Nov
05

Mailbag: Montero, Swisher, LOOGY, Blue Jays

By

Time for another edition of the RAB Mailbag. I’m not keeping track, but it’s pretty safe to say that there have been more questions asked about Jesus Montero than any other single player in the history of the mailbag. And it’s not a small margin either, you should see what comes in that I don’t answer. You guys freaking love talking about the kid. Can’t say I blame you.

Anyway, if you want to submit a question, you know what to do. Use the Submit A Tip box in the sidebar, and if it’s something I can answer intelligently without a week’s worth of research, I’ll answer it. On to the questions …

Josh asks: In short, what do you think the Yanks should do with Jesus?  Moreover, what do you think they will do?

I chopped out a bunch of the question for the sake of space, but essentially Josh goes on to ask about his defense and his chances to improve and what not.

My thoughts about what to do with Montero are pretty simple. Let him come to Spring Training next year and compete for a job, and unless he absolutely destroys the Grapefruit League and makes strides on defense, send him back to Triple-A to start the season. When the time comes, in May or June or whatever, call him up and let him split catching and designated hitter duties with Jorge Posada. But he has to play every day, they can’t let him go stale by playing just two or three times a week. Let Tony Pena go to town with him defensively in the interim.

It doesn’t end there though. If a trade opportunity comes along this winter that could significantly improve the big league team, I’d have no hesitation about trading Montero. The Yankees have shown a willingness to deal him, but only for super-elite guys like Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. That’s what I’m talking about, a bonafide impact player in his prime.

Now, what do I think they’ll do? I think they’ll do something pretty similar, actually. I think they’ll be more open to giving him a job right out of Spring Training than I would, but otherwise it’s the same basic idea. Either use him to land a monster piece in a trade, or have him tag team with Posada when the time is right.

Update: It appears that the Yankees plan to make Montero the most-of-the-time starter in 2011.

Ellis asks: I’m not sure any of us have fully stopped to appreciate how awesome Nick Swisher was this year. .288 with 29 HRs, highest slugging pct of his career (.511). Why isn’t Swish considered one of the best outfielders in the game?

Yeah, there’s way too many people focusing on his postseason performances (.269 wOBA in 94 plate appearances, less than a month’s worth) and not his overall body of work. His wOBA increased by two points this season even though the league average dropped by eight, and his defense remained roughly average. Not great, but certainly not a liability. He traded some walks for base hits, something you take every day of the week, and all told Swish was worth 4.1 fWAR this season, seventh best among AL outfielders.

Swisher doesn’t qualify as an elite outfielder, but he’s definitely in that next tier. If he maintains his newfound ability to hit for average (.288 AVG this year was a career high by 26 points) and gets his walk rate back up previous levels (9.1 BB% in 2010 after no worse than 13.9% from 2006-2009), Swish is probably close to a five win player. If people are going to discount that because of four bad postseason series (he was awesome in this year’s ALDS), then so be it. Their loss.

Mike asks: With Marte not being able to throw til the All Star break, we need another left hander in the bullpen. Internally there are close to no options (Kei Igawa, no thanks) so this will sound crazy but how about Jamie Moyer. At 47 he still can start let alone pitch. If he takes a significant pay cut, would he be a potential left hander?

I thought about this myself before the question was sent in, but after looking into it more deeply … hell no. Moyer doesn’t have much of a platoon split (.309 wOBA against vs. RHB, .335 vs. LHB in 2010), and over the last three years lefties have gotten to him to the tune of a .319 wOBA. That’s almost league average, which simply isn’t good enough for lefty specialist work. Boone Logan, for example, held lefties to a .242 wOBA this season. As a whole, AL lefties had a .304 wOBA against southpaws this season, and I suspect it would be even higher if we looked at just the AL East.

Even beyond the splits, Moyer doesn’t have a knockout breaking ball, instead relying more on his deadfish changeup to get chases out of the zone. He just doesn’t strike out enough batters (5.4 K/9 since 200) for high or even medium leverage work. And of course there’s the age (48 next month) and injury issues (131 days on the disabled list over the last two years). Moyer’s just not dependable enough. I’d pass, though I like the creativity.

