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Chris Nelson could be option for Yankees to replace Kevin Youkilis

Chris Nelson hits an RBI single in the

Chris Nelson hits an RBI single in the eighth inning. (Aug. 23, 2012) Credit: AP

If Kevin Youkilis hits the disabled list with the back issues that have led him to play in only one game since April 20, the Yankees have some options on the open market to replace him.

Internally, the organization is light on infielders. Injuries to Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez have exposed this area of shallow depth, forcing Jayson Nix and Eduardo Nunez into more prominent action than any team could hope for. The team doesn’t have a glut or even a small stash of capable minor leaguers stored away, either. Any real help will have to come from outside the organization.

If Youkilis does go on the DL, the most likely internal option has Nix manning third base in his absence, a scenario that is entirely unattractive. While Nix is a capable defender, he’s batting just .217 this season and has a career .214 average and .648 on-base plus slugging percentage.

One other option could be for the Yankees to take a shot on former Rockies third baseman Chris Nelson, who was designated for assignment by Colorado on April 28 to make room for top prospect Nolan Arenado. Nelson has been hitting .242 with a .282 on-base percentage and .318 slugging percentage this season, but performed considerably better during an extended stay at the hot corner in 2012. He posted a .284 average and .754 OPS from 2010-2012.

Other free agent third baseman include Chone Figgins, Orlando Hudson, Adam Kennedy and Scott Rolen.

Nelson at least would seem to have the personality for New York. Here he is playing "Rockies: Truth or Dare" at the MLB Fan Cave - spoiler alert: he likes Adele:


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