Could Miranda be the full-time DH in 2010?

Open Thread: Scott Boras listens to me
Fan Confidence Poll: November 23rd, 2009

Juan Miranda reminding Kyle Farnsworth that he's Kyle FarnsworthThe Yankees have three main holes to fill this offseason: leftfield, designated hitter, and number three starter. Sure, they can – and probably will – look to upgrade some other positions as well, but the team is generally in good shape there. The Bombers seem pretty intent on bringing Johnny Damon back to play left, and I think everyone believes the Andy Pettitte situation will work itself out and solidify the rotation.

That leaves DH as the biggest question mark. It’ll be tough to replace Hideki Matsui‘s 2009 production, even if they bring Godzilla himself back. The popular thought is that the Yanks can use the DH spot to rest Alex Rodriguez, Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, etc. on a rotating basis, but I can’t see the team actually going through with that. If they did, that means more at-bats for the Ramiro Penas and Brett Gardners and Frankie Cervellis of the world, and that’s not a formula that will win the cut-throat AL East.

There are always more DH types available than DH spots open, so the Yanks certainly have options. However, the team is said to be looking to scale back the payroll a bit, and if they can’t retain Matsui on favorable terms, the team might be better off filling the DH spot from within rather than dropping seven figures on a guy in the decline phase of his career. I’m not talking about that silly rotating DH thing when I say filling the spot from within, I’m talking about Juan Miranda.

The Yanks signed Miranda back in 2006 after he defected from Cuba and gained citizenship in the Dominican. He signed a four year Major League contract worth $2M, and the idea was that he’d take over first base on an everyday basis near the end of Jason Giambi‘s tenure. After splitting 2007 between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, Miranda’s spent the past two seasons with Triple-A Scranton. In 2008 he hit .287-.384-.449 with 12 homers, and his .371 wOBA ranked 14th in the league (min. 400 plate appearances). One problem was that Miranda couldn’t hit lefties, like at all. In 125 PA against southpaws, he hit just .200-.264-.287 with a grand total of six extra base hits. The second problem is that the Yanks brought in Mark Teixeira in the offseason, putting Miranda in baseball purgatory.

Sent back to Triple-A in 2009 because there was no spot on the big league roster for him, Miranda improved in almost every way. He hit for a higher average (.290) and more power (.498 SLG, IsoP jumped from .163 to .208) in his second stint in the International League, but most importantly, Miranda improved considerably against lefthanders. In 169 PA against southpaws, he hit .291-.367-.507 with 18 extra base hits. It’s an amazing turn around in just one year, but you have to be a little careful because it’s not a huge sample and it could very easily be a fluke. For what it’s worth, he was pretty bad against lefties in 2007 (.216-.293-.371, 12 XBH in 133 PA).

Even though he used his three option years in 2007-2009, Miranda qualifies for a fourth option because he still hasn’t played in his fifth pro season. Brian Cashman confirmed it. That means the Yanks could easily stash him away in Triple-A for a third straight year if they so choose, there won’t be any consequence. That also gives them some flexibility, because if Miranda starts the year in bigs but needs to be demoted because he isn’t performing, they can do it without worrying about losing him on waivers.

Not that the sample size is meaningful (23 PA), but Miranda’s actually hit big league pitching pretty well: .368-.435-.579. He collected a walk-off single off old buddy Kyle Farnsworth on Sept. 29th of this year, then three days later he took Dale Thayer way deep (someone he’s surely faced numerous times in Triple-A over the last two years) for his first career homer. In limited action, Miranda’s certainly been productive at the Major League level.

Using the wonderful MLE Calculator, we can see that Miranda’s Triple-A batting line this year would have translated to .249-.318-.412 with 15 homers in the big leagues, though I don’t think the MLEc has been updated to reflect the homer happy New Yankee Stadium yet. For the sake of context, that’s basically what Aaron Rowand hit this year. The same Aaron Rowand whose .323 wOBA ranked 68th among all outfielders with at least 400 PA in 2009. Need more context? Melky Cabrera was 63rd with a .331 wOBA. So yeah, it’s not very good.

Of course that’s just one look at it. Part of me is curious to see what Miranda could do with a full season of at-bats in the big leagues, but at the same time I don’t think the Yanks can afford to experiment at such a crucial offensive position. I don’t think his massive improvement against lefties is sustainable, nor do I think he’s as bad against them as he was in 2008. In reality, he’s probably somewhere in the middle, which means the Yanks would need to pair him with a righthanded caddy (tying up another roster spot) for all the lefty starters in the division (Lester, Price, Matusz, Cecil, Romero).

