Carrying three catchers: Day 21


Jorge Posada was activated from the disabled list 21 days ago. For each of those days, the Yankees have carried three catchers, in case they needed an emergency appearance. Three weeks is enough, though, to determine that Jorge is OK, and that the team need not continue wasting a roster spot on a third catcher.

We probably won’t see Moeller off the roster until the doubleheader on Friday — when, incidentally, he’d actually be of some use. A spot needs to be cleared for Sir Sidney, so I can’t imagine the Yankees making a move now just to make another one on Friday.

What about Saturday, though? Do the Yankees continue to carry Ponson? Do they demote one of the relievers and move him to the pen? Do they DFA him and tell him thanks for the effort? Whatever the case may be, there will be, or at least should be, a roster move on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. There is no need to carry 13 pitchers with no doubleheader in sight — though that didn’t stop the Yanks from doing just that earlier this year.

I think you know what I’m getting at here. Could Brett Gardner get the nod once the pitching/catching situation is sorted out? I’d like to think so. Like Melky or hate him, the dude has been ice cold for nearly two months now. Since May 1, he’s hitting .231/.280/.308. I know he doesn’t have to be a superstar, but come on. He hasn’t helped his stock much in June, either, hitting .227/.293/.293 in the first 23 days of the month. We could use another option in center field.

Then again, Jason Lane still has that out in his contract, and he hits right handed, so he’s likely to get the nod first. Which is a shame, because Gardner seems to be pulling out all the stops in order to get his shot in the Bronx.

Categories : Rants


  1. Ben K. says:

    I hate to say this, but from an offensive standpoint Chad Moeller may make more sense than Jose Molina right now. He’s also thrown out 7 of 19 runners which isn’t that much worse than Molina’s 17 CS out of 42 attempts.

    • TurnTwo says:

      there’s prob an argument here to be had, but given that Molina signed the 2 year deal last offseason, my guess is that dropping him over Moeller isnt an option top consider at this point.

  2. Guiseppe Franco says:

    The biggest difference between Gardner and Melky is that Gardner will still get on base whether he’s struggling at the plate or not.

    And it’s obvious that Gardner creates havoc for pitchers and catchers when he’s on base.

    I’m really tired of Melky and it’s time for him to sit and watch someone else play.

  3. steve (different one) says:

    The biggest difference between Gardner and Melky is that Gardner will still get on base whether he’s struggling at the plate or not.

    we don’t know this at all.

    hey, i am all for giving Gardner a shot. 100% for it.

    but we can’t just look at Gardner’s OBP in the minors and assume he’ll get on base in the big leagues.

    • TurnTwo says:

      you’re not looking at just his strict OBP number, but the plate discipline he’s shown. if he illustrates that he can read the strike zone, you can assume, or hope, that he can carry this trait with him to the next level (something he’s done in each of his steps up the ranks).

      thats crucial for him, because he needs to continue to walk to offset that strikeout rate… and he can help cut strikeouts by ensuring he wont swing at bad pitches, something we’ve seen Giambi do.

    • ChrisS says:

      Exactly. Gardner, 24, is putting up worse numbers than Melky did in his, albeit brief, tenure at AAA at 21.

      Look, I’m all for Gardner getting promoted to be an impact player off the bench, because a pinch-runner faster than Chad Moeller is obviously needed. As well as a pinch-hitter that may talk a walk. At 24, I don’t think Gardner is going to develop any additional power in AAA, let alone any more talent. I think, at this point, he is what he will be. But I’m not a GM or scout or even remotely connected.

      Melky’s walk rate has steadily declined in during the last 2 and a half seasons, and he’s obviously struggling, but there’s no reason to expect that Gardner will put up even a ,370 OBP at the ML level just be cause he did so at AAA. Selling on Melky now is selling way too low on a 23 year old with excellent CF defense.

      • Haggs says:

        Call up Gardner to play, not to sit on the bench and pinch run.

        Pinch running for someone often backfires, and I could see Girardi pulling (insert slow guy here) in favor of Gardner, only to have his spot come up again at an important moment in the game. Managers do this all the time and it drives me crazy.

