The aging catcher conundrum

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In just over two months, Jorge Posada will celebrate his 39th birthday, and age is starting to wear down the Yanks’ erstwhile catcher. His team has played 54 games, but Jorge has appeared in just 28 of them, slowed by various leg and muscle injuries that tend to rob older players of playing time.

Now that’s he back from the DL, Joe Girardi and the Yankee braintrust have to figure out what role Posada will play this year. As his .323/.404/.594 line shows, he can still hit, and with Nick Johnson on the 60-day DL and probably a lost cause for the season, the team has a DH hole that needs filling. Is Jorge their man?

Initially, it’s very tempting to say yes. While Jorge probably won’t sustain a 176 OPS+ throughout the rest of the season, if he can duplicate his career line — .278 average with an .862 OPS — he’d be among the top designated hitters in the American League. Furthermore, the team would be able to keep him in the lineup on a near-daily basis, something they can’t seem to do while he’s catching, and he would still get to catch a game or two a week as other players rotate through the DH spot. As much as I’m not a supporter of the rotating DH, a Jorge Posada platoon where he is in that role for five out of seven games would do wonders for the Yanks’ offense.

But it’s not as simple as all that. For one, the Yanks are facing a reluctant Posada. As ESPN New York’s Rob Parker explored yesterday, Posada is not at all keen on relinquishing his position. He is, however, willing to sacrifice some of his time behind the plate because he recognizes that age isn’t on his side. Last year, Jorge appeared in 100 games as a catcher; this year, he has seen action behind the dish in 22 contests.

“I know that I can catch and I can be out there but a lot of circumstances have come and I’m going to have to be smart about it,” Posada said to ESPN. “If I’m in the lineup, I’m happy. I would like to catch here and there sometimes, but I understand what the future holds.”

Even with Posada’s desire to catch, it’s questionable whether he should. His defensive metrics are all on the negative side, and he has thrown out just 4 of 21 base runners. That 19 percent caught stealing rate is only two ticks higher than Victor Martinez’s figure. Never a great catcher, Posada isn’t nearly as nimble behind the dish as he was in his early 30s, and his legs probably can’t stand up to the rigors of four or five more months at catcher.

The Yankees, though, have few other choices. Right now, as Posada’s foot heals and the team figures out what they have in Jorge going forward, Francisco Cervelli will continue to man the backstop. On the surface, he’s doing an admirable job, hitting .294 with a .375 on-base percentage and 24 RBI. As a back-up catcher, that’s fantastic, but as Cervelli has seen more playing time, he’s become exposed both at the plate and behind it. Hitless for June, Cervelli is now 3 for his last 27 and 10 for his last 57. That’s a .175 batting average for those keeping score at home.

Defensively, Frankie is a better catcher than Jorge, but he’s struggled throwing out runners. Opponents have stolen 18 out of 20 with Cervelli catching, and although some of that blame lies with the Yanks’ pitchers, teams will continue to run until they’re caught. Cervelli’s game, in other words, is ripe for the pickin’, and that’s exactly what teams are doing.

So the Yankees are stuck. They could risk putting their soon-to-be 39-year-old offensive weapon behind the plate and playing him until he can go no further. Or they can press into service their 24-year-old stop-gap who is supposed to keep the position warm until Jesus Montero or Austin Romine are ready for the big leagues. As a problem to have, it’s certainly not a big one, but how the Yanks address it could impact their season well into October.

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  • ecksodia

    Foot heels? Nice pun there haha.

    I hope that when it comes to the point that even his good offensive numbers cannot justify his catching abilities, he’ll be able to accept it and do whatever’s best for the team.

  • A.D.

    Cervelli full time likely isn’t the answer, but Posada 3 days & Cervelli 3 days a week (with Posada DHing the rest) is probably the best option.

  • bonestock94

    I don’t think the most recent injury is an indication of aging, it was just a fracture.

    Next season is beginning to worry me though. What if Montero isn’t ready, both offensively and defensively. Apparently he’s improved as a catcher but the line isn’t looking too pretty.

