He’s barely been in pinstripes for a week and the newest Bronx Bomber, Chase Headley, is already turning this season around for the Yankees. The third baseman was acquired from the San Diego Padres last Tuesday and within hours of arriving to the Big Apple, he was in the ballgame.
Headley’s debut for New York last Wednesday will be one he’ll never forget. He came into the ball game as a pinch hitter in the 8th inning. I found this to be a gamble by manager Joe Girardi seeing as Headley was batting a .229, had hit just 7 home runs, and racked up 32 RBIs this season so far. However, I realized the Yankees wouldn’t have 27 World Championships without a little gamble and it all made sense when we watched him hit a walk off for New York in the 14th against the Rangers.
I couldn’t imagine the amount of pressure Headley must have felt stepping to the plate in the 14th. After bringing in a run and winning the game, the excitement on his face could be seen for miles and I couldn’t help but smile watching him run with a clenched fist. This is the moment that began defining his career with this ballclub and gave people the chance to see what he has to offer. He walked into Yankee Stadium with something to prove and he did just that.
It’s been a difficult season for the Yankees, but Headley brings a new talent to the team. He’s already showing improvement, hitting a .429 in his first four games and he went 3 for 4 on Friday against Toronto. I believe he has the potential to maintain his status as a New York Yankee if he continues to perform the way he has been throughout the second half of the season.
Joining one of the best teams in baseball is intimidating for most any baseball player, but when you’re taking the place of a third baseman who’s been playing for the Yankees for almost a decade you definitely have big shoes to fill. Alex Rodriguez has not played since he was placed on a full season (including postseason) ban back in January of this year. In place of Rodriguez, Headley is signed to a one-year, $10.5 million contract to play for the Yankees and will become a free agent in December. I have a feeling Headley won’t have a problem finding another team to play for or even remaining with the Yankees when that time comes.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said in an interview that “He’s a guy that’s put up big numbers in the past and has been swinging the bat extremely well” and that Headley will be his everyday third baseman for the rest of the 2014 season. I’m excited to see where this season will lead him. I hope to see Headley continue to bring the heat and would like to see him remain on the team next year. I just wonder what Alex Rodriguez’s reaction to this is and what fans will think if Headley does remain on the team. Will he continue to play at third? What will this mean for A-Rod’s career?