        Don’t tempt Girardi. Either leave Gardner where he is or bring him here to play every day (or close to it).

      • Chris says:

        One thing to consider:

        Brett Gardner at 23 in AAA: .260/.343/.331
        Melky at 23 in MLB: .269/.321/.397

        Gardner is obviously having a great first half this year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he will keep it up if you promote him. Likewise, Melky should improve somewhat from where he is now. If you’re looking for the better option this year, I think it’s a toss up, but one thing you need to do is keep giving them both playing time every day or nearly every day.

        I don’t see Gardner getting a call up before the AS break, but if the Yanks make the playoffs, I’d almost guarantee he’s on the roster.

        • daneptizl says:

          The difference here is that Gardner showed an improvement in the following year, whereas Melky’s trending downward.

        • A.D. says:

          Thats been the case for every stop for Gardner, he stuggles in the beginning and then adjusts

      • A.D. says:

        Melky didn’t put up numbers that good at any stop along the way, except for A ball & that brief stint at AAA, he had a similar size stint at AAA the year before where he played poorely. Additionally Gardner has more walks this year (53 to 47) in less than half the games (74 to 163) that Melky had in ’05 & ’06 in the minors.

        But this is really about Gardner playing well in AAA, and Melk swinging an ice cold bat right now

  4. Steve S says:

    Cashman may use Melky as a trade chip come the deadline (not as a centerpiece but as a piece). Benching him might not be the best thing for his value. But it would make sense to at least get a glimpse of Gardner before he gets the job outright.

    • steve (different one) says:

      the other side of that coin is he may also be thinking of using Gardner in a trade (as a piece) and does not want to expose him to major league pitching.

      just guessing. no idea.

      • TurnTwo says:

        also fair point. same speculation is going on for Alan Horne on SNY, and why he isnt getting the callup for the weekend.

        • cult of basebaal says:

          horne isn’t getting the call up because he’s only making his 3rd start after coming off his DL stint. he’s still rounding back into shape AND he’s working on some mechanical stuff with his landing spot.

          That SNY article was terrible, wondering why he wasn’t getting the nod without once mentioning he’s essentially been out since spring training with the injury.

          • TurnTwo says:

            oh, every reasonable yankees fan knows why Horne wasnt called up, i’m just sayin SNY is speculating something like this.

            • EdB says:

              I doubt you’ll get a decent return for Gardner at this point his value to the Yankees is probably higher than other teams value him at this point. At worst he’s a spare part with a couple of great tools (speed, D) and at best you’ve got a speedy starting centerfielder that probably won’t kill you at the plate.

    • TurnTwo says:

      i’m buying more into this sentiment by the day. i fear, tho, that Melky’s value will never be as high as it was after his first full season in CF.

      • Chris says:

        Cashman may be waiting for Melky to get hot again…

        I don’t think one is really better than the other, and neither one is the long term CF for the Yanks (that guy is playing in Trenton).

      • chris says:

        a common theme with this team’s prospects. everywhere you look are prospects that werent traded by cashman and are now exposed as crap

        • steve (different one) says:

          yes, Hughes and Kennedy are officially crap. they struggled for a few weeks. they are done. they will be lucky to ever pitch in the majors again.

          especially that bum Hughes. he pitched 6 strong innings in his first start, then followed it up with 16 bad innings.

          i would say 16 bad innings is enough to call him crap. they should try to trade him for David Eckstein.

        • EdB says:

          I don’t see a problem with Cashman trading away the crappy prospects and keeping the good ones. Isn’t that his job? That kid Chamberlain is looking pretty good these days as have a few of the young pitchers in the bullpen.

  5. Andy in Sunny Daytona Beach says:

    I said it yesterday, and I will say it again today. Everything Gardner has done is in a league where Kei Igawa has a 3.46 ERA.
    In April, everyone loved Melky and everyone hated Giambi. Players slump. Melky is only 23 you have to have some patince with younger players. I guess we will have to wait to see what kind of player Gardner will be when he’s 23. Oh wait, we need a time machine for that.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona Beach says:

      or patience.

