According to AccuScore, which utilizes 10,000 computer simulations, A-Rod’s absence won’t impact the Yankees much. Assuming Rodriguez misses eight weeks, it won’t cost the Yankees even a full game. Regardless of whether he’s there or not, the odds of them winning the AL East are still better than 97 percent.The article also pointed out that Eric Chavez has actually had better numbers than A-Rod this season in several key areas, including slugging percentage, home run percentage, isolated power and strikeout percentage. As I stated yesterday, my main concern with Chavez is his health, but if he can remain in the lineup I think he’ll handle replacing A-Rod pretty well.
In terms of history, it’s unlikely the Yankees will surrender their eight-game lead in the AL East. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the largest lead the Yankees have had at any time in a season in which they did not finish in first place was six games in 1933 (June 6-7).
The Yankees haven’t been affected much over the past three seasons when Rodriguez is not in the lineup. Since 2010, they’re a combined 63-29 (.685 win percentage) without him and 188-142 (.570 win percentage) with him.
A-Rod’s power has declined significantly over the years. Since winning his last MVP in 2007, his at-bats per home run rate has more than doubled. He hit a homer once every 10.8 at-bats in 2007 but has homered once every 23.5 at-bats this season.
His slugging percentage has taken a hit recently as well. His .449 slugging percentage this season is his lowest since 1995 (.408).
Entering Wednesday, 16 third basemen were qualified for the batting title. The cumulative batting average and slugging percentage of those 16 players is slightly better than Rodriguez’s numbers this season.
Some of these stats are easy to push aside. The teams wins and losses with and without A-Rod are, for the most part, irrelevant. Unless we're going to sit here and break down the winning percentage of the teams the Yankees played with and without him, and then factor that into the results, you're not really getting the entire story.
The most important thing that the stats are neglecting is that Rodriguez was finally starting to get locked in at the plate. In his last 11 games, he was hitting .349/.391/.581 with 2 HR 6 RBI and 4 doubles. So, if we're talking about replacing that version of A-Rod then Chavez can't come close. But as we've seen, Rodriguez clearly not the player he used to be so it's very possible that the hot stretch wasn't going to last.
At the end of the day, I do believe the Yankees will be fine without Alex. Will it cost them a game or two here or there? Maybe. But they've survived losing the greatest closer of all time, their starting left fielder, a top of the rotation starter, and various other relievers and position players for weeks at a time, so they'll survive this.
.... Unless Chavez gets hurt. Then they may have a few issues.