The First Official Workout


Pitchers and catchers officially report to Tampa for the time today, but as we already know, just about everyone is there already. PeteAbe has a list of who’s throwing in the bullpen today:

Burnett (Molina)
Chamberlain (Cash)
Kennedy (Romine)
Sabathia (Posada)

Pete also says that Brian Bruney, Dan Giese, Jose Veras, Jon Albaladejo, Kei Igawa, David Robertson and a handful of minor leaguers will also take the mound. Oh, and apparently no one’s told CC to lose the beard yet.

Now here’s a question: Given the concerns about Posada’s shoulder, would it be prudent for the Yanks to let Molina be the personal catcher for say, Burnett and Joba this year? My highly unscientific reasoning is that 1) Burnett can be wild, so it would be nice to have the better defender back there, and 2) Joba has better splits throwing to Molina (.178-.264-.228 against) than Posada (.231-.300-.307). This would also split up the chore of each guy having to learn two new pitchers. Posada’s familiar with Pettitte and Wang obviously, so now he can focus on CC while Molina tackles AJ.

There’s also the added benefit of Posada working with two lefties, who are naturally better at controlling the running game. Given the uncertain state of his shoulder, that’s a pretty big bonus. A “catcher rotation” like this would put Posada on pace to catch about 98 games this year (basically 60% of a 162 game season), but skipping a few Joba starts will put him up around 105-110 games caught, right about where they want him. It would also keep him fresh for the stretch run, theoretically.

Eh, I guess I’m just thinking out loud.

Categories : Spring Training


  1. BJ says:

    makes sense to me

  2. Peter Lacock says:

    That’s a good plan Michael.
    Jorge wants more.

  3. SF Yanks says:

    I like it. I like all of it. Makes sense to me. Sign me up. Sounds good…

  4. Joe R says:

    Thinking out loud but thinking correctly. Someone e-mail cash.

  5. Rich says:

    I will be surprised if Posada catches more than 80 games, so a third pitcher may have to be added to Molina’s list.

    • whozat says:

      You’ll be surprised if he’s more than a half-time catcher? If they don’t have to put him on the DL, he’ll be out there more often than not. The only way he catches that few games is if he spends time on the DL.

      • Mike Pop says:

        Agreed. If he doesn’t catch at least 100-110 games, I will be dissapointed.

      • Rich says:

        Yes, especially if he catches (and throws) in the cold weather in April. He will have had only about nine months to recover from what has been described as extensive surgery at an age (almost 38) when the healing process can be a little slower. I really think they need another catcher (and not Cash).

        If they make sure that he doesn’t throw in cold weather, I would be a little more optimistic.

  6. Jake H says:

    Very sound reasoning. I like it.

  7. Brett says:

    When i first read I was like no way, but after some thought, its a great plan.

  8. nl says:

    one other thing to consider is molina’s serious splits.
    his career triple slash is:
    225/262/309 against rhp
    263/304/400 against lhp

    basically the only way to keep him from being an automatic out is to bat him against lhp.
    obviously if he catches close to 60 games, a decent portion will be against rhp, but i would like to see him face as many lhp as makes sense.

  9. A.D. says:

    Jesus and Cervelli aren’t catching anyone?

  10. Mike Pop says:

    Can’t wait to watch AJ pitch.

  11. mike G. says:


    now have a guinness!

  12. I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

    Managers seem to hate personal catchers, but I think Mike’s plan would work really well.

  13. MattG says:

    I don’t like it. If you are going to go with personal catchers, the plan is ideal. You could not come up with a better personal catcher plan.

    But personal catchers are a bad idea to begin with, for a variety of reasons: it creates a crutch for your pitcher, making it easy for him to fail if his personal catcher isn’t available, it’ll lock Molina in on days when he’d be facing a bad matchup as a hitter, as well as locking in Posada against a team with a big running game, it reduces a manager’s flexibility in dealing with days games after night games, off-days, and minor injuries, and it will cause a dilemma when the post-season comes around.

    Its okay to have a preference at catcher, but every pitcher on the staff should be equally comfortable with either guy. Naming, then rigidly sticking with, a catcher rotation is unwise.

  14. GG says:

    I like it, a lot. I hope Jorge can do his thing but I could def see Bengie on this team by the summer. Jorge better hit well too!

  15. [...] 14, 2009 · No Comments Mike, over at RAB, has some ideas regarding limiting Posada’s use this season that I think are interesting: Now here’s a question: Given the concerns about Posada’s [...]

  16. Conan the Barack O'Brian says:

    beaucoup photos of camp

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