    • Guiseppe Franco says:

      We should try to take the no BS approach here and really put things in perspective.

      Melky was considerably lucky to be in the majors and playing every day at such a young age. He was at the right place at the right time because both Matsui and Sheffield went down for most of the 2006 season. That’s an undeniable fact. He’s had some good months hitting the ball, but he generally been a disappointment.

      He ended up getting the CF job primarily because of his defense and energy he had – not because of his offensive production. And Gardner tracks the ball just as well as Melky does and will get on base whether he hits or not.

      Melky has been a very good, but not great defensive player. His arm is the reason why people overrate his defensive skills. He makes nearly as many boneheaded plays, both offensively and defensively, as he does great plays.

      You can play the age game with Gardner and Melky all you want, but Melky has been greatly benefited from luck and opportunity while Gardner has been stuck in the minors awhile longer because of the logjam at the major league level the last couple of years.

      Gardner was phenomenal during ST and finds ways to get on base and score. Melky hasn’t hit for two months and would be a fourth outfielder on most teams in the AL.

    • Joseph P. says:

      “Everything Gardner has done is in a league where Kei Igawa has a 3.46 ERA.”

      Hello? If anything, that HELPS Gardner’s case.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona Beach says:

        How? It means shitty pitchers get players out.

        • Guiseppe Franco says:

          You happen to be a Melky supporter and that’s fine.

          But we need to be honest and really take a hard look at the kind of player Melky is and what he isn’t.

          I’m one of those people who has never been a big fan of Melky. I know Joe, Mike, and Ben are part of that group as well.

          But, right now, Melky is not producing and needs to be pushed one way or another.

          • Andy in Sunny Daytona Beach says:

            It’s not that I’m a Melky fan per se, it’s just that I don’t like to give up on players just because they are slumping. We have absolutely no idea what kind of player Brett Gardner is going to be in the majors. A lot of people are saying “He can’t be any worse”, but he can. I have no doubt that Gardner can run with the best of them, but he does have a tendency to strike out quite a bit. He draws walks in the minors, but will that translate to the majors? Who knows.
            Thanks to the hype, Gardner is going to be under a huge amount of pressure when he gets called up. How will he handle it? I’m sure that all the reporters will give him the right amount of time to acclimate to the big leagues. I’m mean the New York writers have the patience of saints.
            I’m glad we didn’t give up on Gardner when he was 23.
            I hope that I am wrong, and I hope that Gardner turns into the next Rickey Henderson. It wouldn’t be the first time that I was wrong.

            • TurnTwo says:

              but is he slumping, or is this what he is, which is a solid defensive OF who has a good stick from the left side of the plate?

              not that there’s anything wrong with that, but as the everday starting CF, you need some sort of production which you dont get from someone who is really 4th OF.

        • Joseph P. says:

          Think about it. Shitty pitchers can get players out. Gardner makes fewer outs than anyone on SWB (with more than 150 ABs). See it?

          • Andy in Sunny Daytona Beach says:

            So when shitty pitchers come to the majors they get worse, but decent hitters become great hitters?

            • Joseph P. says:

              You’re completely misreading the argument. Which isn’t really an argument. It’s just demonstrating that your original statement doesn’t hold any water.

              Guys perform differently when they’re promoted. You can’t write off Gardner as a hitter because Igawa is pitching decently well in AAA. You also can’t compare him to Melky at AAA. It’s not like every good major leaguer dominated AAA before heading to the majors.

          • Andy in Sunny Daytona Beach says:

            I forget what did Melky do when he was in AAA?

  6. jsbrendog says:

    if we hop in the way back machine we can compare alvaro espinoza’s mustache to giambi’s.

    that’s what i’d rather do than talk about 3 catchers or melky

    • RustyJohn says:

      Dude, I loved Alvaro Espinoza- when I was a kid growing up in Florida I had an Espinoza jersey my cousin gave me. He had two shirts and I could either have picked his or Matt Nokes. I took Espinoza’s.