    • Beamish

      I think few people expect Montero to be ready next season. He might get some call ups but I bet they will keep his days low enough so that he does not end up a super-Two arb player. That said, if he is ready and is needed the Yankees would bringing him up, the extra Arbitration year be damned.

    • A.D.

      Presumably if needed Cervelli can start and Posada can have at least partial duty, and otherwise they can look to bring in a capable back-up.

  • Tony

    wow fuedes

  • ADam

    the best yankees lineup top to bottom and across the field has Jorge batting 6th and DH’ing then when he is ready to catch have him catch only against lefties, thus allowing thames to get in there and mash

    V LHP Best Lineup
    Jeter
    Swish
    Tex
    Alex
    Robbie
    Jorge – C
    Grandy
    Thames – DH
    Gardy – LF

    Best Lineup v RHP

    Jeter
    Swish
    Tex
    Alex
    Robbie
    Jorge – DH
    Grandy
    Cervelli
    Gardy

    (Keep moeller) on for mop up duty and the occasional Day game after night game start, and if you need to go out and get some lefty pop off the bench you decide to send down Russo or Pena for that spot.

  • theyankeewarrior

    I think the plan has to be Posada and Cervelli splitting the catching duties for the next two months, with Cervelli taking the majority of the starts and Posada working more and more behind the dish as time goes on.

    This way, the Yankees can get a grasp of how Posada can handle the position going into the playoffs. If Posada can catch, the Yankees will be in a great position to go out and get an everyday DH-type bat to slot into the lineup come October.

    As far as Cervelli catching 3x a week, I don’t think it will hinder the Yankees to the point where they need to wear out Posada or make a crazy trade. As long as Frankie behind the dish is the Yankees’ biggest position player weakness, they are going to win a lot of games.

    With the new playoff scheduling, I do believe that Posada may need a day off (or a day as the DH) in a 7 game series. But as long as Cervelli shows he can call a good game, throw runners out as a decent clip, and slap a single, I’d be fine with him getting one start per series.

  • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

    the only problem with this is that it requires the yankees to keep chad moeller around for the games where jopo dhs and cervelli catches in case frankie gets hurt…..and that limits the bench. I would much rather have miranda than moeller…..

    • vin

      This.

    • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Is that necessarily true? I mean, in the event Cervelli gets hurt, they’ll just move Jorge to C and lose the DH for that one game, right? I don’t know that the possibility of that happening necessitates tying up a roster spot with a third catcher.

      I was ok with carrying a third catcher in the playoffs for the days Posada wasn’t catching because in those games it would be a nightmare to get caught without a backup C, but if we’re talking about it maybe happening in a regular season game, I don’t think it’s so important.

      • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        I see a few people seem to think they’d need to keep Moeller around. Am I brain-farting on this issue?

        • Rick in Boston

          I think it depends on how quickly Posada can get back behind the plate and stay back there. If it’s quick – Moeller can get DFA’ed (but hopefully brought back to SWB). But, if Jorge can’t go more than once a week behind the plate without discomfort, then the Yankees really need another option other than burning out Cervelli before the playoffs.

          • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Oh sure… If Posada’s only catching, like, once a week, they’ll need a backup.

            Not disagreeing with you at all, but to expand on your point since the point Baracus was making was that they’d need a backup catcher in case Cervelli got hurt… I still don’t agree with that premise, even if Posada’s only catching once a week. In that situation they need a third catcher, yes, but it’s because you can’t have Cervelli playing 5-6 times a week, not because you’re worried about what might happen on the random day that Cervelli gets hurt and Posada is DHing.

            I still don’t think that idea is really ever so important, in the regular season. If that happens one day, then so be it. They’ll deal with it for a few innings in one regular season game, call up another catcher or two the next day if Cervelli’s on the DL, and move forward. I think it’s a valid point and a reasonable concern in the postseason, but I don’t think I buy it in the regular season.