So, getting back to the original question about Miranda possibly being the full-time DH in 2010, I’m going to say no. Not for a team trying to win a championship. Lefty hitting first base/DH types that have historically struggled against lefthanders aren’t exactly a rare commodity, and given the Yanks’ current roster construction and needs, Miranda doesn’t really have a place. He’s a better fit for a rebuilding team or an NL club that can live with below average defense at first or needs a bat off the bench. With all due respect to Mr. Miranda, I hope the Yankees look elsewhere for a DH should Matsui move on.

Photo Credit: Kathy Willens, AP

Open Thread: Scott Boras listens to me
Fan Confidence Poll: November 23rd, 2009
  • YankInBoston

    Um. What was this article about again?

  • Rebecca-Optimist Prime (Optimovelist Primus)

    I’d say no, too. In the AL DH is the ultimate power position–your better option is resigning Matsui.

    • Salty Buggah


    • Evil Empire

      Agreed. I think Matsui and Damon are the most appealing DH options.

  • Smaxor5

    Wow I really expected the end of this article to go the way….you were really starting to sell him to me!

  • jim p

    Miranda’s lefty-hitting… well there’s a reason I like Matsui. Left, right, doesn’t matter that much to him, he’ll still hurt you, make you throw pitches.

  • Drew

    We’re in a position where we can try it. If it doesn’t work, we can make moves. That said, I want Matsui back.

  • Brooklyn Ed

    Kendry Morales can’t hit lefties too. .295 avg with a .319 obp against lefties. just saying.

  • TheLastClown

    Hah! I read the title, and thought immediately, no.

    No, Juan Miranda could not be the full-time DH in 2010.

    But, I wanted to defer, and listen to the testimony of RABbi Axisa.

    I really thought you were going to try & convince me, but you didn’t, thank you.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing him get some ABs if Matsui departs, and the DH is Miranda/revolving door.

    Really though, I hope HazMat comes back.

    If he absofuckinlutely wants too many years or $$, what about Sheffield for DH? He’s supposedly in full shape, but of course he’s going to say that.

    I don’t know, at first glance, you say no, but what other options are there? Nick Johnson? Marcus Thames?

    Wouldn’t it be best to try someone on a one year deal & try for Dunn @ DH next offseason?

    • Evil Empire

      Y’know, call me crazy, but I just don’t think a return to pinstripes for Gary Sheffield would be a good idea … for a variety of reasons.

      I’m really not 100% sure who my 2nd pick for DH after Matsui would be. Maybe Delgado?

      I think I’d just as soon see us sign Damon for 2 years and sign Mike Cameron on a year deal. That way, you ensure that only one of Melky/Cervelli/Pena is in most games, assuming you DH Damon, Posada, and A-Rod a decent amount.

      • TheLastClown

        Yeah, as I said, first glance is no.

        Delgado would be good, but I think he’ll at least get a 2 year deal somewhere.

        Obviously resigning Damon & Matsui is my top choice.

        But failing that…?

    • JMK aka The Overshare

      Let’s get Bonds, Barry! If he’s not crazy enough, we could definitely get Sheff. Fuck it, how about Sammy “Don’t Call Me Michael Jackson” Sosa?

  • Evil Empire

    I want to suggest that we could use Juan Miranda in the same way we used Hinske, but unfortunately I’m not even sure that’s possible since it doesn’t look like he has any outfield experience. We don’t need a backup 1B since we have Swish. If Miranda can fake playing a corner outfield than he’d be useful as the 25th man.

  • Salty Buggah

    He’d be great for depth, just in case Matsui (hoping we can resign him) goes down. At least he can fill in serviceable.

    • Salty Buggah

      serviceably (is that not a word? Because Firefox keeps underlining it)

      • TheLastClown

        Firefox isn’t all-knowing.

        • Salty Buggah

          Well, to be fair, no one is. Except Mo

  • Crazy Eyes Killa

    I sure hope Miranda is not part of any of the DH plan

  • Brian Cashman is Watching

    Why is everyone so down on the idea of a rotating DH? The assumption (that Gardner, Pena, and assorted other scrubs) would get more playing time is off. The “closer by committee” approach didn’t fail because it was a bad idea; it failed because the teams used a bad group.

    Here is your ideal situation for rotating DH to see how it works. Let’s say you sign Damon and Cameron. Your opening day lineup includes Cabrera in left/center, Cameron in center/left, Swisher in right, and Damon at DH. I think most fans would be okay with that. You have improved your outfield defense without sacrificing too much offense.

    Now, during the season you want to protect Swisher and Cameron as well, so you swing Cabrera to center and Cameron to DH some days, or Cabrera to right and Swisher to DH some days.

    On days Posada does not catch (roughly once or twice a week), Cervelli starts and Damon goes to LF while Posada DHs. You can’t fault a team for using its backup catcher. You can swap in Rodriguez, Jeter, etc., but you would have to give them regular days off anyway.