  7. JRVJ says:

    IMO, Traber will be sent down (or DFAed) to create roster room for Ponson.

    As I mentioned in a previous thread, what I would do if I were the Yankees is have Karstens in NYC, and have Giese throw the first game. If Giese gets shellacked, use Ponson for long relief and then release him.

    Game 2 then is pitched by Karstens.

    If Giese goes long and the Yankee pen is rested (which also depends on what happens in Pittsburgh), then Karstens may not need to be activitated (i.e., the regular Yankee pen can handle a Ponson implosion).

    And no way should the Yankees release Moller before a DH. Saturday maybe, but no way before Friday.

  8. TurnTwo says:

    one thing that i see is this idea that Melky is still young and developing, and you cant give up on him now.

    but he’s been in the league for a couple seasons, and is regressing. perhaps he’s made his adjustments to the league, and the league made their adjustments back, and this is what he is?

    there arent many baseball people who feel Melky is much more than a 4th OF on a good team, anyway. why is it simply given that since he’s young, he’s still developing and we have to wait him out.

    maybe this is just what he is, just like people assume Gardner is destined to be what he is, which is just speed off the bench?

  9. EdB says:

    I think the team just needs more options in CF. Its obvious Damon can’t cut it there anymore even for brief stints and after that I guess you have Matsui which isn’t actually an option. Also, chances are you’re going to need to start DHing Damon a little more as the season progresses. I’d love to see Gardner up because he seems like the kind of dynamic player the yankees haven’t seen since Tim Raines (or I guess Homer Bush-kinda). However at this point I’d just as soon bring up Justin Christian. He’s got similar speed, is in his peak years so he’s not losing any projection and he might be an emergency infielder (he’s got to have more experience than Johnny Damon there). I assume Moeller’s out of options so its sad to have to DFA him but you can’t carry 3 catchers for a month. As someone mentioned above, I’d start Giese and depending on his performance and needs go for there in terms of who’s on the big league staff. Worst case scenario if Giese gets hit you can run ohlendorf out there and then option him down for a fresh arm for the nightcap. I’m hoping this Ponson thing is a one and done, but this season has been weird enough so anything is possible.

  10. Tripp says:

    I would keep Gardner in AAA and call up Christian. The guy isn’t a prospect so getting ABs isn’t a problem. He has speed for the people who want a pinch runner on the bench. He can play all three outfield positions so the team can spell Abreu (no back up currently) Melky (needs atleast a day a week to clear his head) and Damon (knees are a problem along with Matsui).

    • cult of basebaal says:

      no. the whole point is to see if you can get someone *better* than what melky is giving you. that’s why you see what gardner’s got. because *he’s* got a shot to be better than melky. because melky’s a problem right now.

  11. Old Ranger says:

    I like Bretts all around game better then Justins’. Justin is; older, more pop, a little stronger arm, not as fast as Brett (he’s fast enough), bats right handed, and doesn’t have the plate discipline of Brett.
    As most know, I have stated my like of both of them, many times. As Melkys’ best hitting side is left (if I remember right) it would make sense for them to have a righty (also because of being lefty heavy) platoon for melky, and rest Johnny or Bobby.
    But, I still like Brett much better then Melky or Justin, Brett has more wepons to use and of those most of them are better then M or J. 27/08?

  12. RustyJohn says:

    With Matsui’s bum knee, why not just call Gardner up and rotate him and Melky as the 3rd/4th outfielders. That way they’re not completely throwing him to the wolves yet at the same time putting pressure on Melky to get his crap together- I’m sure he could probably use the ocassional day off too.

    Moeller needs to grow the Fasano stache, then Cashman will realize he is an indispensible part of the team and will trade Molina. Maybe they can send him to the Mariners so the Mariners can have four catchers on their roster since they are carrying three right now too.

  13. Bob says:

    Trade Melky (and throw in Shelly maybe) for Huston Street… DFA Hawkins, call up Gardner for CF. That adds on a couple wins this year… and you have a possible replacement for Mo in a few years.

