Jorge should probably just call it a season

9th inning wins for Tampa & Charleston
Doubt grows in LA

The Yankees today sit at something of a crossroad in 2008. They are on the verge of an important three-game set against the Red Sox in Boston. They’ve gained a lot of ground in both the division and Wild Card and could see their play this weekend determine whether they are pretenders or contenders.

Meanwhile, one of their star players and biggest money-makers, number 20 himself, Jorge Posada has a decision to make as well. On the one hand, we have doctors — many of them — calling for Posada to get surgery. It is a foregone conclusion that, at some point, he will need surgery on his ailing shoulder, and recovery time for this surgery is at least six months. If he has the operation now, he’ll be ready for the start of Spring Training if all goes according to plan. His window for this decision is about two weeks.

But at the same time, Jorge Posada sees the Yankees winning and doesn’t want to give up. He also knows that the Yankees rewarded him with a high-risk, four-year contract. While this shoulder injury isn’t indicative of the problems likely to show up in the latter years of the contract, that Posada is missing so much time at age 36 is sending off alarm bells left and right.

To that end, Jorge is considing a position change that would keep him in the lineup. He might play first; he might DH; he won’t be catching. Some reports have pressure on Posada originated with Yanks’ Team President Randy Levine. Others have it coming from Jorge himself and his desire to play.

But the reality is that the Yankees need Jorge Posada to be healthy for next season. They don’t need him to delay surgery, and they know that his bat isn’t what it should be with his shoulder hurting. In fact, Jorge has said so himself, and the numbers bear him out. Since returning from the DL in June, Jorge has hit .248/.380/.371 over 129 plate appearances. Since July 1, those numbers — .214/.365/.262 — look even worse.

For the Yankees and for Jorge, it’s not worth the risk. Posada should get the surgery and come back next year. The Yankees — 6-0 in the last six games — can win without Jorge, but next year, they’ll need him healthy and ready to go.

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9th inning wins for Tampa & Charleston
Doubt grows in LA
  • http://www.salarydump.wordpress.com Joltin’ Joe

    I see another typo Ben K.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      I noticed a few when I went back to edit this piece just now.

      Anyway, just e-mail us about typos. E-mail addresses for each author are at left.

      • Steve

        I found another typo. The one when you said Jorge should get the surgery now. Try to fix that one for me *wink* *wink*

  • http://www.ps3tf2.co.nr/ Double-J

    Please, Jorge. Call it a year. I don’t want to see you anywhere near first base.

    • Bo

      Because Giambi and Betemit and whoever else they have trotted out there the past few years have been Gold Glovers.

      • http://www.freewebs.com/ps3tf2/chat.htm Double-J

        Sexson and Giambi are serviceable. I’m not asking for a Gold Glove, or a Dougie M. I dislike Betemit too. But Posada should just pack it in this year. Him trying to force his way into an already overcrowded 1B/DH area when he’s not *right* seems selfish to me. I don’t think his performance at the plate this year – small sample size notwithstanding – warrants him taking up a spot that a healthy bat and glove already are occupying, when arguably Giambi and (hopefully) Sexson could make up for whatever Jorge would give us by playing through the pain.

  • TheLastClown

    Hip-Hip-Surgery!

  • Henry Chinaski

    i think they are just waiting till after the trading deadline, then they will operate on Jorge & Matsui

  • RollingWave

    For the love of god, sign barry Bonds

    • BurnBernieBurn

      ugh…I just threw up in my mouth

    • jsbrendog

      i hate you lol

  • Steve

    Lets figure this out. What is the drop dead date for him to be ready for Spring training next year? If its a 6 month rehab and you want him ready for March 1st then he would need to have the surgery September 1st. Since its the shoulder were talking about, you really just want him ready for the beginning of next season you could even push that forward a month to October 1st. Who cares if he throws out base runners in spring training, the main thing is that he’s 100% for the start of the season next year.

    October 1st is the drop dead date for surgery. If were in the playoffs and he’s swinging the bat well, do you mind pushing it back one more month into next season? Of course not. Not if he can help us win a championship.

    Don’t get the surgery, Jorge. Not for at least another 2 months. Same goes for Matsui. Try to rehab and see if we can get anything out of either of them for this year. But once they both go under the knife, they’re finished.

    • bkight13@hotmail.com

      I agree. Put off the surgery until at least Sept when the rosters expand. Rest and rehab and not trying to throw during the DL stint should help his batting. He can always DH and pinch hit.

      • TurnTwo

        but the problem is that he himself admitted that as the shoulder has gotten worse, his hitting has suffered.

        and its fairly obvious to the fans, too… he hasnt been able to drive the ball consistently all year.

        shut it down, get the surgery, be 100% come Sprint Training.

        allow himself the time for extra rehab if there is any sort of setback.

  • Steve

    Another consideration with the Posada stuff is the looming trade deadline. If they do want to get a catcher, the last thing they should do is have him get the surgery now and have everyone in Baseball 100% sure he’s done. Create the impression he’s going to rehab and you won’t look as desperate.

    • ChrisS

      He’s already stated that he can’t catch the rest of the year. The cat’s kinda out of the bag re: needing a catcher.

  • Joe

    “Another consideration with the Posada stuff is the looming trade deadline. If they do want to get a catcher, the last thing they should do is have him get the surgery now and have everyone in Baseball 100% sure he’s done. Create the impression he’s going to rehab and you won’t look as desperate.”

