The only real problem with Youkilis at this spot? He has had an impossible time staying on the field. For someone who gripes the loudest when other miss time, he has had a pretty terrible track record. In fact, in the last three seasons he has played in exactly one more game than JD Drew. If that’s not fragile, I don’t know what it. So, to assume that he will play every game at this spot is ridiculous. Frankly, to say he’ll start out there is a gutsy call.
But, when he’s there, he’s a great addition. He works the counts with the best of them. That’s important in the middle of the line-up. If you can get a couple speedsters on base, and have a batter make a pitcher throw strikes that’s a big plus to the whole line-up. He can provide consistent production…when he’s in the game.
In the field, Youk is a great defender. He might not be the elite third baseman that he was across the diamond at first. But, as long as a defender is good enough, that’s all you really need. Youk is certainly that, and then some.
With all that said, I expect Youk’s name to pop up in trade rumors in the middle of the summer. He’s expendable since the Sox have top talent coming up behind him. He might be the sort of player you can flip for a up and comer to keep the team young.
But, assuming the Sox keep him, here’s what I think we can expect from Him.
A solid, if unspectacular, performance is always welcomed.