Jerome asks: How close are the Blue Jays to being really competitive in the AL East? With the Rays losing some key pieces next year, I was hoping for 2011 to be a good old two-horse race between the Yankees and the Red Sox. But then it occurred to me: The Jays obviously have a powerful lineup, and some pretty decent young arms in Marcum, Romero, Cecil and Morrow and others. It seems like only a few tweaks would make this team a force to be reckoned with. Are they a threat in 2011?

The Jays are on the right track, but there’s still a ton of work to do. Their offense was far too reliant on the homerun last season (first in HR + 26th in OBP = just 9th in runs), and they really need Adam Lind (.309 wOBA) and Aaron Hill (.291) to rebound to their 2009 levels (.394 and .357, respectively). Jose Bautista won’t hit like he did last year again (even if something did click, that was an unsustainable pace), and the team needs steps forward from Travis Snider, J.P. Arencibia, and Yunel Escobar. That’s quite a bit to ask for.

The pitching staff is good, but neither Ricky Romero or Shaun Marcum is an elite guy. Both are very good, just not fantastic. Brandon Morrow has the potential to be that guy, as does Kyle Drabek, but they’re not there yet. So yeah, Toronto’s headed in the right direction, but they’re at the very least a year away, and that’s if everything starts to go right in 2011. A 2013 breakout seems more likely.

Categories : Mailbag
  • jay destro

    EVERYTHING IS JORGE’S FAULT. BLAME POSADA.

  • the other Steve S.

    Dude, forget the BJs, fear the Orioles.

    • LGY

      Yea I can’t ever forget a BJ…

  • jay destro

    fear Buck’s wrath

  • Hughesus Christo

    The entire division is stacked. People just don’t understand…

  • mko

    Are people worried that Montero is not a good catcher because of his size or because of his play calling skills?

    Size: There’s a fellow called Joe Mauer who I heard is a pretty good catcher…and he’s an inch taller and ten pounds heavier than Montero according to BR.

    Catching: I am currently reading Yogi Berra’s Biography, and he had no idea of catching either at the start of his big league career.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Mauer is also far more athletic. Same deal with Wieters, he’s huge as well.

      • Mister Delaware

        One or two comps don’t really matter anyway. Andy Allanson was tall too, that doesn’t mean Montero will suck.

      • AndrewYF

        Would you rather have Wieters or Montero going forward?

        Amazing given the worship of Wieters as a prospect god, he hasn’t done diddly on the major league level. And he had much better numbers than Montero, especially OBP prowess. A cautionary tale.

        • Slugger27

          montero has 2 more years of team control left and is 4 years younger. i think id keep montero

          • Mister Delaware

            Wieters is a switch-hitter and (reported to be) a better defensive catcher. I’d still take Wieters but not because of anything against Montero.

            • Slugger27

              its a tough choice… wieters has he higher ceiling because of defense.

              wieters OPS+ in 2010 = 89
              cervelli OPS+ in 2010 = 88

              he’s been brutal at the plate, which is why id take my chances with montero, but its an interesting discussion

    • Ed

      I don’t think anyone cares about his play calling skills now. I think that’s a skill that gets learned in the majors.

      The concerns I’ve heard are mostly that he isn’t very athletic. Basically whenever he has to get out of his crouch, he looks awkward. Catching popups and throwing out runners don’t come natural to him.

      Also, regarding the Mauer comparison: Mauer is fully developed. Montero is young enough that he should still be putting on muscle as he gets older. I think people are more concerned about his size a few years from now than about his current size.

  • Hughesus Christo

    So the Yankees either don’t, or do believe Montero is ready to catch in MLB. These media reports sure are accurate and reliable!

    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

      It’s more like, scouts don’t, but the Yankees do. Somehow, I don’t see this ending well.

      • Hughesus Christo

        The Yankees don’t have scouts? Who are these scouts?

        • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

          I don’t claim to know anything about Montero’s skills, I haven’t seen him play. But I read the reports from people who follow/write about the team and not one of them have said Montero’s defense is anything above awful. He’s ready to hit, sure (which is probably why the Yankees are giving him the go) but it sounds like his defense is going to be an adventure.

          If you can find a scouting report that says Montero does anything well behind the plate, I’d love to read it.

