May
11

Miranda recalled to add lefthanded thump

By

Photo Credit: Kathy Willens, AP

With Nick Johnson stuck on the disabled list for the foreseeable future, the Yankees’ lineup is lacking two things: a regular designated hitter, and a productive lefthanded bat. Curtis Granderson‘s absence makes the latter even more obvious. We can dream about Jorge Posada DH’ing most of the time with Frankie Cervelli assuming starting catcher responsibilities, but the team appears to have no interest in doing that. Adding a third catcher (likely Chad Moeller) to a team with a (usually) four man bench is less than ideal as well.

In an effort to correct that missing lefty bat, the Yankees summoned Juan Miranda from Triple-A Scranton today. There’s still no word on who’s going down to make room, but hopefully it’s one of the 13 pitchers. Preferably Boone Logan, but I digress.

Once upon a time Miranda was expected to be the Yanks’ first baseman of the future, but Mark Teixeira hitting the open market changed those plans. Instead, he’s been stuck in the minors for most of the last three years, save for September call-ups in each of the last two seasons. He’s actually hit pretty well in his limited big league at-bats, a .430 wOBA with one wallop of a homer and a walk-off single in 23 plate appearances. Overall, Miranda’s got a .371 wOBA in over 1,000 plate appearances at the Triple-A level, and has proven all he could at the level.

Miranda’s arrival does several things for the Yanks’ roster. For one, it helps settle the DH and leftfield situations, plus the overall lineup picture, all of which have kind of been in a bit of flux over the last week because of injuries both minor and major. Now, Joe Girardi can employ a straight platoon of Miranda and Marcus Thames at DH and in the 7th spot of the lineup. Randy Winn can’t hit, but he catches everything he should and then some, so now he’ll get regular playing time in the outfield. It’s not the prettiest picture, but at least now everyone has a defined role and we all have some peace of mind.

An added benefit is that the Yanks will now get an opportunity to evaluate Miranda for an extended amount of time at the big league level. It’s not just an audition for a possible DH job with the Yankees next season, it’s an audition for the other 29 clubs. If Miranda performs well and the Yanks deem him expendable – remember, he’ll be out of options next season, so he has to stick on the big league roster or go through waivers – they can use him in a trade to shore up another area of the team. A fringe benefit is that it also keeps Thames from being exposed against righthanders (dude’s got just four singles since Granderson got hurt).

I said during the offseason that I didn’t think Miranda could be a productive full-time designated hitter for the Yankees this year because of his troubles against lefthanders, but in a platoon situation he’s an acceptable option. CHONE projects a .341 wOBA with 17 jacks, and I’m willing to bet he could top that wOBA with limited exposure to southpaws. Even if not, it’s still more than we could ask for at this point. The Yankees just need Miranda to come in and help restore a semblance of normalcy to the lineup and roster. The constant juggling is no way to run a contender.

Categories : Offense

75 Comments»

  1. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    Awesome. I’m happy. I think he can be the LH version of Marcus Thames (minus the horrible defense).

  2. Guest says:

    This should be quite helpful. Thames/Miranda are mirror images of each other, meaning that can both be put in a position to succeed at all times.

  3. pat says:

    Love Miranda, hopefully Boone is booted.

  4. Rose says:

    Somebody read Marcus Thames his Miranda Rights…

  5. Chris says:

    Wouldn’t Nova be the first sent down? He was called up to act as a long man. Since Aceves should be back tonight, there is really no more need to carry the extra long man.

  6. pounder says:

    David De Jesus is available…..just saying.

    • pat says:

      To ride the pine when Granderson gets back?

      • Rose says:

        Or when Gardner reverts back to his Scott Podsednik ways…

        • pat says:

          Unless Cash pulls some ninja type shit, is it worth giving up something substantial to upgrade from Gardner to DeJesus?

          • vin says:

            No, I just don’t think Cashman believes Gardner is a problem. The powers-that-be really seem to like what he adds to the team (which is that much more important with Curtis bing out).

          • Hey ZZ says:

            DeJesus is not even an upgrade over Gardner right now. Not positive that will continue, but DeJesus is a pretty average player.

        • Hey ZZ says:

          What Gardner is doing right now is not smoke and mirrors.

          He has made legitimate strides in his game to suggest he can be a very productive major league OF. Mostly as a result of completely retooling his swing to actually fit his skillset instead of the awful hacking at the ball he employed for last year and his minor league career.

          He also has a better eye at the plate than Podsednik and is much faster which will allow him to beat out more IF singles and steal a lot more bases.

          He just has to keep making adjustments because pitchers are going to try to jam him inside. So far though he has showed he can turn on the ball and definitely has the hand speed to continue to do so.

          What Gardner has done so far this season is very encouraging from a quantitative and qualitative standpoint.

    • Rose says:

      Rather sign another free DH out there since I don’t see NJ coming back any time soon. Right now, having Winn and/or Thames in the line up with no NJ is all sorts of awful. Cervelli behind the dish with Posada isn’t bad…but when Posada is behind the dish and a vet is DHing and you throw Pena or one of the other bums out there…the line up gets infinitely worse.

