The Yankees have had a looming designated hitter opening ever since Hideki Matsui‘s knees stopped working. After much unpopular speculation last offseason that the Yankees would forgo a permanent DH and rotate some of their aging superstars through the position instead, the team signed Nick Johnson.
Nick the Stick seemed like an ideal candidate. He was relatively cheap. He got on base better than just about everyone else in baseball (.402 career OBP), making him a perfect fit for the Yankees’ high-OBP, patient offensive approach. He was injury prone, so he wouldn’t have much leverage to push back if the team wanted to slot Jorge Posada or Alex Rodriguez at his position for a game or two.
Johnson disappointed immediately:
Johnson walked as much the team expected, probably more, in fact, but an abnormally low BABIP limited his overall value. If he didn’t walk, he was an automatic out in the month of April, and was reduced to a measly .305 wOBA.… Click here to read the rest