          • mike c

            via olney:
            He receives the ball well, commands the game and has a strong throwing arm. His deficiencies are his exchange on steal attempts and he is not the most agile guy in the world, but flexible enough. [Jorge] Posada, a converted catcher, was never the most naturally gifted defender in the world and Montero is more advanced defensively than he was at 20 years old. Montero is similar to a young Mike Piazza in many ways with a much stronger throwing arm.

            • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

              Not exactly a glowing report, and I’m not sure what “commands the game” means in his context, but I hope he’s right.

              • mike c

                it’s better than the “his defense has gone from embarassing to just plain bad” meme

                • pat

                  Better than “his defense isn’t anything above awful”

              • Mister Delaware

                Honestly, just “receiving the ball well” would add a couple years back on my life. I’ll deal with the SB issues as they come.

              • CP

                With Montero’s bat, he would be an asset at catcher as long as he’s better than putting a bucket back there for pitcher’s to throw to.

                • Nickel

                  For the Yankees…at Catcher…It’s an INANIMATE CARBON ROD!

                  • Accent Shallow

                    In Rod We Trust!

            • Clay Bellinger

              This doesn’t sound so bad. Posada was never a gifted defensive catcher, but he proved his worth at the plate…and he was obviously good enough as his teams won WS titles and he caught for plenty of solid pitchers along the way. If he turns into Posada with an even better bat then he’ll be quite the player.

          • http://itsaboutthemoney.net Brien Jackson

            Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but it seems like people who cover the Yankees minor leagues are much harsher on Montero’s defense than the national prospect writers, who mostly seem to say that while Montero is clearly below average behind the plate, he’s at least good enough that it doesn’t offset his bat’s value.

            • Hughesus Christo

              Because they’re all in love with Frankie and Austin <3

            • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

              Well, to be fair, wouldn’t you trust the guys who watched him over a full season than the National guys who have maybe seen him a handful of times? I mean, somehow I doubt Olney has spent much time at Trenton or Scranton scouting Hey-Zeus.

              • http://itsaboutthemoney.net Brien Jackson

                Not necessarily. I’d probably be more inclined to trust guys with scouting experience who look at a ton of prospects over Scranton/Trenton beat writers. Not to disparage the latter group by any means, but prospect evaluation isn’t really their primary job.

                • http://itsaboutthemoney.net Brien Jackson

                  And to be clear, I’m talking about writers like Callis and Law, not Olney.

                • Ted Nelson

                  Yeah, seriously… People are buying into way too much hearsay on Montero. The only people watching everything he does are the Yankees. They watch him everyday and they are experts in prospect evaluation… I’ll go with their opinion, whatever that may be, over either some scout whose seen him a handful of times (and has preconceived notions and other subjective noise in his head) or a small city MiLB beat writer.

                  • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

                    Sure, but it’s been said here before, when there seems to be a consensus that his defense is bad you can’t just dismiss it because they’re not “true scouts” or whatever. Just saying, there’s cause for caution.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      I’m not questioning whether his defense is bad or good. I’m questioning whether it’s passable or awful. I’m also questioning whether a 20 year old can seriously improve over the next few years (there’s a reason C prospects are usually about the oldest position players to come up) or will become massive to the point where he completely outgrows the position (and when).

      • Jimmy McNulty

        Well if you didn’t mind the Cito Culver pick, you obviously trust the Yankee scouts more than the BA, BP, K-Law variety. That should extend to Montero too.

        • Ted Nelson

          Good point…

          • Jimmy McNulty

            Conversely if you hated the Yankees draft this year you should hate this decision.

    • jay destro

      the yankees believe that they dont know if they believe if the scouts who claim they believe they can believe he is believable as a catcher are catching with a catcher’s mit and mask.

      • Thomas

        Well that clears it up. Thanks!! ;)

      • http://twitter.com/firstheart42 seimiya

        ……………..ow.

    • Slugger27

      i think its been made pretty clear the yankees think montero is ready to catch in the majors

  • China Joe

    Forget Jamie Moyer, sign Jesse Orosco! He’s got to be like 60 years old by now.

    • Slugger27

      is felix heredia still alive?

      • Jon in CUO

        He’s actually younger than a certain franchise shortstop who will get too many years from the Yankees this winter.

        • Clay Bellinger

          Yeah well that certain shortstop is still a productive major league player. What’s your point?

        • Slugger27

          /strawman’d

        • Jon in CUO

          Do either of you believe that I’m actually advocating bringing back Heredia or letting Jeter walk?

