The Yankees play the final game of their West Coast trip later this evening, and will then enjoy a day off before beginning a series at Fenway. While a win would be nice, especially because it’s the Yanks (arguably) worst starter against one, if not the, A’s best, it would be nice to see Joe Girardi set up his team for the weekend series. This doesn’t mean resting all the starters — not by a long shot. Rather, it means giving the slumping Jorge Posada a day off, which will translate into two straight.
Why give Jorge a break? Quite simply because he’s mired in one hell of a slump. How bad? The last time Jorge drew a walk was August 7 against Boston. He’s drawn just two free passes the entire month of August. You know who else has walked twice this month? Robinson Cano. That should be the first indicator that something is wrong with Jorge.
Since the four-game sweep of Boston, Posada has come to the plate 34 times, registering 33 at bats. The only one which didn’t count was last night’s sac fly. In that span Jorge has hit .182/.176/.364 — a mere 6 for 33. His slugging percentage is propped up by his homer against Toronto which just cleared the short porch, and a few doubles. It’s nice to see him hitting with some power — it’s a sign that it’s just a bad slump — but boy, is it ever hurting the team.
Perhaps the strangest, and perhaps the worst, stat of Jorge’s post-Boston slump: 13 strikeouts in 34 plate appearances. That’s a strikeout almost 40 percent of the time he’s come to the plate. It’s also a 13:0 K/BB ratio in that span.
The slump extends a bit further back than that. Since the beginning of the Rays series in late July, Posada is hitting .230/.247/.392 with a 21:2 K/BB ratio. That covers 33 plate appearances, about as big as the post-Boston sample, and in that he also hit three doubles and one homer. While the Yanks have been rolling post-break, Jorge most definitely has not.
Jorge could certainly use the two days off. He’s had just one day off since August 8, missing only the first game of the Seattle series. True, he’s DHed in two of those games, but he’s 37 years old. Given his lack of rest and his stats in that span, it certainly stands to reason that he could use a bit of a break. The Yankees have an opportunity to get him a couple of days off heading into a big series with Boston, and they should certainly take advantage. Having a productive Jorge greatly enhances the already powerful Yankees lineup.