Saturday, July 25, 2015

Yankees need another strong second half from Chase Headley

When the New York Yankees traded for Chase Headley last July, they hoped he would find his stroke and solidify the revolving door at third base. He did. This season, after a rocky first half, the Yanks are looking for another strong finish from Headley in both departments. He’s on his way to doing it.

Chase Headley
Photo credit: Keith Allison via Flickr
Headley was signed to a four-year, $52 million deal, and they expected him to be much of the same person who finished out the 2014 season. They did not figure he would generate a .682 OPS, and they certainly didn’t peg him for 16 errors for the season, let alone to this point.

There is reason to be optimistic. Headley has looked much better at third base in recent weeks, and he has been hitting the ball well this month. Since July 1, Headley's slashing .333/.379/.426 with five doubles and seven RBI. The Yankees would love to have that kind of production (maybe with a few homers) going forward.

Headley has a distinct record of hitting much better after the All-Star break, making July look like a premonition of the remainder of the summer. I tweeted this Friday about Headley's career first and second half splits.

Those are rather encouraging stats for Headley and the Yankees.

Headley has seemingly stabilized in the field and has begun to find a groove at the plate. It would be a big boost to the offense if Headley can become a contributor at the bottom third of the order. Based on his production this month and his history, there’s a good chance he can answer the call.