    Same strategy works with anyone who can play outfield. Matsui, unfortunately, hurts the teams ability to do this because he has no ability to play the field. The rotating DH works very well in the situation explained above, and you can see why it is an attractive option. I think the premise arguing against the rotating DH is wrong: get the right personnel and the rotating DH works well.

    • Evil Empire

      With Mike Cameron, it really does work. As long as only one of Melky/Cervelli/Pena plays on any given day, the rotating DH doesn’t compromise the offense. On days where anyone in the infield DHs, the outfield is Damon/Cameron/Swisher.

    • andrew

      I don’t think anyone disagrees with that. Most “rotating DH” advocates come from those who want to save money – sign one of Damon, Cameron, or Matsui. Signing both Damon and Cameron doesn’t change anything from this year except Matsui is replaced by Cameron.

      • cor shep


        Those people want Damon/Cameron/Matsui to play the field then have the DH rotate around Arod/Jeter/Swish/Posada/LF w/ Pena/Gardner/Cervelli playing the field for whoever is DHing.

        Sounds like a horrible plan when the Yanks could just do exatly what they did this year. Have a great LF and DH while still giving everyone a lot of DH days cuz the DH will need rest too.

    • The Artist

      Yeah, God forbid we have one non-All Star in our lineup at any time. All of the teams we’re playing have 2-3 of them, but we can’t afford one.

      And facing certain pitchers (Verlander/Halladay) you’ll value defense more than hitting, since nobody hits them anyway.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        “Yeah, God forbid we have one non-All Star in our lineup at any time. All of the teams we’re playing have 2-3 of them, but we can’t afford one.”

        That is a straw-man argument and you know it. The Yankees already have non-All Stars in their lineup before making this decision about Matsui’s vacant roster slot, and nobody who is arguing against the ‘rotating DH’ idea is doing so because they demand that the Yankees sign an All Star for every spot in the lineup.

    • theyankeewarrior

      I agree, but I think your philosophy can still be used with Matsui as the “normal” DH. Damon in Left, Cameron in Center, Melky as the 4th OF, Matsui DH. Matsui will need days off for his knees, inter-league play, normal rest etc. This is where anyone can slide into that role. Also, Matsui can be benched when A-Rod, Jeter etc. need days off. This keeps him fresh for the October run and allows the Yanks to have depth in the case of an OF-type going down.

      Your scenario allows for no injuries. There will be plenty in 2010. Remember when we lost Nady last season? Without Swisher, Melky and Gardner would have been playing in the same OF all season.

      This team needs depth in the OF/DH. Damon + Matsui + Cameron + Melky + Swish gives us that all while not costing the Yanks a whole lot in money and years.

      Then, say hello to Carl Crawford in 2011.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Yeah, but signing Damon/Cameron isn’t the ‘rotating DH’ idea people disagree with. The idea people disagree with, using those players, would be signing either Damon OR Cameron, and having one of the bench players in your everyday lineup. You’re agreeing with the anti-rotating DH crowd, not disagreeing with them.

    • Todd

      Agreed. Particularly for this team with an aging roster. I think rotating the DH for Posada and Damon with Arod sprinkled in also keeps them fresh and ultimately more effective. Plus, the “scrubs” are actually bringing something to the table like defense and speed.

      Frankly, I’d rather carry 3 catchers than have Miranda on the club so Posada can DH 2-3x a week.

      • Bo

        What team has ever used the rotating DH theory and succeeded with it?

        Its a waste not to use that spot for a legit hitter. You are wasting it.

        • Todd

          Actually. Name the Yankee DH during the dynasty years. Torre almost always used the rotating DH.

          • andrew

            But not for aging players so that he could put in bench players to start. Torre used it to play platoon matchups. Torre rotated DH’s but almost never did it using the 8 regular starters.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            This isn’t really true. They may not have had a Matsui-type permanent DH, but they weren’t giving their aging regulars huge amounts of games at DH and rotating scrubs into the lineup to take their place.

