Bad news for the Yankees, as Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger is reporting that te team will put star third baseman Alex Rodriguez on the DL with a non-displaced fracture of his left hand. The minimum amount of time that Rodriguez will reportedly miss is four to six weeks, putting his return date somewhere in late August or early September.
On one hand, this is a bad situation for the Yankees, because they'll need to replace a player at a position that many teams covet. Veteran Eric Chavez has played 214 innings at third this year, and he'll likely get the nod there. Chavez has an .798 OPS in 64 games this year, which is actually a hair under A-Rod's .807 OPS in 94 games. However, Rodriguez gives more to the team than just a high OPS, with his 15 homers and a team-leading 11 stolen bases. The acquisition of Ichiro Suzuki on Monday will allow the Yankees to shift the Raul Ibanez/Andruw Jones platoon to the DH role, allowing Chavez to play daily at third base.
On the other hand, the Yankees are seven up in the AL East, the largest lead in baseball. Their lead is large enough where being without Rodriguez for a month or so isn't going to destroy their season. While it's certainly a tough blow for the team, this isn't a dealbreaker, like it would be if Robinson Cano or CC Sabthia were injured.
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