MISSING: Matt Holliday from the New York Yankees lineup. REWARD: Upon return, you’ll receive multiple home runs and postseason experience.
Oh, Matt Holliday! Are you out there? Because we not only want you in the lineup, we probably could use you.
When it comes to the Yankees, this postseason their DH has practically been non-existent. Using Jacoby Ellsbury and Chase Headley to fill the DH slot, they’ve gone 0-for-14 in these four games. And yet, they are still heading out each night over Matt Holliday.
Is there a reason Holliday is sitting on the bench? Sure, since his return from illness this season, he’s been less than impressive. Headley and Ellsbury were also swinging the bat well as of late, there’s no denying that.
However, Holliday has continued to wear down the bench, waiting and waiting to be called into action without ever hearing his name. In tight games late, he was never brought out to pinch-hit.
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While the Yankees need his leadership in the dugout from the veteran, his postseason play is certainly nothing to scoff at. He is an established veteran who has been to the postseason six times with various teams. This, his seventh year, he comes with a .247 BA and 13 home runs.
Maybe his batting average is not the greatest but Holliday could provide a much-needed pop to a lineup that the other DHs have lacked so far this series. Ellsbury and Headley have proven to be easy outs. Holliday, with his experience and smooth swing, would urge Cleveland pitchers to be a little more cautious.
We can’t worry about the why behind Holliday’s absence from the lineup. What we can focus on is the present, which shows that Holliday should be in a do-or-die lineup.
Sure, they’ve done fine without him. But imagine what a force they would be by having his power bat in the lineup? Before you mention that Holliday’s second half wasn’t as explosive as his first, take a look at his final game of the regular season.
He crushed a home run to tie the game against the Toronto Blue Jays. And he looked like his swing was back to normal.
If the Yankees are worried about making a change to their lineup, they must look like fools. The Ellsbury-Headley experiment hasn’t worked at all this postseason and Holliday literally could not do any worse. Even if he gets no hits, he’s on par with what Ells and Headley have done in four games.
There’s no harm in putting Holliday out there for Game 5. The real harm is in letting a seasoned veteran who played such a huge role in the Yankees’ first half sit on the bench and feel unwanted by his own team.
Holliday is a team player. He wouldn’t dare speak ill towards his own team or manager for his lack of playing time. But he has earned the right to at least try and help out at the DH position that is so struggling.
We’ve given the kids a chance to shine, now let’s allow the veteran his chance at glory. They didn’t sign him to a one-year deal to warm the bench.
They signed him to bring the Yankees a veteran presence and a strong bat in the lineup. And this postseason, he hasn’t gotten the opportunity, despite his various years of postseason experience.
The Yankees have been on a Holliday for far too long. It’s time to get back to business and get Matty Muscles back in the lineup for Game 5.