            Players who spent significant time at DH during 1996-2000 Yankees dynasty:

            Ruben Sierra – 96 games
            Cecil Fielder – 53 games

            Cecil Fielder – 98 games
            Wade Boggs – 19 games
            Pat Kelly – 16 games
            Mike Stanley – 16 games
            Tim Raines – 13 games

            Darryl Strawberry – 81 games
            Tim Raines – 56 games
            Chili Davis – 34 games
            Homer Bush – 12 games

            Chili Davis – 141 games
            Darryl Strawberry – 17 games
            Chad Curtis – 14 games
            Jim Leyritz – 14 games

            Shane Spencer – 33 games
            Jose Canseco – 26 games
            Glenallen Hill – 24 games
            Chuck Knoblauch – 20 games
            David Justice – 18 games
            Jim Leyritz – 15 games

            David Justice – 85 games
            Chuck Knoblauch – 24 games
            Shane Spencer – 14 games

            That is NOT the same thing people are talking about doing in 2010. The goal of the rotating-DH in 2010 is to use the DH slot to give A-Rod, Posada, Jeter, etc. more rest, but that wasn’t done in the dynasty years. In 2000, no regular got more than 4 games at DH (Posada), no non-catcher regular got more than 4 games at DH (Williams), and the aging regular on that team only got 2 games at DH (O’Neill). In 2001, no regular got more games at DH than 6 (Posada and O’Neill) and the next-highest game total at DH for a regular position player was 2 (Martinez).

            That’s a far cry from using the DH slot to rotate the aging regulars for 162 games. The late 90s Yankees didn’t have a DH as good as Matsui, but that doesn’t mean they went with the rotating-DH plan that some people are proposing for 2010.

    • jmas12

      I understand the concern about the rotating DH, offensive production definitely lags when we do that. But here’s a couple of things to consider.

      1) With a rotating DH our defense gets alot better. You’re talking about Gardner over Damon, or Pena over Jeter. While Damon’s no defensive wiz himself, and Jeter showed improvement this year, with full playing time I can almost guarantee that Ramiro Pena, with his range, saves the Yankees pitchers 2 runs a week. That may not sound like much, over the course of a season that can make a pretty substantial impact on your win-loss total.

      2) There’s a good chance we could see Girardi move Posada into a full-time DH role. Don’t think it’s any secret that Girardi’s not too big a fan of Posada’s defense or game calling. And I for one don’t think that’s completely unjustified. I think you’d see Posada’s offense spike as a DH, and with a kid like Cervelli back there (who seems to block absolutely everything and has a cannon), I think our pitching staff would pitch with more confidence (not be afraid to bounce the breaking ball knowing he’ll go down and block it).

      3) While Cervelli and Pena aren’t going to be more than average offensive players, I think they are both capable hitters who can come through situationally. I’m not saying they’ll go double digit in homers or break 50 rbi, but I don’t think .260 is beyond the realm of possibility. And if they play great defense and everyone else pulls their weight in the lineup, I think you could see an equally effective Yankee team winning with a different style of baseball.

      3) I know Gardner’s past being a prospect, but I still think he’s underrated as a hitter. Remember, before his injury he was hitting over .300 with full playing time, and in a full season has great range in center and could probably steal 80 bases. I’d personally take him over Melky in a starting role (not that that is saying much).

  • bobtaco

    I wonder if Carlos Pena could DH.

    I wonder if he could have DH’d in 2006…

  • iYankees

    Miranda’s BABIP against lefties in 2009:


    • The Artist

      But the difference between AAA Lefties and MLB Lefties is night and day. When someone struggles with platoon splits in the minors, they typically will have another big adjustment to make in the big leagues. The Yanks don’t have 2-3 years to give this guy to figure it out.

      • Dan

        I think he’s trying to say that he was extremely lucky against lefties. Another reason why his improvement against lefties is not sustainable.

        • mf

          But his overall BABIP for the last couple of seasons is something like .340. So the .366 is a bit high, but not absurdly so. You have to keep in mind that a high BABIP for hitters is not as obvious an indicator of luck as a low one is for pitchers.

  • Januz

    I have little doubt that the Yankees can pick up a bat in June or July, because teams are DESPERATE to cut payroll. The one thing this organization will NOT do is panic (Remember they played Cody Ransome for a month at third base while waiting for Alex Rodriguez, and still won the World Series, despite almost a full season without Xavier Nady). The solution to the problem may be Austin Jackson or Jesus Montero. Jackson in center, shift Melky to left, and Damon to DH (If he is signed), is one option. The other could be Montero to DH, and also use it to rest Posada (While Burnett is pitching), could be another. Lets wait to see how the winter plays out before even thinking of Miranda as a Full-Time players.

    • The Artist

      Yeah, Montero will begin the year at AAA and the difference between AA and AAA isn’t huge. The biggest jump in the minors is thought to be High A to AA, and Jesus didn’t miss a beat.

      The reality is he’s probably already MLB material with the bat, they’ll want him in Scranton to work on his defensive skills. But I suppose he could do that here and in Winter Ball next year if they really need him.

      • Januz

        From everything I read, Montero will be moved from catcher, because of his size. They alrady have a ton of catching prospects, starting with Austin Romine, and two more entering the organization in 2010 (Gary Sanchez and Kyle Perkins (From Australia)). If they determine his bat is MLB ready, I expect to see him in June or July.

