Feb
14

But what about the other 50-60 games?

By

As the Yanks kicked off their annual Spring Training camp earlier this week, Joe Girardi ran through a whole list of issues. Atop that list was the status of Jorge Posada. Tyler Kepner reports:

Don’t expect Jorge Posada to catch before mid-March. He will play designated hitter before then, but as he recovers from shoulder surgery, Girardi expects Posada to start only 100 to 110 games behind the plate this season. From 2000 through 2007, Posada started 134 to 142 games at catcher each year.

Now, I know the Yanks shouldn’t be banking on Posada to reach those 2007 levels in terms of games played. He’s coming off a very serious shoulder injury and needs to be healthy for the remaining years on his contract.

However, if he catches just 100-110 games this year, the Yanks still need to find someone else to catch the other 52-62 games. Do they turn to Jose Molina? Do they turn to Kevin Cash? Neither of those two are very appealing options offensively. Molina played in 100 games and put up a line of .216/.263/.313 last year. Kevin Cash played in 61 games for Boston and managed a .225/.309/.338. Can you imagine one third of the season with those two guys in the lineup?

The Yanks have a strong farm system with some appealing trading chips. They shouldn’t use them, however, to acquire a catcher simply because they have depth behind the dish in the low levels of the minors. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Francisco Cervelli up in the bigs if he can hit. Someone after all is going to have to spell Posada more often than we would like.

Categories : Spring Training

54 Comments»

  1. Pete says:

    So why isn’t Molina for 50 games okay? He’d probably turn in some slightly better numbers with half the appearances…

    • Macphisto says:

      This is a very good point. Molina played in a career high amount of games last year, by quite a lot. Now, in years when he caught less it wasn’t like he lit it up but he performed much better than last year. You can look at his 2006 year when he hit .240/.273. Not a juggernaut but better than 2008 and serviceable for 50 games.

    • Macphisto says:

      This is a very good point. Molina played in a career high amount of games last year, by quite a lot. Now, in years when he caught less it wasn’t like he lit it up but he performed much better than last year. You can look at his 2006 year when he hit .240/.273. Not a juggernaut but better than 2008 and serviceable for 50 games.

  2. Chris says:

    If there were any catchers available, I would say go ahead and get one, but considering that Boston resigned Varitek and his whopping .220/.313/.359 line, I think it’s safe to say that there aren’t any better options out there.

  3. Bill says:

    Josh Bard woulda looked good as that 3rd option. If Kennedy has a strong spring maybe he could be dealt for Montero.

    Besides that I could see a 3-way with Nady/Swisher heading to ATL and a catcher coming back to NY.

  4. E-ROC says:

    How bad is Johnny Estrada behind the dish?

    • Tom Zig says:

      I dunno about behind the dish, but he is probably the slowest person in the bigs. I bet if you put Johnny Damon in RF he could throw out Estrada before he makes it to first.

    • Mike Pop says:

      How bad is Johnny Estrada behind the dish?

      He’s Guillermo Mota nets him in a trade bad.

  5. La Costco Nostra says:

    But that about the other 50-60 games?

  6. A.D. says:

    I think Molina will be fine for 50 games behind the dish.

    Otherwise the only thing that makes sense would be trading for a young catcher that can hit i.e. Montero or one of the Rangers catchers.

    • Slugger27 says:

      ya i agree… molina catching 50 games is fine by me. hes a stud defensively, and if u bat him 9th he wont get THAT many at bats….

      catcher is a defense-priority position, and molina has that. 160-180 at bats from molina this year aint gonna totaly decemate this team, especially with this pitching staff and this lineup

      we already know joba has better splits with him ((theres a good chance thats a fluke, but still)) so i think we’re more than capable of winning the division even if molina catches 50 games

  7. Mike Pop says:

    I think I would be okay with Cervelli and Molina behind the dish while Jorge isn’t back there. With the new and improved offense and starting rotation, we can afford to have another less than average bat in the lineup in my opinion. Especially if Matsui comes back strong, this could be dealt with. Just need a guy who can call the game and play good defense back there.

  8. Mike Pop says:

    Brandon Inge would be nice but the contract is ugly, 12.9 mill owed to him over this year and next.

    • Slugger27 says:

      nah… hes practically the same thing without the stellar defense

      304 career OBP, and hes nowhere near molina defensively… and ur right… ugly contract to trade for

      • Mike Pop says:

        I know he isn’t that good but he is alot better than Molina offensively.

        • Slugger27 says:

          maybe SLIGHTLY, certainly not “a lot”… his k/bb ratio at the plate last year was 3:1, and he had ops+ 80

          his numbers are still better than molina, but lets not forget, molinas career numbers are higher than his numbers last year, and that was probably directly related to catching everyday for the first time… not to mention molina is MUCH better defensively than inge

          i think if we’re going to trade for a catcher, it should be someone who is a CLEAR upgrade to molina, and im not sure inge is… and especially not with his contract

          • Mike Pop says:

            Brandon Inge career home runs-96 (27 in 06)
            Jose Molina career home runs-19

            That is what I like from a guy coming off the bench. A guy who can put one in the seats. If you take a 50 game stretch from Inge and compare it to Molina’s, I would be willing to bet Inge is much better offensively in that time. But he isn’t a realistic trade target, or a good defensive catcher. (I think he roided) But I was just defending him saying that he is more then slighty better offensively when compared to Molina.

