The Yankees are hoping to stabilize the situation at first base as Ji-Man Choi becomes the 10th player at the position on Wednesday.
“I’m not so sure I could name them all,” Joe Girardi said.
The Chris Carter experiment didn’t work out. And Greg Bird is injured. Matt Holliday is not a natural first baseman, and is injured at the moment anyway. Austin Romine, Rob Refsnyder, Tyler Austin, Chase Headley, and Gary Sanchez have all played at first.
And of course there was relief pitcher Bryan Mitchell playing an inning at first in an extra inning game against the Orioles.
Choi made his major league debut with the Angels last season and hit .170 with five home runs in 54 games. “I wasn’t consistently in the lineup and I feel like I never got into my groove,” Choi said through a translator.
The Yankees picked him up as insurance an here he is as the team looks for a consistent first baseman even as the second half of the season is underway.
“He didn’t have a great spring with us but he’s really got it going in Triple-A,” Girardi said.
Choi flirted with switch-hitting although he gave that up. He was a left-handed hitter but as he worked on right-handed hitting, he felt his left side getting weaker and wanted to focus on his strengths.
Choi doesn’t have the power potential like Carter, but did hit eight homers in Triple-A in 56 games to go along with a .289 batting average.
“He has some power,” Girardi said. “I’m not expecting a 40 home run guy but we’re expecting good at-bats, and to drive in runs, and to do those types of things.”
Now Choi will have a chance to do with some consistent at-bats after Carter was designated again and Bird not ready to return.