        • Camilo Gerardo – your inception? fuck perception, go with what makes sense

          believe everything you read?

  • dan

    May just be me, but I don’t understand why Cervelli and Pena can’t get at-bats in your fantasy scenario but Juan Miranda is a viable everyday DH.

    Problem is, we bring Damon back, he’s the most likely candidate, along with Jorge to really hold that rotating DH spot (it’s not a bad idea) down as both are so bad defensively they can only exist offensively. Which makes me wonder why we don’t just bring Matsui back and jettison Johnny leather? Matsui didn’t play the field at all and is less likely to pitch a “I hit better when I play the field” Giambi-esque meltdown I see coming from Damon a mile away.

    • MattG

      “‘I hit better when I play the field’ Giambi-esque meltdown I see coming from Damon a mile away.”

      Damon’s already been moved off CF, with no issue at all, and he had roughly 220 ABs as DH in 2007. What do you base this prediction on?

    • andrew

      May just be me, but I don’t understand why Cervelli and Pena can’t get at-bats in your fantasy scenario but Juan Miranda is a viable everyday DH.

      well, the article Mike just wrote claims that Juan Miranda is probably not capable of being the DH, so I don’t really know who you’re arguing against there.

  • gargoyle


    • Tom Zig

      Look out for the hit and run!

  • Jaydee

    I doubt Miranda’s performance all season vs. lefties was a fluke.

    He struggled against lefties because there are very few of them in Cuba, so he had very little experience against them. He knew it was a weak spot and took extra batting practice vs. lefties all season, which is why he was much better this year.

    I would have no problem with the Yankees giving Miranda 200-250 ab @ DH while also resting damon, jeter, arod, posada & tex there every now and then. If it doesn’t work with him, picking up an extra bat at the deadline is pretty easy to do.

    • Dan

      I’ll take this from another post.

      Miranda’s BABIP against lefties in 2009:

      He was extremely lucky and his numbers would most likely not hold.

  • The Artist

    I subscribe to the ‘rotating DH’ thing. I don’t think it’s the end of the world if Pena or Cervelli gets a few ABs here and there. But add an injury or two and Mike would be right, the lineup would get too weak. Part of the whole idea behind the rotating DH is keeping guys strong so they avoid injury, however.

    That being said, I’d like to see them bolster their bench. If you’re going with the rotating DH you could use a guy who kills lefties to be your regular DH facing them, and possibly play the field somewhere as a late inning sub for the games when you pinch hit Gardner/Cervelli/Pena out of the lineup.

    We’ve done the Shelly Duncan experiment, so we don’t need to see that again. But an aging vet that could play the field some who’s hanging on could make sense. A Gary Sheffield type, though I don’t want Mr Sunshine back, either. Somebody like him.

    • Januz

      That being said, I’d like to see them bolster their bench. If you’re going with the rotating DH you could use a guy who kills lefties to be your regular DH facing them, and possibly play the field somewhere as a late inning sub for the games when you pinch hit Gardner/Cervelli/Pena out of the lineup.
      That is not going to be a problem: You can always find bench strength in July (Hairston Jr, and Hinske were picked up then (Those two were solid professionals, and understood their roles, and neither of whom had an Iverson attitude, who had to start or else. Which is exactly what Sheffield brings to the table)).
      What you saw in 2009, was young players such as Cervelli, Pena, Gardner, Robertson & Hughes make major contributions to a Championship Team, and over the next two years, you may see the same with Montero, Jackson, Romine, Melancon, Mitchell and Stoneburner (Perhaps the first of the 2009 draft to make the Majors).

    • Rose

      We were supposedly going into the 2009 season with a lineup that included not only Hideki Matsui at DH…but Xavier Nady and Nick Swisher splitting time in RF as well…giving us pretty ridiculous depth (albeit Nady didn’t play very long…but let’s be hypothetical…and pretend that he did).

      We’re going to subtract Matsui and Nady…and replace them with the offense of Ramiro Pena, Francisco Cervelli, and Juan Miranda??

      I understand Matsui’s production ranked as 2 wins above the average DH in the league (Hank Blalock)…but Pena, Cervelli, Miranda aren’t even close to Hank Blalock’s production. And Nady was just hitting his prime I believe.

      You go into the 2009 season with an idea to have all this production and depth…win the World Series…and then decide that much less production (especially with having a bunch of aging players on the team giving all of their chances to repeat performance being not as good) and less depth? I don’t like it…but I respect your stand on it.

  • Phil McCracken

    I disagree that Andy Pettitte solves the pitching need. You still need to fill Wang’s spot, and that doesn’t mean that both Hughes and Chamberlain get that spot and the last rotation spot. Didn’t this team learn anything from the Year of the Big 3 when Kennedy and Hughes completely tanked?