        • Tampa Yankee

          I see a need right now while Jorge is getting back into the swing of things but once he’s good to resume catching duties, keeping Moeller doesn’t make sense.

  • Beamish

    Posada as a regular DH/once-a-week catcher means the Yankees will also be keeping Chad Moeller for the duration. That is not the best thing for bench depth and probably also means Russo will be around just as long since they really need that super-utility player. Pena has to stay as the SS caddy (I could see Russo as an emergency SS, but never starting there).

    Eh, there are far worse problems to have than who is the 25th man on the roster.

  • pounder

    I’d promote Romine.I believe he is ready,if not by Sept. then certainly next season.Remember they brought up Cervelli from Trenton,and he has done well despite his questionable bat.Romine will be a better solution going forward.

    • Rick in Boston

      Romine isn’t ready. They are grooming him as the everyday catcher and that means he needs to catch everyday and get used to the grind. Cervelli was never considered to be anywhere near the everyday catcher, so bringing him up and ruining his development wasn’t a concern.

      • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

        This is definitely the case. They consider Romine to have a far higher ceiling than Cervelli does. As much as Frankie’s a fan favorite, he’s really just a stop-gap defense guy. Whatever he gives them at the plate is a bonus.

        • CS Yankee

          Agreed, but if the lines continue at the current pace in AA & AAA then I hope they reward Romine with a September callup and not Montero.

          Montero only being 20 & struggling in AAA doesn’t concern me but it shouldn’t mean a reward either. He might need two (or more) seasons there to get it dialed in (developed).

          In realizing that quite a few of the stars go from AA to MLB and don’t serve AAA time. It seems AAA is full of guys that bat 20+ points lower (when promoted) and are the subs for the injured starter but AA promotions have a better chance of sticking.

          Your thoughts, Ben?

    • http://www.wiredtowns.com Short Porch

      SSS and all that, but Romine’s road stats are outrageously good — .380/.418/.576. That translates well enough to the majors.

      Tampa, Trenton, Scranton -Wilkes Barre all big pitcher’s parks. We always underestimate our hitting prospects and (maybe) overestimate our pitching prospects as a result.

      Romine might be able to throw out some people – 25% career minor league percentage. Moeller, not so much — less than 10% these days, though at the major league level.

      BTW Montero’s home/road OPS: .590/.748. Not as bad as it looked then though hardly awe inspiring, what we are praying for.

      • Angelo

        Romine isn’t used to catching a whole lot of games, remember he used to split time with Montero behind the dish. He’s still young and developing into a very good prospect. You’re jumping the gun a bit if you think Romine is a better hitter than Montero. Yes, Romine might be having the better year, but there is no question Montero is one of the best pure hitters in the minors. Stop putting so much emphasis on SSS.

        Romine might be major league ready defensively, but you do not ruin an important prospect’s development for this. Romine probably has a year to two years until he’s playing with the Yankees. Be rational.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK’s Mystique and Aura

      Haha. I had a good laugh at that one. Thank you!

  • http://www.myqivana.com/andrewcolin andrew colin

    sometimes its better not to try and fix a problem Splitting catching dutieswith posada and cevelli is not the end of the world. ANd letting Posada DH is not the end of the world. Worry about inconsistent bullpen and weak bench.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      You do realize how a weak bench is directly related to the Yanks’ catcher situation, right?

      • Januz

        The Yankees have a weak bench, but they only need to get through 2 or 3 more months until the situstion is rectified (Two months if Nick Johnson comes back, 40 man expanded roster for September, even if he does not). I am willing to say, that unless there is an injury, you will see a stronger bench in October than the present (And quite likely Posada catching FULL-TIME).

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK’s Mystique and Aura

      I knew I should have taken Pig Latin in high school. What was that again?

      • Angelo

        Haha +1

  • Januz

    The Yankees are essentially trying to get through this season with a piecemeal approach at catcher. Posada knows that this will likely be his last season as a catcher (He will be the FULL-TIME DH next year). Austin Romine is the future, and sometime next year, he will take over the position. I think Montero will be a DH or outfielder. He might eventually replace Swisher (Swisher’s contract is up after 2011 (They do have a $12m CLUB option for 2012).