  14. Steven S says:

    Jason Lane? You forget the fact that he sucks in the minor leagues.

    • Billy Smith says:

      Sucks is an understatement. What does .232 translate in the majors? Not a chance in hell he gets a shot. The Yankees gave him a chance after his original out kicked in and he’s not improved a bit.

  15. mike says:

    Lets be honest – is Melkys (albeit) pathetic production going to make-or-break our team? His D is passable, occasional pop, nice (overrated) arm……… hitting 9th in a line-up of All-Stars.

    Even with him, they averaged-out at (projected) 6 runs a game.

    He makes me nuts – he cannot bunt, he thinks he is Clemente with his arm and he has poor strike-zone discipline and game awareness.

    But, he is batting 9th….Im more worried about our #2 and #8 hitters who are dragging down the lineup.

    That being said, I believe “Melky’s” are a dime-a-dozen type player, and if Seattle wants to take him, IPK and Horne and sends back Bedard….ill drive him to the airport!!!

    • TurnTwo says:

      just because we shouldnt have to count on major production from Melky doesnt mean we have to settle for absolutely nothing from the 9 hole.

    • Billy Smith says:

      I wouldn’t touch Bedard let alone give away young talent to so. The dude would implode in the Big City. He doesn’t like to talk to the media and has been called a bad teammate by some. Think Eddie Whitson II.

      • mike says:

        Bedard is a stud, and I would think he would be fine in NY – anyone as good as he, on a monster offensive team in Yankee Stadium ( plus signed next year too) – he would win 15 games sleepwalking

        • A.D. says:

          He’s injury prone….not what we need,

          there’s also moans that hes not that into the game and such, but in reality that’s probably some bs out of Seattle because they’re having a terrible season and gave up a lot for him

  16. [...] get better over time, Melky has, in fact, put up worse numbers in each of his three seasons. As Joe noted early, since his aberrant April, Melky has managed to hit just .231/.280/.308 in nearly 200 plate [...]

  17. Bob says:

    you all really think that Melky and Shelly, who the A’s could use, are cheaper, and under control longer than Huston Street, is that crazy?? Throw a pitcher like Marquez in too? I’m more worried about the bull pen than starters right now.

    • TurnTwo says:

      yes, it is, in fact, crazy.

    • Billy Smith says:

      It blows my mind that people think teams would think that Shelley adds value to a deal. I love him and he gave the Yankees a needed boost last year but there is a reason why he’s only 131 at-bats. If you want to get a good player you need give something in return.

    • EdB says:

      I like th train of thought but the reality is Melky is at this point a borderline starter on a good team with some projection and Shelley is a platoon player at best. I like the idea of trying to pry away Street but you’re going to need a little more bait to get a top flight closer, although it would be cool to have Cox and Street setting up for Mo this season. Still rather take a chance on Hardern, but then again I also wanted Prior in the offseason.

    • A.D. says:

      Billy Beane doesn’t make deal where he gives away a good player for potential filler, this isn’t one of the idiot GMs, it may be one of the best GMs at getting return for vets.

  18. steve (different one) says:

    Shelley Duncan has no trade value. none.

  19. jm says:

    Gardner and Robertson are the future …. trade Melky and Horne for AJ Burnett ! …. seriously though, both Melky and Gardner are good players.. though i see Gardner as more useful because of his speed and on-base skills… the yankee line-up needs this more than what Melky provides.. and Melky IS a good player.. as for Horne, the guy has always been over-rated, his breakout year in AA last year he was 25 and 2-3 years older then the competition … David Robertson is the real deal, a future closer type.. along with Edwar and Scott Patterson, the bullpen could be alot better soon

    theres also the real possibility we see both Gardner and Melky playing everyday for the yanks in the 2nd half …. Damon and Matsui are dinged up… you never know if Abreu could get injured too (knock on wood)… but really, its only one DL stint away from happening

    something could also happen with Austin Jackson soon (trade or late season call-up)

    also, i hope you guys didnt seriously just give up on Hughes and Kennedy (did you??)

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