It's Time: Stephen Drew Must Go

It has been a pretty hot topic across the Yankees twitterverse and fan base and that is the curious case of 2B Stephen Drew. After coming off a dreadful season in 2014 where he failed to crack the Mendoza Line of a .200 batting average, this season hasn't been any better. It is nearly the same story but it's a different year and that is why change is not only inevitable, but necessary immediately.
Drew's 2014 campaign was filled with the excuse that because he was unable to go through a full spring training (thanks to Scott Boras seeking far too much money as usual), his absolutely awful play was excusable. Coming into 2015, I did expect a bit of a rebound from the veteran shortstop converted into second baseman because of his full spring training. Unfortunately, Drew is letting all of us down once again.

Finishing with a slash line of .162/.237/.299 overall and just .150/.219/.277 with the Yankees, many (including myself) felt as though Stephen Drew's days as a Yankee were long gone. Boy was I wrong as the Yankees front office dished out the checkbooks for a 1 year 5 million dollar deal, theoretically locking him up for the 2015 season.

But simply looking at his numbers for 5 seconds immediately begs the question: why in the world is Stephen Drew still on the major league roster?

Drew has been equally as bad this season as he was last and is quickly falling in stature to being regarded as one of the worst hitters in the MLB. This isn't necessarily a secret anymore as Drew's .177/.264/.345 slash line show this. Granted, his slugging and OPS are up due to his early power surge he enjoyed hitting 4 home runs in the team's first 14 games. Remember Drew's essentially game winning grand slam in Baltimore back in April? Yeah, me too, and it seems like it was forever ago – because it was. Keep in mind that Drew has not gone deep since April 21.

And don't even begin feeding me the garbage that Stephen Drew is still a "gold glove caliber second baseman." The fact of the matter is, he just isn't the same fielder anymore much less is he the same player anymore. Drew has committed 3 errors in the field at second base this season bringing his fielding percentage to a mere .971. If you'd like to know where he stands in comparison to the league, Drew sits in – well – second to last place (13th) amongst qualified second basemen in the AL only in front of White Sox 2B Micah Johnson.
With one of the Yankees top prospects, 2B Robert Refsnyder looming and performing well in AAA Scranton, the pressure on Drew must be at an all time high. After a sub-par start for the highly regarded Refsnyder, the young second baseman has heated up hitting his first two home runs of the season on Sunday, May 17 and has moved his batting average up to .307 with a slash line of .307/.371/.438.  I know it's triple-A in Scranton-Wilkes Barre compared to the major leagues in Drew's case but Refsnyder's numbers are surely favorable to Drew's.

Sure, Refsnyder is for lack of a better word – bad  – in the field with 9 errors already, but at some point, the Yankees front office needs to make the decision to sacrifice Drew's "defense" for Refsnyder's offensive ability.
The good thing about Drew's one year, $5 million deal is that it makes him easily dispensable whether he is subject to a DFA, outright release or trade. It's hard to imagine other teams taking a risk on Drew but baseball is incredibly unpredictable. However, Joe Girardi has been public in his statements that he likes Drew's approach at the plate and believes the ball is coming off his bat very well. With Drew making strides to hit the ball the other way, I really am hoping for the veteran to turn it around but I don't see it happening. 

But anything can happen which is why I foresee Drew lasting another month in Pinstripes, at the most, unless he can begin magically having more success on the field.



Article by: Chad Raines
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