          • Mister Delaware

            No way Heredia can play SS. He’s left-handed!!!

            • Jon in CUO

              You’ve obviously never heard of Willie Keeler and Bill Hulen, my friend!

          • Clay Bellinger

            haha…we’ll I’d assume that the Heredia part was a joke, but I’ve heard enough “let Jeter walk!” talk for you to have me going there.

            • Jon in CUO

              Nah. I think he can still be a productive shortstop for two or maybe three more seasons. As long as his next deal reflects that, without overpaying too much in years or AAV, I’d love to have Jeter back.

      • Clay Bellinger

        One of my most hated Yanks of all time.

        • Accent Shallow

          Freakin’ Run Fairy

    • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

      He’s 53. Just five years older than Moyer.

  • http://itsaboutthemoney.net Brien Jackson

    The thing that makes me skeptical about the information Feinsand got is the claim that Romine would start the season in AAA and replace Cervelli in the 3-man catcher situation by the end of the year. That seems pretty improbable on both counts to me.

    • Mister Delaware

      Yeah, that didn’t jive. Maybe if Jorgie suffered some sort of season ending injury in the 2nd half and Romine was performing well in AAA or something but, beyond that, I don’t see it either.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Agreed. No way do they bring Romine up to be a 3rd catcher. As much as I’ve bashed Cervelli, he’s a decent backup (though his D needs to be imrpoved) and would certainly be fine as a 3rd catcher. No reason to bring up Romine to catch once or twice a week. Nuts.

      • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

        Word, Cotton.

        Romine could use even more development time than Montero at this point. I think the dude is probably just gassed at this point so they’ll have to keep a close eye on how he starts and progresses next year.

        • boogie down

          Nice Bateman reference! And I totally agree about the stupidity in calling up Romine. Heck, he should start in AA regardless of what Montero does.

      • TMiller

        This is what I don’t get. “He’s a decent backup (but his D needs to be improved)”.

        So Cervelli can’t hit, and his D is nothing special.. Don’t understand how that makes him a decent backup. I actually like Cervelli because he did give the team a burst of life when he first came up, but if something happens to Posada that he either has to be the full-time DH with absolutely zero catching duties I’d rather have Montero splitting time with Romine or some free agent that I’m sure is going to get a look this off-season.

        • Mister Delaware

          Thats just not true. Either you’re exaggerating or you only watch the Yankees and don’t know how awful catchers are at hitting. Cervelli’s .271/.359/.335 was good for the 18th best wOBA out of 41 catchers w/ 200+ PA. Not a 1st division starter, but an asset as a backup.

          http://www.fangraphs.com/leade.....38;month=0

          • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

            As much as I hate Cervelli (which is completely related to his playing time) people forget backup catchers really quickly. Wil Nieves, anyone?

          • TMiller

            I guess out of a backup catcher I’d rather have him be good at offense OR defense and not passable at one and mostly unimpressive at the other, which Cervelli was to me this year. If it weren’t for that real hot start to the season those numbers wouldn’t be as kind as they are

        • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

          Most back ups, at any position, have some deficiency (that’s why they’re back ups). Cervelli’s everything got exposed last year because he got so much playing time. His skill set lends itself to being a suitable back up, but when he’s forced to start a lot, he looks awful.

          • TMiller

            Exactly what I was trying to say (You did a better job than I did.) If Posada is able to catch to any extent then I’d rather see Montero catch more than Romine catch more than Cervelli.

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      Austin Romine, the Yank’s other blue-chip catching prospect, would start at Triple-A, potentially taking over Cervelli’s spot by midseason if he shows he is ready.

      That’s not saying he would be up to replace Cervelli, it says he potentially could be up if he shows he’s ready.

      • http://itsaboutthemoney.net Brien Jackson

        But even that still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The team would start Romine’s service clock just to make him a 3rd catcher? I doubt it very much.

        • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

          It makes sense if Montero is an awful catcher and Posada slows down at 40 (regardless of DH’ing, he’s 40)

          • http://itsaboutthemoney.net Brien Jackson

            But then he wouldn’t be the 3rd catcher, he’d be the primary catcher.

            • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

              If he took over Cervelli’s roster spot he wouldn’t be the 3rd catcher though, Posada wouldn’t catch at all. Even if Montero sucked back there I wasn’t implying Romine would be the primary catcher, because I don’t think they’d quit on that in the first year, but if Romine showed he’s ready, then it’s not impossible to think he could be up for Cervelli.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              Actually, he’d be the second catcher, not the third catcher.

              Jorge Posada, our everyday DH, would be the third catcher in that scenario. If Montero won the starting job and Romine did well in the first half at AAA, they’d absolutely bring him up, send Cervelli down, and have the young and fresh Montero and Romine take 90% of the starts at catcher and cut Jorge back from once or twice a week to once every OTHER week, or less. Jorge would basically catch only when some other regular (ARod, Tex, Jeter, Swisher, etc.) needed a half day off at DH.

          • Nickel

            He’s a man, though.

  • mustang

    I was under the impression from what I read that Montero’s defense was worse then Posada. However if Montero’s defense is the same or better then Posada he should get the chance at the starting catcher spot. The question is whether this Daily News article is the truth or just a smoke screen to raise Montero’s trade value.

    • mustang

      Then again as the article points out there are no Halladay types in the trade market right now and trading Montero for anything less is just plain stupid.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      I doubt it’s a smokescreen. It doesn’t mean it’s the truth either, but I don’t see Montero going anywhere this offseason unless he’s traded for a pitcher who isn’t on the market (Josh Johnson type). I don’t think any of the other teams are going to read a Daily News article and change their view on Montero’s value. Considering he’s been a valuable trade chip for a while now, I’m sure scouts from every team have already seen him and have formed their own opinion.

  • jay destro

    i saw romine at the end of the AA season, he needs a little bit more time in AA. maybe a mid-season promotion.

    • http://itsaboutthemoney.net Brien Jackson

      That’s pretty much what I was thinking. He might make AAA by the end of the year, but I’d be surprised if he started there. It’s not like he set AA on fire by any means last year.

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

    Just a gut-reaction from a random fan, but that Daily News article seems like a pretty transparent plant by the Yanks to drive up Montero’s value. I’m not saying they’re planning on moving him, but I think they put that info out there just to build his value in case he is involved in any discussions. This line, in particular, seemed like an intentional plant to me:

    “The front office believes that Montero is already a better defensive catcher than the 39-year-old Posada, who has struggled behind the plate – and to stay healthy.”

    No reason, really, to put that info out there, for the Yanks’ own good. I think the much more likely reason to put that out there is to put the world on notice that his defense isn’t as big a problem as some might think. It’s like ‘hey, we’re ready to put him behind the plate in the big leagues, so you shouldn’t think you’re going to discount his value because of his defense.’

    • CP

      Not everything is a ploy. If the Yankees actually believe that his defense is better than Posada’s, what should they say?

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

        Why would they feel motivated to say anything? Nobody forced the Yanks to leak that information.

        With PR, just about everything actually is a ploy. In my personal experience, whenever I’ve worked on something with a public profile, every word written in the papers about it was fed to the reporter by either my side or another side in the deal. I know that doesn’t mean it’s a rule for every walk of life, but I don’t know that people realize how much of the news we read is literally written by the parties on whom the reports are written. These people, for the most part, know exactly what they’re leaking to the press, and they usually have a pretty express purpose for putting those leaks out there. I don’t think the Yanks would randomly just put that info out there because it’s just ‘what they’re thinking.’

        (Obviously this is pure opinion, I’m not telling you I’ve got the definite answer here. Like I said in my first comment, just one fan’s gut reaction.)

        • Ted Nelson

          Why would you take everything written in the Daily News at face value, either, though? With sports journalism, everything is a ploy too. If the Yankees are REALLY, REALLY excited about Montero (he is the #1 hitting prospect in baseball)… Why not say he is the most likely candidate to start at C? They have to warn Posada now, so he’s not salty during the season.

          When the Yankees announced Mariano would be their closer when Wettland walked, was that a PR ploy? Trying to increase his trade value? When they announced Jeter would be their starting SS, was that for his trade value?

          Who are the Yankees trading Jesus for?

          “whenever I’ve worked on something with a public profile, every word written in the papers about it was fed to the reporter by either my side or another side in the deal.”