    An established started is needed besides Pettitte. That is a bigger issue over Juan Miranda playing DH or not.

    • MattG

      No, an established starter (other than Pettitte) is not needed. Hughes and Chamberlain have both earned their right to start in 2010 (unlike 2008). And there are no less than 5 candidates for a swing role. Once Pettitte is resigned, Cashman will be checking off the box next to starting pitching.

    • Rose

      I agree that Pettitte doesn’t “solve” the pitching needs…but it’s certainly better than without Pettitte. Regardless of “Joba Rules” or anything else…relying on two very young pitchers to pitch all season for the first time in their careers and be successful is being (as one person has said in recent past) “willfully ignorant.”

      I believe Halladay WILL go somewhere this offseason…it may not be the Yankees…but if you can get him for ONE of Hughes or Joba (and a few other guys not named Jackson, Montero, etc.) then you have to seriously consider it…if not pull the trigger immediately haha.

      • Bo

        An established starter is needed. You cant expect Joba and Hughes to go out there and give you 400 innings. Why not get another frontline starter?

  • Pablo

    Damon says he is not taking a pay cut from 13 million, good luck with that, Welcome to NYC Juan Miranda.

    • cor shep

      when did damon ever say this.. link?

      • Pablo

        NY Daily News

    • Rose

      Even if he did say that…the thread is about Miranda replacing Matsui at DH…not Johnny Damon.

      • Bo

        Its about the DH spot and Damon resigning or not is a part of that.

  • Barack Obama


    • Rose

      Say no to National Health Care!

  • Rose

    That leaves DH as the biggest question mark. It’ll be tough to replace Hideki Matsui’s 2009 production, even if they bring Godzilla himself back.

    Yeah, but the probability that Matsui comes close to his own 2009 production is WAY HIGHER than the probability that Juan Miranda comes close to Hideki’s 2009 production. Regardless of Matsui’s health woes…he’s one of the better hitters in the game. Juan Miranda, simply isn’t.

    Of course they’re going to say they want to shed payroll…but they want to win first and foremost. And you can’t win replacing Matsui’s 2009 season bat with a crapshoot in Juan Miranda. Especially since you don’t even have the LF or #3 starter positions filled yet either.

    • Bo

      I dont think anyone will ever say that Miranda will come close to Matsui production.

  • MattG

    Miranda makes a fine plan D, or so.

    If Cameron is in CF, you could just go with Cabrera in LF and Damon at DH, and expect roughly the same offensive output (with better defense). I suppose that’s plan C.

    I only see Miranda on the team if Cameron and one of Cabrera/Gardner is not.

    • Rose

      …and expect roughly the same offensive output (with better defense).

      No way. Matsui >>>>>>>> Cameron (Offensively).

      Which means…

      Damon in LF, Melky/Gardner in CF, Matsui at DH >>>>>>> Melky in LF, Cameron in CF, Damon at DH

      Melky/Gardner are still serviceable defensive CF’s…the defensive enhancement could quite possibly be Melky over Damon in LF (although Melky hasn’t played all that much there)

      • MattG

        Who the hell is talking about Matsui?

        Comprehension fail.

        • Rose

          The thread is talking about the DH spot and a replacement for Matsui. Your post wasn’t a “reply” to anything other than the original thread.

          The following post by you:

          Miranda makes a fine plan D, or so.

          If Cameron is in CF, you could just go with Cabrera in LF and Damon at DH, and expect roughly the same offensive output (with better defense). I suppose that’s plan C.

          Basically the “same offensive output” as what then???

          • MattG

            “Basically the ‘same offensive output’ as what then???”

            The post is about using Miranda as the full time DH (does the title of the post not make that clear?), ergo, basically the same offensive output as using Miranda as full time DH.

            Like I said, comprehension fail.

            • Rose

              That’s even more ridiculous then…which is probably why I didn’t think you were talking about that. You’re basically saying that Juan Miranda and Mike Cameron provide the same offensive output. Lunacy.

              • MattG

                No, again. Melky Cabrera == Juan Miranda.

                Glad we could clear that up.

          • MattG

            I see that your reply about Matsui precedes mine. Maybe you thought I was replying to your reply?

            I wasn’t.

            • Rose

              Maybe. I dunno. I wasn’t trying to like jump on you about it. I was just disagreeing. Sometimes I can come across as being “condescending” or whatever when I’m not trying to be. I respect your point of view…just disagreed. Hope you understand.

      • theyankeewarrior

        Agree. If we’re not going to bring in Holliday this offseason, then we should be bringing back Damon, Matsui and signing Cameron to make up for any injuries, or drop in production. It makes too much sense.

