Are Yankees Better or Worse Without Alex Rodriguez?

Are Yankees Better or Worse Without Alex Rodriguez? He's won three Most Valuable Player awards, made 14 All-Star Games and claims he's more or less healthy as the postseason approaches.

But is Alex Rodriguez truly helping the Yankees?

Rodriguez is headed for the Hall of Fame whenever he decides to hang up his cleats. This season, he's been in and out of the Yankees lineup, most recently for six games with a sprained thumb.

The Yankees went 3-3 in that stretch without their star third baseman, who returned Sept. 17 but was given Thursday night off to rest. In August, they posted an 13-1 stretch without him. It's a game-by-game situation with Rodriguez.

Statistically, the 36-year-old remains New York's best option at third base. The Yankees are fourth-best in the American League at the position in batting average and on-base percentage, and fifth-best in slugging. None of those team numbers are as good as Rodriguez's individual marks, though.

The Yankees are preparing to host a first-round playoff series, and of no small importance is knowing that whoever Joe Girardi pencils in at third base will be able to play a full nine innings — and be productive.

Are the Yankees better or worse without Alex Rodriguez?