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Lyle Overbay is starting in right field for the Yankees

Jun 3, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT

Lyle Overbay AP

Lyle Overbay is 36 years old and has played 1,375 games in the big leagues spread over 13 seasons for six different teams. He’s never played a position other than first base or designated hitter.

Until tonight, because Overbay is starting in right field for the Yankees.

Overbay did a decent job filling in for the injured Mark Teixeira at first base, so with Teixeira back and Travis Hafner entrenched at designated hitter manager Joe Girardi is apparently willing to take the hit defensively.

Overbay has eight homers and a .461 slugging percentage in 51 games, but his .289 on-base percentage is terrible. Of course, the outfielder he’s replacing in the lineup tonight is Vernon Wells and he’s been really awful lately.

I’ll go out on a limb and predict the Overbay-in-the-outfield experiment doesn’t last the week.

  1. proudlycanadian - Jun 3, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    This should be fun to watch. I hope that Overbay also enjoys himself out there.

  2. sisisisisisisi - Jun 3, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Masterson threw a complete game 1-0 4-hitter against the Yanks in Cleveland the 1st game of a doubleheader on May 13 in which Overbay had pinch-hit appearance for a BB. Overbay had 5 hits in 8 AB against Masterson but was not in the starting lineup that game.

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 3, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    My first thought was that Overbay must have great numbers against Masterson. I looked, and he does.

    I also saw that, among the group of Teixeira, Hafner and Ichiro, Ichiro has the “best” numbers against Masterson, OPSing .202, .200 and .459, respectively. And Ichiro has been the closest thing to “hot” from this group over the last few games.

    Hopefully having a lefty with a ground-ball-inducing approach on the mound will limit Overbay’s opportunities in the outfield.

    • ctony1216 - Jun 3, 2013 at 5:30 PM

      Against righties, Overbay is hitting .286/.328/.540/.868. So with his success vs. Masterson and righties in general, it’s easy to understand why Girardi wants his bat in the lineup.

      Now, if Overbay starts taking swings as a righty batter too, then we’ll know for sure that the Yankees are trying to turn him into Nick Swisher.

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 3, 2013 at 8:19 PM

      Ichiro is playing left field and Wells is sitting.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 4, 2013 at 5:09 PM

        And Teixeira and Overbay both homer. I will leave the managing to Girardi and find something else to complain about. Admittedly I am not loving Ichiro in CF and Gardner sitting tonight, but I suppose Brett is entitled to a day off and again.

  4. Jack Marshall - Jun 3, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    The way desperate fill-ins have worked for the Yankees so far this season, I’m betting on Overbay to make a Swoboda in right. Girardi is a genius!

    • rje49 - Jun 3, 2013 at 4:33 PM

      I have a vivid memory of an early Ron Swoboda episode where he charged in from right field for a ball that went way over his head. Had to be 1965. 11 outfield errors in 112 games!

      • badintent - Jun 4, 2013 at 12:58 AM

        I have a vivid memory of him making The catch of the 1969 World Series to rob the Os of a game winning rally hit by taking a nasty smash in the chest diving and Catching a ball that no one else gets to. Even better than the two catches by the Mets center fielder to take a double and a homer away.You Gotta Believe !

  5. missthemexpos - Jun 3, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    Don’t stop with filling in at right field, make Overbay a super sub and give some of the regulars the odd day off.

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 3, 2013 at 3:55 PM

      Overbay at shortstop? I would classify that as conceptual art.

  6. kirwin71 - Jun 3, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    As of rightnow, Overbay maybe our best situational hitter, he has been getting hits for us since the season started & big hits in big situations, u gotta get his bat on the field before he lose it, to many guys in slumps & not even working the count like previous yrs, don’t get me wrong I am happy where we are for all the injuries we’ve suffered but we’ve lost our edge but Overbay was the only bat never died since the season begin.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 3, 2013 at 4:36 PM

      He is making (at least one) outs over 71% of the time he steps to the plate. While I am appreciative of the late game RBIs he has driven in, I have to think he will negate the small value his hitting has provided once he starts misplaying balls in the OF. The dude is 36 and his feet have never touched grass in an MLB game.

      I don’t fault the Yankees for keeping him on the roster while they wait o make sure Tex is healed, but playing him in the OF is silly. (Of course he will make three sparkling plays and hit 2 HR tonight, but that will be beside the point)

  7. protectthishouse54 - Jun 3, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    What’s depressing is that the reason for the move is so Marky Mark can retain some sort of value while he strikes out 3 times per game.

    • badintent - Jun 4, 2013 at 1:00 AM

      Never mind the Grand Slam ? Right. Class dissed and dismissed

  8. seanmk - Jun 3, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    well the article says ichiro is bumped, but its Vernon wells that is bumped, who just happens to bat right handed, and masterson’s side arm motion kills right handers.

  9. aceshigh11 - Jun 3, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    What’s next? Converting Joba Chamberlain to their next shortstop?

    With the way this season has gone for the Yankees, it just might work.

  10. nwbaseballer - Jun 3, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    why stop in the outfield…
    Overbay, L, 10.80 0-1 4 1 0 – – 0 6.2 12 11 8 8 6 – 2 0 –

  11. Steve Stein - Jun 3, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    He might do very well. Certainly his glove isn’t a problem. His lack of speed might be.

  12. dbs13 - Jun 3, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    I saw Overbay play 1 or 2 innings in spring training this year for Boston. It was not pretty.

  13. jfk69 - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Ben Francisco dropped two shagged fly balls. Overbay perfect on one. Ben is gone!

  14. jfk69 - Jun 4, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    WATCH OUT….Overbay seen eyeballing you in the bullpen

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