    • Rick in Boston

      Romine will only be up next year in an emergency situation only. It’s probable that the Yankees will let him have all year next year in AAA, most likely in a job-share with Montero. The last two times the Yankees developed an everyday catcher, they spent the following amount of time in AAA:

      Jorge Posada – 306 games over 3 years
      Dioner Navarro – 126 games over 3 years (and was called up too early b/c Tampa’s catchers were Toby Hall and Josh Paul)

  • nathan

    Well, we all knew when the 4 year deal was signed, that JoPo will have a tough time in the 4th year of the contract. Unfortunately, he has had injury issues earlier than that. I think he has lost close to 3/4 th of a season out of 2.5 seasons to injury.

    This is going to become a problem as all of these guys age. Jeter and ARod really scare me. I shudder to think abt the leftside of the IF in the year 2012 or 2013. Its gonna get ugly.

    • Rick in Boston

      But outside of his hamstrings, how much time has Posada lost because of injuries that are more or less fluky? He blew his shoulder out on a throw – that doesn’t happen often to catchers, even those that have a lot more innings on their bodies than he does/did. This year it’s a freak foul ball.

  • mattb

    The way I see it, as things stand now, this is an awfully good club, but as Yankee fans, we want efficient productivity from 1 on down to 25. That said (and though I am not necessarily in the fatalistic NJ camp, I am going to assume here that he either won’t be back at all, or otherwise back with any strength in that wrist), I think this club has two identifiable needs: (1) potentially a left handed power bat to platoon with Thames and (2) virtually certaintly IMHO, one and probably two bullpen pieces. I go back and forth as to which need I think is greater and the fact that (2)may very well be able to be largely addressed internally also effects the thinking. Relating this to Cervelli:

    1. I don’t dismiss Jorge’s ego as a real issue, but since I have nothing firm and don’t anticipate being in the clubhouse like, ever, I need to assume that if it is the best decision, the front office will be capable of easing Jorge into a reduced role behind the plate.

    2. Assuming (1), the first option that comes to mind is let Cervelli catch against RHPs while JoPO DHs and then have JoPo behind the dish and Thames DHing against the southpaws. For me, Thames is a considerably more than acceptable half of a DH platoon – but so help me if he plays even a single meaningful inning in the outfield. And clearly JoPo can rake. Starting Frankie 4-5 times a week would be a more traditional line-up – the question is, as he continues to be exposed and as his numbers slowly (and naturally) regress, will his offense remain at or above replacement level? My guess is probably yes, barely, because he does have a demonstrable history of taking his walks. But that .SLG is going to be ugly if the league keeps seeing him – it’s already inflated given the types of extra base hits he’s had. I’d be pleasantly surprised if he can slug even .365 while getting 450 ABs. That actually raises another issue:

    3. Given that the Yanks do have some needs – the lefy bat is going to have to come externally, if it’s not NJ, it’s not in the system – and given both Frankie’s strong start and the org’s strong catching depth, do you give any consideration to trying to sell high and attempt to make Frankie a decently key piece of a non-blockbuster deal? I love the kid, I’d hate to see him go, and I think he probably is a borderline starting catcher, esp. in the NL, but I can’t imagine a scenario in which he’s ever #1 on the Yanks depth chart and catching is always in short supply. Also in short supply given the offeason moves are prospects you’d feel decently ok about moving – so if I can somehow do a deal where Cervelli takes the spot that would have been ZMac or Nova, I’d think long and hard.

    I think the easiest – and least creative – deal to be done is probably with Cleveland. Branyan doesn’t have many skills, but his one skill, mashing righties, he does very very well. Cleveland also has some nice bullpen pieces they’d probably move, e.g., Lewis or C. (not R.) Perez. I can’t claim intimate familiarity with the Cleveland farm, but my understanding is that Marson has never been particularly well regarded and lord knows they need starters. If Cervelli and the right pitching prospect (I change my mind daily on who I’d be willing to lose) gets me Branyon and Jenson, I think long and hard. Honestly, I’d call that deal an easy Yank win but for the fact that I don’t love the thought of Branyon and Thames on the same bench – that’s some very limited defensively flexibility, employing two guys who are truly full time DHs.

