A poor man’s, lefthanded Glaus, a third baseman who’s spent his career living down an early season his skills couldn’t really sustain. In Hinske’s case, he won a Rookie of the Year award with the Blue Jays in 2002 for hitting .279/.365/.481 with 24 homers, a legitimate ROY type season. But rather than build on it, Hinske went backward almost immediately. He was below-average in 2003 and 2004, and average in 2005, before playing well in the first half of 2006. Wanting to dump him and his contract, the Blue Jays out and out sold him to the Red Sox in August of that year. He retreated to average for the rest of that season, and stunk in 2007. This left him no other choice but to sign with the Rays. He had an odd year, hitting 20 homers (second-best for his career) but only .247, with a .333 OBP, robbing him of most of his value. He started 2009 with the Pirates, where suddenly his power disappeared (only one homer in 126 PA) but after he was traded to the Yankees it reappeared (seven in 98).
Was a third baseman; when he stopped looking like a star he became a utility player, who plays third, first, and both outfield corners. He’s not great at any of them but won’t kill you either… Natural platoon player, career line of .263/.347/.456 against righthanders, only .221/.296/.370 against lefties. He obviously won’t platoon with Glaus at first base unless something goes catastrophically wrong, but an occasional spot start there against tougher righties would be smart. I expect that when Chipper sits, Infante will get the call, but Hinske’s a better bet to play some third than Norton was. Like Norton in 2008, there’s a good chance that he will be the team’s best option in an outfield corner against righthanders, but I don’t expect to see it.