The new Yankee third baseman has adjusted nicely to the Bronx.
Chase Headley has only been with the Yankees for three days, but he has certainly made his presence known.
Since he was acquired on Tuesday by New York from his former team the San Diego Padres in exchange for Yangervis Solarte and right handed rookie pitcher Rafael De Paula, Headley has provided a spark in the Yankees’ offense that was sorely needed.
Headley arrived to Yankee Stadium Tuesday night after the Bombers had already started their game versus the Texas Rangers, having to introduce himself to his new teammates during the game. Headley pinch hit for Zelous Wheeler in the eighth inning and struck out. He grounded out in his next two at-bats in the 11th and 12th inning, but it was his walk-off RBI single in the 14th inning that he and all Yankee fans will remember about his first game in pinstripes.
His next game was a rain shortened four and a half inning 2-1 win against Texas in which he was stranded on second after hitting a double in the bottom of the fifth when the rain started to come down.
Finally, Headley was able to have a normal day at the ballpark, playing a nine inning game in which he went 1-4 with an RBI single. Headley said after the game “It was nice just to play a normal game. I actually came in and felt like I was going through my normal routine.”
The former Padre is 3-10 in his first three games with the Yankees and has driven in two key runs during his time with the team, something manager Joe Girardi knew he was capable of doing. “Another switch hitter obviously with power, put up big numbers in the past and provides us an everyday third baseman and it’s really nice to have him.”
The Yankees have mixed and matched at the third base position all year. With Alex Rodriguez suspended and Kelly Johnson not hitting as well as expected, players like Solarte and Wheeler have been filling in and doing a decent job fielding and hitting wise, but they weren’t players the Yankees could rely on game in and game out to produce. With Headley, who is hitting very well in July at .320, the Yankees may have finally found that third baseman they have been searching for all season.
Thus far, Headley has enjoyed playing in New York and so have his new teammates. “The guys have treated me great, welcomed me with open arms and we’ve won three games so it’s been outstanding,” he said.
Yankee fans have only seen a small sample size of Headley in these three games, but if he continues to produce this way it will certainly benefit them for the rest of the second half of the season.
Listen to Headley and Girardi’s comments below.