May 9, 2007

Doug Mientkiewicz: Yankee's Pick Me Up

One Yankee who is beginning to show more than a blip on the radar screen is Doug Mientkiewicz. Signed during the off-season in a platoon situation with (at the time) either Andy Philips or Josh Phelps, Mientkiewicz has been doing more lately than flashing impressive leather. He's been hitting and making remarkable plays. Tuesday night in the fifth inning, Doug dove for a ball hit by Gerald Laird of the Texas Rangers, and while on his knees, dove towards him for the tag. But when laird missed the first base bag, Mientkiewicz, while still on his knees scrambled and beat Laird to first base for the out. Watching the instant replay, one has to say "wow." That play is the definition of hustle.

The Yankees have been plagued with injuries, mostly to their starting rotation, this season, and now it seems that Jason Giambi may have to miss some games due to a bone spur in his foot. It's good timing that Mientkiewicz is swinging the bat much better these days because it will help pick up the team in Giambi's absence. It's not to suggest that Mientkiewicz is a hitter of Jason's caliber; but, having someone showing as much hustle as Doug Mientkiewicz has lately is exactly what the doctor ordered in this situation. In April, the pitching staff was unable to pick the team up after the spate of injuries which sidelined their starters. Let's hope the Mientkiewicz sets an example for others.

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