    Completely invalid point. They’ve already said he won’t be catching, only DH’ing. Everyone knows we’re down our starting catcher behind the plate…

    • TurnTwo

      i would say forget the catching, because even when he came back the first time most people figured he wouldnt be adequate behind the plate.

      but i would agree, i think there prob is something to this whole rehab thing and keeping him as an option to come back as a DH for the rest of the summer.

      makes the yankees look like they have a fall back if they dont acquire a bat at the deadline.

      same with Matsui, and him not being officially declared out for the season yet.

      and stupid Steve Phillips last night on SportCenter is arguing that if the Yankees were to acquire an OF bat like a Xavier Nady, they’d have 3 DHs for one spot in Posada, Matsui, and Damon.

      • jsbrendog

        steve philips is the dumbest well educated man ever

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

          You take that back! Steve Phillips is a thoughtful, well-respected, likeable, easy to deal with, creative guy who’s a good listener.

          Sincerely,
          Brewers GM Doug Melvin.

  • A-Point

    This might be about the perceived need for a bat in the line up. With the possibility of Posada filling that hole, it helps negotiations for the Yankees.

    Catching isn’t as pressing a need. If Boston can compete with Varitek in their lineup, so can the Yankees with Molina in their’s.

    Taking Posada’s bat out of the lineup – a switch hitter – changes it a decent amount. If the Yankees are looking to add a bat it doesn’t make much sense to go into negotiations with it known for certain that Posada can’t fill that roll.

    I don’t think the Yankees are willing to really let Posada put off surgery so he can play. This is about keeping his name out there for the lineup to help keep the price lower for aquiring a bat.

    So, Joe, it isn’t an invalid point about this being for appearances, the flaw is that this is about gaining a catcher, it isn’t.

    • A.D.

      Molina > Tek this year….both offensively and defensively….kinda scary when you think of it

  • A.D.

    With a shoulder surgery there’s always some unknowns to process, especially getting to full strength throwing behind the plate. If the Yanks want to use this as a ploy going into the trade deadline, than sure, but go for the surgery.

    Posada is a good hitter, mainly a very good hitter for a catcher, but an injured Posada, that hits at normal Posada levels (i.e. not 2007). Is going to giv you .250-.260, and very little to no pop. Obviously he’s a team leader, and good player, but I don’t think he can contribute that much.

  • A-Point

    If this were even a few weeks earlier than it is, I don’t think this would even be under discussion.

    The stage is set to keep costs down because it changes things from a definite into a maybe.

  • chris

    OMG< look Jorge, the contract is for four years. This one is already shot. Yanks winning without you. Don’t miss next year too. Give Yanks and fans three (hopefully)healthy years. I hope this is just a trade deadline posture. Yanks don’t need another .260 DH. Get the knife!

  • Chris

    I think the Yankees are trying to hedge their bets. They’re hoping that either Matsui or Posada will be able to rehab and DH for the rest of the year. I don’t know whether that’s a reasonable hope, but having one of them would make a huge impact on the lineup.

  • Alan

    This seems selfish on Jorge’s part, to be honest. You can call him a “gamer” or whatever else, but him being out on the field at less than 100% when we can put Giambi/Sexson/Damon into the two positions that he’d presumably be playing is just going to hurt us more.

    Jorge, if you really want to do whats best for the team, accept your injury and have the surgery. Come back to us next season healthy and capable of playing catcher.

  • Sinjin

    I think A-Point is correct. Jorge putting off surgery is a bargaining position for the Yankees if they go after a bat. Surgery now or in 8 days makes little difference. However, if other teams smelled desperation they can rip off the Yankees. Having the bargaining position that Jorge may be able to play 1B or DH may help them keep the cost down if they go after a 1B type such as Teixeira or Atkins.

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

    Jorge, I love you like a brother. I actually sold you some consumer electronics when I worked at Best Buy a few years back, you and your wife have a beautiful little girl. You’re the man, and a real warrior.

    But if you don’t have surgery next week, I’m going to have to go down to the stadium and cut you myself.

    Since coming off the DL, you’re batting .248/.380/.371, with 9 XBH in 105 AB’s. Wilson Betemit can do that, and I can actually put him at 3B or SS too. And Johnny Damon will probably be my DH for the forseeable future, and i’ve got Betemit and Dicklock Sexy to spell Giambi at first. I know you want to help and all, but you’ve got to think big picture here.

    Next year, I may not have Giambi or Abreu, so I’ll definitely need your bat in the lineup at full strength in 2009. And I appreciate your willingness to play first, believe me… we’ll be returning to that real soon.

    But just do it already. Nobody will think badly of you. You’ve been gritting it out all season and we love you for it, but it’s time.

    • http://knickerbockerchatter.blogspot.com Bruno

      HERE HERE

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

        (The correct expression is “hear hear.”)

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

          How do you do that small font? I love that.

  • http://getitdone godfather

    much as i like having jorge around, it’s the healthy jorge i’d like…get ready for next year…NOW…it’s not like he’s ripped the ball when playing, anyway; who’s to say that surgery repairs his throwing anyway? it’s a question to be answered sooner rather than later…they aren’t gonna lose because of dh/1b

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I think hanging back until the trade deadline, getting another catcher and then having surgery this year is the answer.