      DeJesus would cost too much. He’s as consistent as the day is long.

    • Thomas says:

      Where does it say he is available?

      Also, I don’t know if he is really worth trading for. DeJesus is about a 110 wRC+ hitter with excellent corner OF defense. As a DH, I don’t think he’d outhit the Thames/Miranda platoon enough to warrant giving up prospects for. Plus as a DH, the Yankees would lose his most valuable skill, his defense.

      In LF, he’d be more valuable than Winn, but Granderson will be back in a few weeks meaning Gardner will move back to LF and push DeJesus to DH, where he just isn’t that valuable.

      DeJesus is a good player, but not one the Yankees should really part with any prospects for at this moment.

  7. A.D. says:

    Makes perfect sense, and had to see this move coming once NJ hit the DL. Hopefully this does create a mostly straight platoon situation, and allows for Tex to get the 1/2 day off once in awhile with Miranda playing some 1B.

  8. vin says:

    I don’t see the Yanks sending Logan down with the Twins series coming up. I’m sure Girardi loves having the platoon advantage against Mauer, Morneau and Kubel.

    Sending down Russo makes the most sense. Robby and Alex seem to be healthy – so carrying a second utility IFer doesn’t make much sense.

    • A.D. says:

      Girardi loves having the platoon advantage against Mauer, Morneau and Kubel.

      Is it really an advantage when said pitcher is giving up a 500 OBP to lefties?

      Can also throw Span and Thome in there as lefties though

      • vin says:

        “Is it really an advantage when said pitcher is giving up a 500 OBP to lefties?”

        You’ve seen Girardi in action just as much a I have… his bullpen management is very “by the book.” Lefty-lefty matchups, 8th inning guy, etc.

        Although I find his use of the pen to be frustrating at times, he does manage to get results over the long haul. If they do send down Logan, I would take it as an indictment on his abilities and effectiveness. Girardi seems to understand the concept of small sample sizes.

      • Mike Axisa says:

        There’s not even a platoon advantage. Mauer hits everything, and Morneau has a .960+ OPS vs LHP. Kubel has a big platoon split, but he’s been so bad this year that a regular old righty reliever will get him out.

      • JGS says:

        12 PA is a pretty small sample–the 4 walks in those 12 PAs concern me more than the two hits

  9. Templeton "Brendog" Peck says:

    even if miranda hits though what team out there needs a 1b who can’t hit lefties? or a dh? maybe seattle cause e is prob better than griffey/sweeney but I can’t really think of any…

    • Thomas says:

      Miranda might be traded more as a lefty off the bench for a playoff team (sort of like Hinske). Maybe he could go to a bad team wanting a stopgap first baseman or want to see if maybe he can hit lefties at a solid enough level to make him an everyday player (sort of like the Pirates with Garrett Jones, though Jones as wasn’t traded for).

      • Templeton "Brendog" Peck says:

        Maybe he could go to a bad team wanting a stopgap first baseman or want to see if maybe he can hit lefties at a solid enough level to make him an everyday player

        right…name a team.

        • pat says:

          Miranda could surely outproduce Eric Chavez out in Oakland.

        • Thomas says:

          Teams with possible 1B/DH openings next year

          Nationals
          Diamondbacks
          Orioles
          Astros (if Berkman is traded)
          Brewers (if Fielder is traded)
          Giants
          Mariners
          Blue Jays
          Rays

          Now some are unlikely, but other ones are some realistic options.

          • Templeton "Brendog" Peck says:

            fair enough although one would think the orioles would just try to slide one of their of to 1b like luke scott or reimold…plus jays/rays/o’s wouldn’t really give anything up to the yanks for him would they?

            i mentioned mariners. giants are def a possibility, good call. i just don’t think a team like the astros, who are effed for multiple of yrs imo would want him…brewers, possibly. dbacks..didn’t they just re-up what’s his name? and nats…yeah..but with the pitching they have coming I would look for them to make a bigger splash if they need a 1b. that team could be serious next yr with strasburg, storen, zimmerman, marquis and olsen/stammen/wang/lannan/

            • A.D. says:

              For the D’Backs they have LaRoche & Jackson now, but LaRoche has a 7.5M mutual option, Jackson will be in his final year of arb and will be making over 3M, and can play the OF.

              Wouldn’t be surprised for the D’back to be pinching pennies and thus not be willing to pick up LaRoche’s option, or in general be happy with a 1B making the league min.

              But net in net is the market huge, no, but if Miranda does hit, there will be interested parties, and he can always be the Yanks DH.

          • A.D. says:

            Also Braves (if Freeman isn’t ready)
            Red Sox
            Tigers
            Royals (why there may not be an opening doesn’t mean Moore won’t trade for him)
            White Sox

          • mike c says:

            miranda for cain, wonder if cashman could pull that out of his hat

  10. Frank says:

    Let’s see. Cashman trades away Jackson , Coke and kennedy. Doesn’t resign Damon or Matsui. Have you checked out their stats recently ?Gets Granderson who never has and never will hit a lefty, gets Nick Johnson who to no surprise is DL’d. Trades for Vasquez whom anyone could tell you would never be sucessful in the AL (ask Ozzie G or Curt Shill). But this is nothing new for Cashman. The only 2 good signings he made were no brainers in CC and Tex. Everything he has touched in his time here has been blunder after blunder but he has had the money to cover it up, You think any other GM (except for Minaya, lol) whould have gone 10 years without a tittle if they had his checkbook

    • pat says:

      Blah blah blah.

