Lyle Overbay is 36 years old and has played 1,375 games in the big leagues spread over 13 seasons for six different teams. He’s never played a position other than first base or designated hitter.
Until tonight, because Overbay is starting in right field for the Yankees.
Overbay did a decent job filling in for the injured Mark Teixeira at first base, so with Teixeira back and Travis Hafner entrenched at designated hitter manager Joe Girardi is apparently willing to take the hit defensively.
Overbay has eight homers and a .461 slugging percentage in 51 games, but his .289 on-base percentage is terrible. Of course, the outfielder he’s replacing in the lineup tonight is Vernon Wells and he’s been really awful lately.
I’ll go out on a limb and predict the Overbay-in-the-outfield experiment doesn’t last the week.
There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.
The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.
All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.
After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.
Here’s today’s schedule: