Marcus Thames is a player who makes you wonder: What if he played every day?  That opportunity has never really come around and at age 33, probably never will. Still, there is upside to his game, as the Yankees have observed in recent days.

Thames had three home runs in the last two games in Chicago and now has nine for the season. He's had an odd career.

Thames had 100 home runs in his first 1,549 at-bats.  No other big leaguer achieved that feat in fewer appearances. Thames homered in his first major league at-bat, with the Yankees, in 2002. He was later sent away and returned this year after the Tigers gave up on him.

His best big league season came in 2006 when he hit 26 homers and drove in 60 runs. But he only played in 110 games. There's always a hamstring or, his major problem, a righthanded pitcher he can't hit standing in the way. He is hitting .353 vs. lefties, .274 against righties.

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With Alex Rodriguez and now Mark Teixeira sidellined, Thames has provided some much needed punch. For however long it lasts.