First Pitch: Dickey in the postseason?
September, 27, 2012
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com
AP Photo/Kathy KmonicekHas Chris Dickerson played his way onto the Yankees' postseason roster?For a brief period of time, Chris Dickerson was trending in NYC on Twitter yesterday, which means nothing except that a lot of people were chattering about him in 140 characters or less.
And quite frankly, I'm so out of touch with popular culture I couldn't identify eight of the other nine names on the list (Kobe, at least, I had heard of, since Alex Rodriguez is constantly dropping his name).
But the truth is, Chris Dickerson -- Dickey to his manager, who has a hockey-style nickname for everyone -- is likely to be in a lot of NYC conversations over the next few days as the talk turns from the AL East race, which is moving close to a settlement, and on to the Yankees' postseason roster.
On Wednesday, Dickerson, given a rare start against the Twins, had a big day, with two hits including an impressive line-drive home run that capped off the Yankees' 8-2 victory.
No one wins a playoff roster berth on the strength of one game, or even 22 games, which is how many Dickerson has appeared in since being called up from Triple-A Scranton on Sept. 1. And his numbers, while good (.333 batting average, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs and an .833 SLG) are based on all of 12 at-bats.
But guys can, and do, often play their way off playoff rosters on the strength of a season, and the case can be made that right now, Dickerson would serve the Yankees better in October, than say, Andruw Jones or Raul Ibanez, both of whom played well for the first half of the season and then tailed off, hardly surprising considering Ibanez's age (40) and Jones' physical condition.
Dickerson is younger, faster and more athletic than both of them and with Mark Teixeira potentially still hobbled by the calf strain that has lingered for more than a month now, forcing Nick Swisher into emergency first-base duty, the Yankees certainly could use a player of that ilk as a fill-in -- or even a starting -- outfielder.
The question is, who do you drop to make room for him? Jones, who despite his limitations in the field and at the plate, is still a threat against left-handed pitching, or Ibanez, who like Dickerson is a left-handed hitter and has more power? I am assuming Brett Gardner, who got into the ninth inning of yesterday's game as a defensive replacement, is not an option unless he shows he can hit in the remaining seven games.
No, the Question of the Day today is Dickey: Do the Yankees take him for the October hayride, or leave him behind? And if so, who does he replace? Let us know in the comments section below.
Up now: My column off yesterday's 8-2 win over the Twins using a lineup no Binder would come up with, and a pitcher no team hoping to win a championship could afford to be without.
Coming later: A W2W4 on tonight's matchup between Ivan Nova (12-7, 4.94) and RHP Brandon Morrow (8-7, 3.28) in the opener of this weekend's four-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto. First pitch is at that uniquely-Canadian starting time of 7:07 p.m. I'll be at the Rogers Centre when the clubhouse opens at 3:30, and I'll have the lineups and all the pregame news, including the injury status of A-Rod and the rehab progress of Teixeira, so check in often. And as always, thanks for reading.