    4. One more interesting thought that crossed my mind is to make our annual deal with Pitt and I’m thinking Doumit. I’ll say at the outset, I think the ESPN crowd overrates him and there are issues, namely whether he can stay on the field. What I like: he’s signed reasonably and only, I think, through next season – he can catch, DH and even do an impression of an outfielder, so there are no real budget or blocking concerns. I make no illusions that the guy is Babe Ruth at the plate – but he’s a solid, above average hitter. He switch hits, his splits aren’t off the chart dramatic and they favor him when batting lefty, so you can use him with Thames. Plus Pitt has expressed apparent willingess to deal him through channels IIRC. And the other thing with Pittsburgh is they have relievers – Dotel, Evan Meek and D.J. Carrasco could all help this club – if you put a gun to my head, I’d say of the three, give me Octavio back, despite his bloated ERA, he’s still nasty and is pitching to a good FIP with strong peripherals.

    But Meek is the one to watch. Check him out at Fangraphs and ignore the under 1 ERA even. What jumps out to me is that for a young kid in the pen, he has four pitches and he uses them all – and it’s not cause he doesn’t throw hard, as he sits at 95. He can get lefties out and over a SSS of 90 IP, has only had 6 balls leave the yard. Carrasco intrigues me a bit in the sense of him possibly filling the Aceves role, as he’s been a swingman before, also can throw four pitchers for strikes and has generally been a consistently decent RP.

    I’d be curious to know what, if anything, when it came to sit down and actually deal and not posture, Hungtington would want for Doumit and Meek – I assume starting pitching. Particularly if Neal would put Dotel in the deal too, and a Z-Mac/Miranda/B Reliever gets you there – and I frankly admit, it probably doesn’t, though it does give Pitt some salary relief – these kinds of moves are tough, as none of these guys are worth the few elite prospects and there’s such a dearth of MLB-ready position player talent, though I’d gladly move Adams or Vasquez; and while I’d probably say no in the end, if they’d do a three for one and a PTNL, and the one was Romine, I don’t hang up. I love Austin, but between getting Doumit back and the org depth at the position, I’d have to at least ponder the notion.

    Sorry for the long post :) slow day in the legal world – I’ll save my next option, talking to Zona about Laroche and Qualls/Heilman ffor another day (which I’m sure is eagerly anticipated :))

    • Gonzo

      Cleveland has Carlos (KLaw rates me better than Montero and Van Halen) Santana ready to take the starting catcher job this year. I don’t think they would want Cervelli to be their backup. They would have to do something with Marson. Otherwise great thoughts!

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK’s Mystique and Aura

      First off, despite what you’ve been told, the Meek shall never inherit the earth. Hasn’t happened yet, won’t even happen.

      Now that that’s out of the way, let’s tackle the catcher issue. So Cleveland will trade a reliever and Branyan for a pitching prospect and Cervelli? Cervelli probably doesn’t have much value to an organization with Carlos Santana pretty much ready to step in and take the starting job. An upgrade of Cervelli over Marson really doesn’t make much sense given that they’d each be backups.

      I can’t see a scenario where Pittsburgh would trade Doumit for anything but really good prospects. Given his injury history, our catching depth in the minors, that seems short-sighted to me. I suppose you could rotate him as a platoon catcher/DH but again, not sure the value offset is appropriate.

      Relievers are volatile. Could they add a piece? Sure, but there’s a solid change they won’t perform any better than in-house options.