        There are two scenarios:

        1) Yanks like Holliday. Yanks sign Holliday. Yanks bring back Mastui for 1 yr to fill DH hole.

        2) Yanks don’t like Holliday. Yanks re-sign Damon. Yanks bring back matsui to fill DH hole. Yanks also realize that both of those players are susceptible to injuries, and or drop in production. Yanks sign Cameron to add depth, options and to bolster CF O and D.

        2a) Yanks sign Carl Crawford in 2011 after these 1-2 year deals expire and move whoever is left (most likely Damon) to the new “full time” DH spot.

        • Rose

          But if we’re trying to shed payroll…like the thread and it’s reasoning for Miranda is saying…Holliday makes absolutely no sense…

          Re-sign Matsui, Damon, and Pettitte. Sign Cameron if you feel like it.

          What about Nady instead of Damon if he claims he’s not taking this pay cut like one of the posters said above?

          • Zack

            Nady cant go into your seasons as a starting LF/DH. Coming off his 2nd TJS, too big of a risk.

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    One problem was that Miranda couldn’t hit lefties, like at all. In 125 PA against southpaws, he hit just .200-.264-.287 with a grand total of six extra base hits.

    Downright Grandersonian, yo.

    • MattG

      But Granderson really hits righties.

      I am a little confused by the love of Crawford, and the dismissal of Granderson. You don’t want either one of them in the lineup vs. lefties, but Crawford isn’t good enough vs righties to make a platoon real valuable. Granderson is. I would rather have Granderson and a AAA veteran, say Murton, holding down two roster spots, than Crawford playing every day.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        I would rather have Granderson and a AAA veteran, say Murton, holding down two roster spots, than Crawford playing every day.

        For the record, I’ve cooled considerably on my desire for Crawford, but I’ll absolutely disagree with this. I’d rather have Crawford taking one spot than Granderson and some caddy taking two.

        But that’s secondary. The primary reason you should want Crawford over Granderson is this: Crawford will be a free agent. Granderson will require surrendering prospects to acquire.

        Even if you believe a Granderson + Player X platoon is better than Crawford by himself, it’s not better enough to justify giving up prospects for it when Crawford can be had for nothing but money.

        • MattG

          I always agree with this in principal, but then you find out all they want is Wilson Betemit, and you’re like, FTW?

          I’d trade Austin Jackson as the best piece for Granderson. That’s the line I would not cross.

        • MattG

          There’s also 2010 to consider. In 2010, and outfield of Granderson, Cameron, Swisher + Melky + right handed AAA veteran would be pretty well conceived, I think. If the cost is Austin Jackson, I’m for it.

        • theyankeewarrior

          Agree 1000%. In case anyone out there hasn’t realized yet, Cashmoney is NOT GOING TO TRADE ANY PROSPECTS away for player A when he can make due with when he has now and acquire player B in free agency one season later.

        • MattG

          Another thing to consider (sorry, I am a little scattered this morning) is that Granderson is under contract for 3 years at $25.5M. Crawford will take more than double to bring in.

          Is $25.5 + Austin Jackson == $60M?

  • Doug

    for what it’s worth (which i know is very little), miranda’s slash line in the DWL is .536/.594/.893

    and for those who love super small sample sizes:
    vs. LHP: .500/.600/.625
    vs. RHP: .550/.591/1.000

  • Bo

    They shouldnt be treating the DH spot so lightly. You have to take advantage of that spot and get as much production as you can from it. it shouldnt be used a weigh station. it shouldnt used for career minor leaguers who cant hit lefty’s. why waste it?

  • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    This is tangentially related to the post and is also a response to a few comments in this thread and elsewhere in this discussion…

    To all of the people who want the Yankees to use the ‘rotating DH’ to (1) get more rest for the aging regulars, (2) shed some payroll and (3) maintain roster flexibility, there’s a very simple and unexpected solution to your worries: Hideki Matsui (+ a left fielder), if Matsui could be had on a 1-year contract. Here’s how you accomplish your goals with this plan:

    – Get the aging regulars more rest: Hideki Matsui will probably play around 130 games in 2010, offering the Yankees 30+ games to play the aging regulars as the DH (in addition to their full days-off).

    – Shed some payroll: This might be the only wash on this list, since Matsui might not take a pay-cut. But, on the other hand, depending on what happens with Damon/LF and with the bench/role players like Hairston/Hinske, etc., the Yanks are probably still shedding some payroll even if Matsui doesn’t take a pay-cut (and there’s still a chance he does take a pay-cut).

