August 7, 2012

New poll: Which injured Yankee is needed back most: Brett Gardner, Andy Pettitte or Alex Rodriguez?

In last week's poll we focused on the trade deadline. There were some decent options out there, like a quality third baseman and some good pitchers. But the Yankees settled for corner infielder Casey McGehee, who hasn't done much of anything since joining the team. Obviously, the most noteworthy deadline acquisition was Ichiro, who got his first taste of reality last night against Justin Verlander (he struck out his first three times in pinstripes).

The underlying theme here is the Yankees needed replacements for the injured. There are three players the Yankees are hoping will return sometime in September: Brett Gardner, Andy Pettitte and Alex Rodriguez. A couple of these guys are old and a couple have had setbacks. There's no guarantee any of these three will return. So if you had to pick one, who would it be? I'll breakdown each player below.

Brett Gardner: (elbow, replaced by Ichiro Suzuki)
Gardner has played all of nine games so far this year, so it's harder to judge his value. Going by last year, he was as valuable as Albert Pujols. Do I really believe that? No, I just find it amazing that one respectable stat indicates that. Gardner stole 49 bases with a .349 OBP. Add his terrific defense to the picture and you see why there might be some merit to the value stat. Without A-Rod in the lineup, Curtis Granderson leads the team in steals with eight. Eight. Gardner adds a whole 'nother dimension to this team.

Andy Pettitte: (ankle, replaced by Freddy Garcia)
Pettitte was 3-3 with a 3.22 ERA before going down with injury. In five of his nine starts, he went seven innings or more. The 40-year-old still has something left in the tank, but is it enough to return from injury without the help of HGH? It's hard to tell. But there's no question he'd be in the playoff rotation if he was healthy enough. 

Alex Rodriguez: (hand, replaced by Eric Chavez)
He wasn't on pace for a typical A-Rod season of 30 homers and 100 RBIs, but A-Rod even at 75 percent is better than most replacements. He's tied with Derek Jeter for the second highest on-base percentage at .358 and with every home run, RBI or run scored he seems to pass an all-time great.

Who is the most important player to bring back? Vote in the poll on the left and leave a comment below.

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