            • Thomas says:

              The only problem with Inge is that he hasn’t hit well as an actual catcher. In his career he is .199/.260/.330 as a catcher versus .256/.326/.424 as a thirdbaseman (though as a C his BABIP is .060 lower than at third). I wonder if he breaks down as a catcher (which may not be a problem as a backup, just thought I should give the splits).

  9. Rob S. says:

    I realize that Yankee fans have been a bit spoiled but catcher is not usually a big offensive position. I’m perfectly fine with Molina catching 50 games. The more ABs he gets the better he’ll hit. The pitchers absolutely love pitching to him and he is the best option available. They went out and got Pudge last year with zero impact. Stick with Jorge and Molina with Cash as a backup. Really if Posada can catch 110 games coming off shoulder surgery and we only need to fill 52 more then we should consider ourselves lucky.

  10. Steve H says:

    It should make everyone feel better that we’re thinking about 50-60 games behind the plate, and the Sox are going to throw Tek out there for 100+. Not a big difference between Molina and Tek these days, except that Molina throws out runners. Of course, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bard is their starter at some point during the season.

  11. A.D. says:

    The key we’ve seen from Molina in his Yankee career is doses. He wears down after regular use, but using him a couple times a week tops keeps him going, and his bat seems to be better.

    Presumably his 50 starts behind the plate will be doses, couple starts a week, so it won’t be like last year when he was starting every day

    • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

      Yeah, we pick our spots with him and he should be decent with the bat. He’s a career .263 hitter with a .704 OPS vs Lefties. Though for some reason he was horrible vs Lefties last year. He also can’t handle hard throwers, but has fared well vs Finesse pitchers. He’ll be fine.

      http://www.baseball-reference......038;year=c

  12. Phil in LA says:

    If Cervelli’s healthy, he should get a chance. He’s already on the 40 and he’s as good a defender and better hitter than Molina. He will take his walks and not waste a ton of ab’s.

    • Brian says:

      I don’t care if Cervelli can hit for power. If he gives us consistently productive at-bats, he should be the #2 catcher.

  13. It’s a good thing that he came into camp a bit lighter then. Cliches make for great seasons.

  14. Troy in NJ says:

    Molina is terrible. Not sure if Cervelli is ready and not sure he is going to be any better.

    I agree with the idea of trying to package Kennedy for something. My thought is maybe Kennedy and Romine for Salty and another prospect from the Rangers.

    Rangers could use a ML ready arm and we could use a major league ready catcher.

    If they gave us a younger pitching prospect to go with Salty we would replenish the pitching we are giving up and Romine would give them a young catcher in their system to replace the one they give us.

    The question is how likely is Salty to stay a catcher. Romine seems like a very likely long term answer if Montero cannot stay at catcher.

    • Kevin G. says:

      IPK and Romine won’t be enough for Salty. The Rangers asked the Red Sox for Bucholz for Salty.

      • Troy in NJ says:

        I thought they asked for Bucholz for Teagarden. The Rangers really do not need 3 catchers, especially with the lack of pitching. I would not give up Hughes, but Kennedy or Aceves would be Ok with me.

        Maybe not workable but it seems like there is a possibility there.

    • Permínio says:

      I’d be OK with that. But I’m not sure if the Rangers would bite it.

    • Old Ranger says:

      Romine is considered the best all-around catcher we have in our system…at least, until Higashioka shows he is better.
      Have to go with–Phil in LA–on Cervelli, he is the bast catcher we have, on the 40 man that can hit. Cervelli could use some time in AA to sharpen up, until they need him. I could see a catching tandem of Romine with Cervelli or Cervelli with Molina (If Posada has trouble). Goes without saying, if Montero can stay at catching, it would be Romine/Montero. No, I’m not forgetting Higyhe has a ways to go yet.

  15. CJ says:

    On days that Posada can’t catch, put Damon/Swisher in CF. That way, Molina or Cervelli would replace Gardner or Melky in the line-up and the offense wouldn’t take quite the hit. If we matched it up to when exteme groundball or strikeout pitchers pitched (i.e Wang and Burnett), it could work.

    • Troy in NJ says:

      I like that idea. Personally I’d really like to see Swisher or Damon in CF most of the time unless Gardner or Melky really turn it up a notch, which I am not optimistic about.

    • Chris says:

      Depending on his knees, Matsui could play left in this scenario and you keep Posada’s bat in the lineup as DH on some days. It would probably be best to do this when Wang pitches to keep the flyballs to the outfield at a minimum.

  16. CJ says:

    Especially since the defensive upgrade of Molina/Cervelli would partially offset the defensive downgrade of Swisher/Damon.

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  18. [...] River Ave Blues has a story about Jorge Posada only catching about 100 games this year. They ask the question, what about the rest of the games. [...]

  19. [...] Matsui’s health a key issue for Yanks / What about the other 50-60 games? [...]

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