          Are you really saying that sports journalists never speculate, infer, read between the lines, or just outright make up stories? Really? Do you read the mainstream media?

          Even if it was written word for word by the Yankees, that doesn’t mean they’re looking to trade Jesus. And there are literally quotes in the article from Cashman, so you don’t have to speculate all that much on what he’s literally saying. He says Jesus will compete for a spot, nothing will be handed to him. Maybe the Yankees have so much pull with the Daily News to plant a story, but maybe the writer made the leap from “he’s competing” to “the job is his.”

          • Ted Nelson

            I’m not saying this isn’t a ploy, because I have no idea. All I’m saying is that the Yankees are saying, and the article itself says, that he will **compete** for a spot… Your top AAA prospect from last season will compete for a spot on your big league team for next season… That seems like pretty conventional wisdom. Not planting scouting reports about how great his defense is or anything like that.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          With PR, just about everything actually is a ploy. In my personal experience, whenever I’ve worked on something with a public profile, every word written in the papers about it was fed to the reporter by either my side or another side in the deal. I know that doesn’t mean it’s a rule for every walk of life, but I don’t know that people realize how much of the news we read is literally written by the parties on whom the reports are written. These people, for the most part, know exactly what they’re leaking to the press, and they usually have a pretty express purpose for putting those leaks out there. I don’t think the Yanks would randomly just put that info out there because it’s just ‘what they’re thinking.’

          All of that.

    • mustang

      I agree.

      • mustang

        And the reason I agree is that if Montero’s defense is that good they would of never tried and trade him for a half season rental of Lee. Not with a 39 year-old starting catcher and Montero’s bat.

        • mustang

          IF TRUE a “young Mike Piazza” is much greater then half year rental of Lee. Why even bring it up?

          • Ted Nelson

            A. No prospect is a sure thing future HOFer. None. Piazza was as good an offensive catcher as they come. There is no way on earth for the Yankees to be certain Jesus can enjoy that kind of career.

            B. When they tried to trade him for Lee he wasn’t hitting either. And, it’s Cliff freaking Lee.

            C. No one is saying Jesus is a good defensive catcher. The question is not good v. bad. It’s passable v. awful.

    • http://itsaboutthemoney.net Brien Jackson

      Absolutely. That said, it doesn’t mean that the overall gist of it isn’t true either. Just because they might be putting that out there to see if they can’t flip Montero for an elite player we’re not foreseeing now doesn’t mean that he won’t be their starting catcher next year if he doesn’t get moved.

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

        Totally, I agree. I don’t think it’s necessarily not true, not at all. I just think there was a reason why they put the info out there.

        • mustang

          agree

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          I think it’s both.

          I think the team probably does genuinely believe that Montero is probably better than Posada behind the dish at this very moment (and that’s not praise of Montero, it’s an indictment of Posada’s deteriorating skill and health) and they seriously have every intention of giving him the starting job…

          … and they simultaneously know that leaking that belief to the press might boost Montero’s stock just in case some magical Felix Hernandezesque pitcher falls from the sky onto the trade market and becomes an option if the Lee negotiations go awry, so they may as well plant the story and see if it gets legs.

    • Ted Nelson

      The boldest statement in the article, to me, is that Romine might be ready for the bigs mid-season… Pretty aggressive.

      THCM, it’s not like reporters never speculate and infer things based upon what is said. The Yankees might not have said all those things, the reporter might have been reading between the lines in a vanilla press release. I’d like to see the press release or interview before deciding what the Yankees did or did not say.

  • King of the Troglodytes

    Swisher, awesome? Hardly. He was dreadful this season with runners on 3rd base and less than 2 out – he only knocked in 39%. And he is absolutely horrendous with advancing a runner on 2nd and no outs – 21%.

    Say what you want about RBIs being overrated, but a guy like Swisher will never knock in a 100 ribbies. I think he grinds the bat a little too tightly in those situations and the past 2 playoffs can probably attest to that.

    • http://itsaboutthemoney.net Brien Jackson
    • Clay Bellinger

      …and all in all he finished the season as one of the three most productive players in the lineup that score the most runs in the majors in 2010. He was pretty damn good.

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      With runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs, Swisher was 8-26 with 2 sac flies, and 5 walks. That’s a .308 BA and a .394 OBP.

