Let us review
At the risk of boring the more advanced members of the class, I want to revisit Xavier Nady one last time before midterms. Your grade, and that of the Yankees, depends on your ability to answer several true-false, multiple choice, and fill-in-the-blank questions about Nady, so it’s imperative that we come to grips with the subject. Please open your text books/hymnals to page 355 and sing along to Buddy Holly’s classic “Maybe Nady” as we repeat together these key facts:
Nady is 30 years old and is a career .280/.335/.458 hitter. Despite his 89-game surge with the Pirates and brief hot streak with the Yankees, he is at this late stage of his career to be any better than those career rates in the future. He has never rated as a great glove. Per 162 games, he has averaged 30 doubles, one triple, 21 home runs, and 34 walks.
Last season, the average Major League right fielder hit .276/.347/.451. In 2007, the average right fielder hit .281/.351/.453. In 2006, the rates were .277/.347/.460. In the American League East, the standard is a bit higher, given that the competition lists the J.D. Drew/Rocco Baldelli combo, the Matt Joyce/Gabe Kapler combo, Alexis Rios, and Nick Markakis. Only one of the four, the Rays’ Joyce-Kapler mélange, may not exceed the averages. Should Nady play every day in right field and snap back to his 2006-2007 .334 on-base percentage, the Yankees would be operating at a significant deficit relative to the competition.
Now, Nady is not without value, because Johnny Damon is getting old and Nick Swisher has his limitations, and when most teams have to bench a starting corner outfielder due to injury or fatigue, they tend to wind up with Reggie Abercrombie out there, and the road to hell is paved with Reggie Abercrombie. The road to the postseason is paved with having a substitute like Nady. He’s not quite good enough to be a starter on a winning team, but overqualified to be a reserve. The smart teams will hold him to 300 at-bats or so and/or flip him to a team whose starter is even further below average than he is.
In short, Nady is not the kind of player a championship-caliber team plans on starting unless they have no other alternatives. The Yankees have alternatives. It could be Swish Nicker, who has comparable power to Nady and will out-walk him by 50 or 60, so his batting average need not be better than .250 to surpass X-marks-the Sub, or it could be a player we kicked around in yesterday’s installment, like Adam Dunn. They Yankees can flip Nady or not. They can pay the freight on keeping him and have themselves a very positive role player. The one thing they shouldn’t do is mistake his little contribution as something worthy of a starting role.
Review complete. Close your notebooks. You can play silent ball for the rest of the period.
SHOW THREAD: BACK IN THE BUNKER TONIGHT
I’m off to the Death Star-like YES HQ for another stay in the Dot-Com Bunker on the Hot Stove show. If you’ve got any comments, I’ll be checking the comments right up to and even during show time, so get ‘em in. Any topic is fair game, including Bob Lorenz’s haircut — but only in a constructive way. Bob is the most tenderhearted regional sports network host you’ll ever come across. Those calloused NESN guys can’t touch Our Bob for generosity. It’s very difficult to see unless you have a top of the line high-def set, but on every Yankees postgame, Bob has a dish of candy out on the desk just in case any of you happen by the studio. He’s that kind of guy. See you at 6:30 p.m. EST.