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New York Yankees Should Just Put Kevin Youkilis on the DL Already

Infielder Has Missed Five Straight Games, Can’t Hit in Cage

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | Kevin Youkilis hasn't played for the New York Yankees almost a week and after nearly a week of hearing he'll be back in the lineup any day now, manager Joe Girardi "hinted" the veteran infielder could land on the disabled list if he isn't able to play by Saturday, April 27.

MLB.com's Bryan Hoch tweeted on Friday, April 26, as part of an update after the Toronto Blue Jays scratched right-hander Josh Johnson from his scheduled start.

Blue Jays now starting LHP A. Laffey tonight vs. Yanks. Girardi hinted they might DL Youkilis if he wasn't ready for LHP Saturday... hmm.

- Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) April 26, 2013

According to the New York Post, Youkilis attempted to do some work in the batting cage on Thursday, but wasn't able to do so.

Girardi told the Post he had no idea when Youkilis would be ready to play.

"I thought it would be [Thursday]," Girardi said. "Hopefully it's [Friday]. We'll just go day-by-day."

Youkilis spent time on the disabled list with a back strain in 2012, but Newsday reported Saturday, April 20, that the initial indications were that the current injury was not as serious.

And therein is the rub with veteran players, particularly veterans brought in to fill in for injured veterans. Now the Yankees may need a fill-in for the injured veteran fill-in for the injured veteran starter.

The loss of Youkilis means that Jayson Nix is spending more time at third base and that Lyle Overbay is playing first base even against left-handed pitching, despite his struggles against them at the plate.

For the season, Overbay is hitting .221/.254/.353 with two homers and eight RBIs in 71 plate appearances. Against lefties, however, Overbay is a paltry 1-for-21 with five strikeouts and no extra-base hits. He's also bounced into three double plays against southpaws.

Placing Youkilis on the disabled list would allow New York to get an extra bat on the bench for at least a week while Youkilis recovers. Provided he doesn't play again before being placed on the DL, the assignment would be retroactive to his last game on April 20, meaning roughly half of the 15-day period would already be over.

It's something to consider for a team that is already milking mileage out of a bench that is paper thin.

Phil Watson is a freelance journalist and commentator based in upper Michigan who covers the New York Yankees for the Yahoo Contributor Network.

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