      • mattb

        I don’t know the farms like Axisa, agreed, Santana nixes any notion of using Cervelli in a Branyan deal. What Cleveland really needs are starters and while yes, I would trade one of either Z-Mac for Nova for piece(s) that fill gaping needs, I do agree there’s certainly no urgency. Internally, I’m with you on the relievers and certainly agree as to volatility – I think what upsets me the most right now is the current pen construction. There was a time when I thought Chad Gaudin had a role with this team, but that time is not now – the whole notion that Mitre can be Aceves and Gaudin can be Mitre is fanciful, and there’s absolute redundancy having both Mitre and Gaudin in the same pen, especially when said pen also features Chan Ho who can give at least 2 semi-regularly and 3 in an emergency. I’d decide like, now, who between Mitre and Gaudin I want moving forward. I thought about this question more than I (or anyone else) really needed to last year and the answer was always keep Gaudin. Unfortunately, with a major SSS qualifier, many of the facts I presented in favor of Gaudin, i.e. a very low HR/9 rate, lower than alleged sinkerballer Mitre and this season it seems like I might be able to take Chad yard. Don’t get me wrong, I never got the Mitre thing – at his absolute best, he’s been below average, though folks want to cherry pick a couplee good months he had in FL right before the TJ surgery as evidence that he was turning a corner. I will concede that I like Mitre’s pitch selection more than Gaudin’s – I think there’s very little question that Ace’s value derived from his ability to basically throw four pitches in any count. Mitre probably has more of an ability to do that than Gaudin – not to mention, it’s cheaper for them to DFA Gaudin. But Mitre is pitching about as well as he can now and his FIP is near 5, which is a very troubling notion.

        So step one for me is immediately jettison Gaudin and tell Melancon he’s here for good. And recall that the Yanks philosophy, and with Melancon in particular, has been to have their relievers go multiple innings. When/if Melancon becomes effective at tbis level, he’s going to be efficient and ought to be able to gobble up some outs. But frankly, that’s not where Melancon’s needed, he’s needed as a set-up guy due to the abject failure of D-Rob and CHOP to perform as yet. I think what I’d so short term as follows:

        9th – unspoken
        Set-up- I hate, hate, hate the notion that Damaso Marte can’t retire a righty or two if the need arises. He’s done it his entire career, with a very few SSS blips during injury periods. I know they worry about the shoulder, but I frankly think part of Marte’s being erratic is the lack of work – the man is one of the better relivers of the past decade. Joe ought to try him for an inning sometime. But in any event, I’d want Joba and Marte to be my primary set-up guys, used late in the game as the situation dictates.

        Middle Relief – here I’m talking roughly about innings 5-7. I’d throw Melancon in here and give him consistent work for a month and see what he has. I’d be willing to watch D-Rob a few more times, but if he can’t just simply cut his baserunners, I’d say option him and give Nova a chance here. Finally, if the team must recreate an Aceves clone, I’d make it Park, not Mitre. Park’s been awful, but dude’s just a better pitcher and with a pretty good repetoire. Let him take over those games where we’re down 6-4 in the 5th and let him work himself out. Don’t ask Mitre to be more than what he is.

        Long – I’m perfectly fine with Sergio here.

        Another long post and it’s ironic, since I like Chad Gaudin, but I’m mind boggled in that they’ve brought him in for all the reasons they shouldn’t. In case Cash and Joe G. haven’t noticed, Yankee starters pitch into the 7th a significant majority of the time. The Yanks pen is blowing up in high leverage set-up situations, not in the 4th inning when even Javy on his worst day is usually still around. You can make a case to me that Gaudin can be deployed effectively in a set-up role as a situational righty and I’m open to that (I think he’ll end up walking too many dudes, but at least that makes sense). I just don’t get the stockpiling of “long” arms, when it’s the set-up crew (and Mo’s one week yearly hiccup) that’s cost the club some games the past few weeks.

        • Cult of Basebaal

          Right now, Melancon can’t get AAA hitters out. It’s probably not the time to bring him up.

          I wouldn’t mind seeing Nova back up again in that long relief role, though.

    • Templeton “Brendog” Peck

      the yankees already have a lefty pwoer bat in miranda and bullpen pieces ni sanchez/melancon/hirsh/etc.