    – Maintain roster flexibility: Since we’re limiting this discussion of Matsui to consideration of a 1-year deal, we’re not hurting long-term roster flexibility. We’re not even hurting short-term roster flexibility, since it’s not like Matsui’s presence on the roster is blocking a prospect who is ready for MLB or otherwise gumming up the roster in any way, and it’s not like the Yankees would be crippled by having a guy on a 1-year contract get hurt. You can easily carry Matsui on the roster in 2010, and then you have his roster slot to play with again following the 2010 season.

    In addition, people need to consider the depth issue here. If the Yankees do not acquire a bat to reside in Matsui’s roster spot (whether it be Matsui or someone else), they’re going into the season with NO offensive depth. If you have one of the bench players starting in your A-lineup, along with Cervelli playing a ton of games behind the plate, then, the moment one of the regulars gets injured (and every time one of the regulars needs a full day-off), you have at least 2 bench players and many times 3 (when Cervelli plays) in your A-lineup. Wanting the Yankees to sign a bat for Matsui’s roster spot doesn’t represent an interest in having an All Star at every position, as had been stated by rotating-DH proponents, it represents an interest in not having a lineup with the following 6-9: Cabrera, Cervelli, Pena, Gardner. The Yankees went into 2009 with 2 good bats in RF (Swisher/Nady), a good bat in LF (Damon) AND Matsui at DH. Going into 2010, it would be unwise to go into the season with 2 of those slots unfilled (or, rather, filled by the likes of Ramiro Pena).

    Now, we’ll see what happens, and I think there are certainly options other than re-signing Matsui… My point is just that the people who want the ‘rotating DH’ should probably, logically, want Matsui instead of railing against the idea of re-signing him. He probably represents the best way for you to get your goals (listed above) accomplished. And, if you’re one of the rotating DH-proponents, re-signing Matsui is like playing with house-money to you guys. If he gets hurt, which you are surely afraid of (as is everyone), then you’re left with your fully rotating-DH plan, anyway, and his contract doesn’t cripple the team because it’s only a 1-year commitment (and because this is the Yankees we’re talking about here).

    • Matt ACTY/BBD

      What he said.

    • Rose


      I basically said the same this above. Why the Yankees would go into 2009 with Matsui’s bat at DH and Nady/Swisher spelling each other in RF…and then just be totally comfortable subtracting 2 of those bats for significantly worse production a year after they tasted victory for the first time in 9 years…doesn’t make any sense at all.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Yeah… I agree with you, I’d just describe the argument differently than you do. It’s not an issue of ‘why would the Yankees have a weaker lineup’ as much as it’s an issue of ‘why would the Yankees not have the proper depth.’ I’m on your side and I mean this in no way to come across as negative to you but more as what I think is a helpful tip – when you describe it the way you just did you invite the ‘well sometimes the offensive production will decline and the Yankees can’t always have an All-Star at every position’ argument in response, but that’s not really what you mean nor what’s important about this argument.

        • Rose

          I agree…and I wasn’t saying that “I had already said this above” in a “trying to steal my thunder” type of way. I was just referencing it in case if you hadn’t seen it. But I agree. Sometimes everything I’d like to say doesn’t come out (mainly due to me being at work and doing other things on the side)…but either way. I agree with your assessment…both regarding baseball and myself as a poster.

    • MattG

      The gum is in the works on + left fielder. Whom? Damon and Matsui are both DHs, and old. They both enjoyed the fountain of youth this season, but do not expect them to both play at this level again.

      The answer is not to return the same team, one year older. We know this. The problem is that there is not a left fielder upgrade, at a market-level price, available, therefore returning the same team becomes the best option by default.

      But it is merely the best option right now. There is still lots to happen between now and pitchers and catchers. Keep the logs in the fire, and try and do better than Damon & Matsui for one more year.

      • Rose

        What makes you think they are going to both decline so much? Posada is older than both of them and catching in over 120 games or so and he’s still producing (knock on wood…)

        Then you add YSIII into the mix and their production gets a little boost as well…

      • toad

        Why not expect Matsui to perform at this level? The numbers on uninjured DH’s do not suggest a decline.

        I agree with Mondesi’s take.

  • larryf

    Having seen AJax in the minors and spring training I believe he is a younger cheaper Carl Crawford-from the right side. Whether that means we keep him is another issue….

  • themgmt

    You can’t look just look at a hitter’s BABIP and say he was lucky. Peripheral data is great, but use it properly.

  • Bob Stone

    Forget it. No Miranda as DH.

    Resign Pettitte, Damon and Matsui.

  • Camilo Gerardo – your inception? fuck perception, go with what makes sense

    answer is that you have to see how miranda performs in spring training. if he rakes, let him start DH. if not; S-WB

  • Sydney McCartney

    Somebody was telling me the other day that money is not the issue with Matsui. He said the Yankees earn triple what they pay Matsui through Japanese sponships, etc…

    Can someone confirm this?

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