Beltran vs. Young: Who Should Start In RF?
By: Nick Scott
It's no secret I have been very critical of Carlos Beltran ever since his signing with the Yankees. He simply hasn't hit like he should and the fact he never hustles doesn't help either. This year has been no different for the $45 million man as Beltran is hitting a mind numbingly bad .184.
Via Getty Images
Back to Beltran, the right fielder has no homers, seven RBIs, and four two baggers. He's struck out 15 times in 49 at bats good for a strikeout percentage of about 30%.
Some might try and argue Young's numbers come in a very small sample size, but he has had 42 at bats compared to Beltran's 49, with a difference of only seven, so that argument really has no validity here.
The fact of the matter is Young is putting up star numbers in less opportunities while hitting lower in the lineup than Beltran and it's hard to ignore this.
Beltran's struggles really culminated today, as he struck out three time against the Tigers, two of those times stranding a runner on third. He could've had a fourth one had he not been intentionally walked to set up a double play.
The problem with Beltran isn't health. He's perfectly healthy now, so any excuses for his elbows hurting aren't valid any more. I've said it before and I'll say it again: He's just overmatched at the plate. Maybe it's his old age effecting bat speed or maybe he just hasn't gotten his timing down yet, but Beltran just looks lost at the plate. He can't catch up on fastballs and he's swinging at pitches way out of the zone. Coupled with an OBP of .240 (it will be less tonight when all MLB statistics are updated), you can see Beltran really isn't doing a single thing to produce for the Bombers.
Via CBS Sports
Via Getty Images
No matter what, the Yankees will have to pay Beltran, but it might be more productive for the team to DFA him rather than allow him to continue to squander run scoring opportunities. I'm not crazy when I suggest this either, as the team did the same thing with a scuffling Alfonso Soriano last year.
With Beltran DFA'd major league ready Ramon Flores could be called up to fill the outfield bench spot while Chris Young takes a starting role in RF. This to me is a win-win: You let the hot hitting Chris Young continue to mash and give a young, talented player a chance to prove himself.
A lineup like this would look pretty good:
You can swap around Headley, Young, and McCann as you please.
If I'm being realistic however, I have my doubts this will happen. The Yankees have a lot of money invested in Beltran and it's hard to envision them admitting their mistake and just eating that money. Chris Young certainly should be starting over Carlos Beltran, but look for Joe Girardi to continue to have to find creative ways to plug Young in and give him those at bats.