      • mattb

        I would essentially agree that at minimum, the Yanks have internal set-up options to try at considerable length, i.e. right up to the deadline.

        Sadly have to disagree as to Miranda – can he get hold of a fastball? Sure can. Do I see any empircal evidence to suggest that he’s anything more than replacement level DHing roughly 2/3 games? Sure don’t. Dude’s not young and while his minor league power numbers certainly indicate some pop, I’d imagine it translates to a MLB .SLG of .400-.430 depending on BABIP. Not saying I wouldn’t find .430 acceptable and maybe he’ll stark raking balls into the deck. But he’s gotta get on base too and that worries me. I want my DH to .OPS at a minimum around .800. I wish I could see a path where Miranda gets to that point and I hope I’m proven wrong.

        • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

          Just as a DYK: The league average DH in the AL in 2009 OPS’d .780. An .800 OPS would be fantastic from Miranda, but considering his profile, I’d take league average.

          • mattb

            Thanks Ben, I get so AL East-centric at times I forget about some of the dudes clubs run out as their DHs (or I may be permanently stuck in the roid age).

            What are your thoughts on Juan? I’m thinking closer to league average than replacement for sure, with your info – Miranda has normal splits right, for some reason I had it in my head that he went through a crazy reverse split period in the minors (dude, I’m telling you, take your law degree and try very hard not to practice law – any cool shit you once knew, it’s just not there when you need it – ah, it’s actually pretty fun, I just think it’s obligatory to be fatalistic) but assuming I’m wrong on that, I can def see the slugging component, def would be pleasantly thrilled if he walks enough to get up to .780. I’d back of the envelope guestimate .240/300/.450, which I’d sign up for now if I knew if I was getting a healthy NJ back in August – I just wish Juan didn’t have the larger part of the platoon.

            • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

              I like the idea of giving Miranda as much a shot as they can before he proves he can’t handle the job. I like his power bat on the bench, and the Yanks have little to lose if Posada’s behind the plate. A DH platoon of Thames and Miranda would be just fine until NJ is back.

              As for my law degree, who knows where I’ll end up with that.

  • AltaJoe

    Here are a few of my thoughts.

    No need to keep Moeller around. If Cervelli gets hurt catching in a game where Jorge is DHing then Jorge goes in to catch and we lose the DH. Its not terribly likely that that happens and it only affects the rest of that game.

    Cervelli is now showing that his huge numbers are dropping the more he plays. That is very common among bench players who step in due to an injury. Whether he can become the catcher of the future remains to be seen.

    Jorge was never a defensive gem and last year and this year he has deteriorated considerably. How many times do you see him fail to come up with a fastball 8″ off the plate. A good catcher once a year. An average catcher 3 times. Jorge has more than a few under his belt despite his limited appearances behind the plate. Add to that the pitcher’s reluctance to try to break off a nasty slider to the dirt with runners on and you have the makings of a real problem.

    But my biggest fear is that Jorge has shown a propensity to throw hissy fits when things don’t go his way. While many will call it “fire”, I see it as a locker room distraction when he’s the only one who can’t see the writing on the wall.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      But my biggest fear is that Jorge has shown a propensity to throw hissy fits when things don’t go his way. While many will call it “fire”, I see it as a locker room distraction when he’s the only one who can’t see the writing on the wall.

      If you read the quotes in the ESPN NY article I linked to in the post, I think you’ll see that Posada is more willing to take on a larger DH role than ever before. He won’t be a clubhouse problem if the team cuts back his catching duties. He’s well aware of his age and the problems being 39 and catching can cause.

      • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Yeah… I actually fall into the ‘I don’t always love Jorge’s attitude’ camp, but he seems to understand the situation here. We need to keep in mind that while he may be a proud guy who wants to play his position, he’s also the one who is actually going through the rigors of catching all the time and dealing with the injuries. He won’t have too big a problem with catching less because he knows his body can’t take it, it’s not like someone needs to convince him of that.