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Dodgers-Yankees series preview: Missing legends

When the Dodgers play in new Yankee Stadium for the first time, they will not find the team they expected to find when the schedule was made.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Just like the Dodgers, the Yankees are broken. Alex Rodriquez and Derek Jeter have not played one game for the Yankees this year. Mark Teixeira missed all of April and May (came back May 31st), was terrible when he did play, and has now hurt his wrist again. His status is up in the air but he's expected to hit the disabled list again. Curtis Granderson also missed the beginning of the year, came back for eight games, got hurt again, and is back on the DL. Kevin Youkilis just hit the DL again. This leaves them with only Robinson Cano as a difference maker in the lineup.

Just for fun, let's take a look at how much salary is doing nothing for the Yankees in 2013. Per Cot's:

  • Rodriguez: zero games, $28 Million
  • Jeter: zero games, $17 Million
  • Granderson: eight games, $15 Million
  • Teixeira: 15 games, $22.5 Million

That's $82.5 million for 23 games, or $94.5 million for 51 games if we include Youkilis and stick the knife in a little deeper.

Yet, the Yankees even dabbled in first place for a while before wilting when Teixeira showed up off the DL. Going 7-8 in June would not normally be a problem except they play in the American League East, and Boston and Baltimore have passed right by them.

At some points this season I've looked at the Yankee box scores and have wondered who are these guys. Let's find out.

First base: Lyle Overbay was the starting first baseman when Teixeira started the year on the DL. He went to the bench when the Vowel came back, but guess what? The Vowel is hurt again so Overbay is back at first. Overbay had given the Yankees good production during his first run but is now in a June slump with only four hits (two extra-base hits) in his last 22 at-bats.

Second base: Cano. There is not much to say; he's carrying the load as much as he can. I just hope the weight does not crush the future Dodger second baseman.

Shortstop: You think the Dodgers shortstop situation is a mess? How about having to play Jayson Nix as your starter? Jeter has missed the season, but they had a solid backup plan in Eduardo Nunez. Except he also went down and was terrible even before he got hurt. Reid Brignac is on the team and actually getting at-bats, and still proving he's awful.

Third base: Youkilis is one player that many Dodger fans point to as the guy the Dodgers should have targeted for third base instead of relying on Luis Cruz.. But Youk is an injury waiting to happen. He's been hurt a few times this year and is already back on the DL to join his other infield brethren. Youkilis also was not very good when he did play. So who's playing third base? How about some guy named David Adams! He's not very good.

Let's review:

The Yankees' starting infield should have been Teixeira / Cano / Jeter / A-Rod.

The Yankees' backup infield should have been Overbay / Nunez / Youkilis.

What you have is Overbay / Cano / Nix or Brignac / Adams or Nix.

Holy hell, Batman.

Left field: Vernon Wells was a steal in April. By June he is what he has been in recent years: God awful. On April 30, Wells had an OPS of .911 with six home runs. Since May 1 Wells has hit .190/.214/.288 in 153 at-bats. That kind of production from left field will kill an offense. And it has. Yet, he still gets to play. Go figure. Just in case the Yankees get tired of Wells they brought up 25-year-old Thomas Neal. He's not any good either.

Center field: Grandy was hurt, Grandy came back, Grandy got hurt. Leaving Brett Gardner as the center fielder, and Gardner is having his best year since, well, ever.

Right field: That revival that Ichiro Suzuki had when the joined the Yankees last summer is gone. In his place is what Mariners fans saw last year, a mere shadow of his former greatness.

Here is the rest of the roster that has seen games for the Yankees this year:

  • Travis Hafner, DH: Shockingly he's actually been healthy and has 11 dingers.
  • Chris Stewart, C: Yup, some guy named Chris Stewart is the starting catcher. He has three extra base hits in 132 plate appearances. All home runs. You have to love that.
  • Austin Romine, C: His line of .132/.148/.170 suggests to me that Luis Cruz and Austin Romine have something in common.
  • Brennan Boesch, OF: He is out-hitting Wells, so his reward is the bench or minor leagues. They can't make up their mind.
  • Ben Francisco, OF: He gone
  • Chris Nelson, 3B: He gone
  • Alberto Gonzalez, SS: He gone
  • Corban Joseph, IF: He gone

As expected with this lineup the Yankees have had trouble scoring runs. I know Dodger fans would be shocked to find out that missing two, three, four, or even five regulars might impact the ability to score runs, but here we have another example. Hey, the Dodgers have even outscored the Yankees in June 53 runs to 48.

Which is why this series promises to be a virtual slugfest. But don't blink; you might miss the only run scored.