    • Templeton "Brendog" Peck says:

      dfa

    • Marcos says:

      Cash also made a genius trade for Swisher, made a smart move in not trading for Johan, has rebuilt the farm system from nothing, the Javy trade hasn’t paid off YET, call me in August abou it. (and even Supermegaultrasmartgenius GM Theo was interested in Javy)
      Not signing Matsui was genius, he’s not hitting right now and even if he gets hot, his knees are a far greater risk than NJ’s wrist.
      Cash has taken responsibility for his only two blunders (Pavano and Igawa).

      /rant

      I don’t know about you, or anyone else but that sounds like someone that I’d want running my team)

      • Steve says:

        …his only two blunders (Pavano and Igawa)…

        I like Cashman and think he does a decent job, but Mike Lowell for Ed Yarnall was a blunder and so was signing Jaret Wright.

        • Thomas says:

          Lowell was a definitely blunder.

          However, most believe the Wright signing came from the Tampa crew. On of the Tampa crew promised they would add Leo Mazzone as pitching coach and thus, they signed Jaret Wright, his most recent disciple to help lure him and give him a familiar pitcher. Obviously, that failed miserably.

        • CS Yankee says:

          Pavano was good before (NYY days) and is decent today…The Red Sox wanted him badly & he signed for less to play for the Yankees (even fired his agent since he was told 40M$, not 39.5M$).

          Igawa was overpaid big time but the delta between his posting & Dice-BB was much smaller than the “king of SWB”. Kei’s total costs is maybe 40M$, Dice-BB over 100M$.

          Cashman has made some blunders but his overall management has been above reproach. Plus add in the Swish trade, Godzilla (part 1 & 2) signings, the young guns (drafted/developed) and your way ahead of Theo/Billy/etc. The CC visit & signing, plus the ninja move on Teix and Cashman & CO are likely bringing more “WAR” than any other management.

          Aren’t the Sox paying twenty-something million for other teams left side infields plus having a 15M$ bench (Yankees around 3M$)?

      • mike c says:

        lowell, marte were two big blunders.. but the a-rod/texas trade was genius

      • Frank says:

        Randy Johnson , Kevin Brown and letting Andy getting away when he was the best big time pitcher they had. I seriously think they would have never lost to Boston in 2005 and never got knocked out in the 1st round the following years if they had a big time pitcher. Was that George who wanted him gone ?

        • bexarama says:

          Obviously I think Andy leaving was terrible but.

          a. we don’t really know why Andy left. He took less money to go to Houston. Did he not feel the Yankees prioritized him enough? Did the Yankees genuinely not prioritize him because they were afraid his elbow health wasn’t great? Did he want to be close to his family? Did his wife make him do it? Was it a combination of those factors, or not really any of them? We don’t know and we’ll probably never definitively know.

          b. Pettitte likely wouldn’t have helped us in 2004, as he was on the DL getting elbow surgery. He hurt his elbow for good batting, so it’s possible he would have avoided it being in the AL, but it was honestly likely a ticking time bomb. It’s better he got surgery on it while with the Astros than suffer some kind of awful career-ending injury.

          c. Without Andy leaving, there’s no Hughes. Now, we don’t know what Hughes’ career will be like, but I feel pretty confident saying the kid’s got SOME upside. It’s too much to say he’s going to have Pettitte’s career because that’s an incredibly long and valuable career, but if he reaches his full potential, his peak will be much higher.

          d. As a Yankee fan who presumably saw the 2001 World Series, how can you call Randy Johnson not a big game pitcher?

          e. getting Andy back in the offseason before 2007 was very, very smart when you consider the other options that were available on the market then. People were screaming at Cashman for not getting Zito, Matsuzaka, or a number of other options that turned out not well at all. I think he’s done a pretty good job with Andy’s contracts since then, even with the contract squabbling of past offseasons.

          /essay’d

    • Mike Pop says:

      At least spell Javier’s name right.

    • bexarama says:

      when you’re using Ozzie Guillen and Curt Schilling as viable sources your argument isn’t terribly valid

  11. mike says:

    At this point i would call Mr Dye – give him 50 AB’s and see how he looks.

    I would put him at DH ( perhaps splitting with Miranda) and see what he does for a few weeks – like they did with Big Sexy a few years ago.

    God forbid he hits the field, his D cannot be worse than Thames

  12. Doug says:

    Everyone always mentions Miranda’s “troubles against lefthanders”, but I’m not sure it’s that big a concern. He actually has a higher OPS vs. lefthanders (.951) than righthanders (.738) this season. Yes, I know it’s a small sample size, but if I remember correctly, his L/R splits weren’t that bad last year either.

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.