One player that was particularly happy in the postgame clubhouse celebration Friday was Alex Rodriguez.
Was Rodriguez’s resurgence worth celebrating?
The inaugural AL Comeback Player of the Year award was given to another Yankees designated hitter in Jason Giambi, who played first base and had a almost identical statistical season as A-Rod this year with 32 homers and 87 RBI.
The Major League Baseball Players’ Association said Rodriguez, the Yankees’ designated hitter, was among three finalists for the award, which is voted on by players.
Prince Fielder of the Texas Rangers and Kendrys Morales of the Kansas City Royals were also named finalists. The victor will be announced next month.
And as FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi notes, it’s the first time the Yankees have made the playoffs with a sub-90 win season since 2000, when they went on to beat the crosstown rival Mets in the World Series. He was batting second, having clearly established himself as the team’s go-to second baseman against left-handed pitchers.
Fielder missed much of 2014 thanks to season-ending neck surgery and was hitting. 412 since taking over the platoon job.
“There are a lot of great things that happen in Yankees history”, Girardi said. “He’ll continue to play against the left-handers, and we like what he’s done”.
Current Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury won it as a member of the Red Sox back in 2011, after an injury-plagued 2010 season in which he appeared in just 18 games.
Girardi said he would like to rest a few of his lineup regulars this weekend to help them heal and reenergize before the playoffs. In fact, Girardi is anxious that the 40-year-old DH might be tired.