Is it worth having Hideki Matsui come back this year, despite having a knee that needs surgery? Well, probably. Matsui’s bat is often overlooked in the Yankee lineup – his unspectacular consistency just doesn’t stand out: his career high in HRs is 31 and his best ever OPS+ (posted in 2004) is 137. However, since that year, when healthy, his OPS+ has hovered around 130 and in 2007 he drew a walk for every strikeout. Most importantly, Matsui has always had strong numbers with RISP (which, as we know, has been the Yankee fatal flaw). He was on his way to another solid season this year before his injury.
So how can the Yankees use Matsui and his frail knee now? Probably as a DH every other day. This will mean more time at CF for Johnny Damon and his noodle arm, but a compromise has to be made somewhere. And on the days when Matsui isn’t in the lineup, he’ll be a nice option in a big spot late in the game – you know, when the Yankees just need someone to get that runner in from 3rd with a fly ball.