 2016.

The Yankees need consistency, especially at an injury plagued first base where they have already used Mark Teixeira, Dustin Ackley, Chris Parmelee, Ike Davis, Brian McCann, Austin Romine, and of course, Refsnyder.

Refsnyder could be a big piece for the future of the team and needs to be a constant in the Yankees’ lineup for the remainder of the season.