      A. It’s a 26 AB sample size
      B. What the hell are your expectations? You expect him to hit .400 with a guy on third?

      • Thomas

        Just to throw it out there because it is utterly ridiculous. Miguel Cabrera hit .500/.523/.769/1.292 with a guy on third with less than 2 out in 44 PA.

        • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

          Wow, why was he even pitched too?
          And anytime a triple slash line starts with .500 you know it’s a SSS issue.

          • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

            Not to mention he had Brennen freaking Boesch hitting behind him at some points during the season.

            • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

              Thanks, I was trying to think who was behind him.

          • http://twitter.com/firstheart42 seimiya

            He did have 30+ intentional walks this season.

      • King of the Troglodytes

        I don’t care about his batting average – he should knock in the runner from 3rd over 50% to be an “awesome” player.

        • http://itsaboutthemoney.net Brien Jackson

          Out of curiousity, how many players actually do that?

        • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

          Do you realize that Albert Pujols doesn’t do that?

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      In terms of RBI, Nick Swisher knocked in 20 more than the average player with his amount of PAs despite having only three more runners on base than the average. He also OPS’d .894 in high leverage situations.

      • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

        Somehow, I don’t think facts will work on a self proclaimed “King of Trolls”

    • Thomas

      Nick Swisher with men on .345/.415/.580/.996
      2010 AL RBI leader Miguel Cabrera with men on .324/.427/.565/.992

      Nick Swisher hit pretty much as well as the AL RBI leader with men on base.

      http://ui15.gamespot.com/1614/.....ment_2.jpg (safe)

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      Shouldn’t you still be celebrating the Yankees getting eliminated from the playoffs?

      • King of the Troglodytes

        I love the Yanks as much as anyone. I’m not the “cheerleader” type though, and watching this team all season – I just didn’t think they had a chance to make the Series.

        I was surprised they got past the Twins – but I’m thinking you could round up 25 guys from the streets of The Bronx and put them in Yankee uniforms and the Twins would shit themselves.

        • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

          Ah yes, that’s why the Yankees beat the Twins. Not because Hughes pitched great or Granderson/Swisher getting hot, it’s because they wore the pinstripes.

          • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

            Mystique & Aura, bitches

          • King of the Troglodytes

            And you’re from Jersey? I grew up in NJ and pride myself in sarcasm – I thought being stationed here in the Midwest was bad enough with the lack of sarcasm.

            • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

              It’s hard to take anything you say as a joke or sarcasm given your handle and your tendency throughout the entire year to only show up to post about flaws in the Yankee team or to drop in and say “I told you so” after they lost or had something negative happen to them.

              • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

                Thank you. And yes, there’s a difference between “not being a cheerleader” and what KotT did.

              • King of the Troglodytes

                The handle is the joke – stop taking yourself so seriously. You’ll never get out alive!

              • Klemy

                “I told you so” isn’t a valid post?!?

                /King of Sarcasm’d

              • Poopy Pants

                Don’t feel bad. Most of the people here don’t get humor or sarcasm, either. You’re not alone.

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

          I love the Yanks as much as anyone.

          Which is why you’ve never had a single positive thing to say about any of them… ever?

          • King of the Troglodytes

            Again – not the “cheerleader” type.

            You want some positives? Here you go:

            Loved the big step Phil Hughes took this season.

            Like you, I love Andy Pettitte and want him on the mound for any big game. Praying he comes back.

            And big props to Cano – I’ve killed him for years for his inability to come through in situational hitting, but he stepped up big time this year in the 5-hole.

            • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

              I am now satisfied.

              • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

                Which should obviously be the point of any RAB comment section, making bexy happy. Duh.

            • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

              Well I’m glad you acknowledge that you were wrong about Cano being a bad situational hitter, but know without a doubt that Swisher will never have 100 RBIs (as if that arbitrary number actually matters)

    • pat

      Dumb post.
      .462/.467/.846 w/ a runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs.
      .310/.412/.517 w/ a runner on 3rd and 2 outs
      .297/.366/.527 in high leverage situations.
      .293/.388/.534 2 outs w/risp.

      You’re right though, he only hit .188/.291/.333 with a runner on 2b. Clearly that’s something he needs to work on over the offseason. (Rolls eyes)

      • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

        Again, stop taking this guy seriously. He’s not worth the effort it takes you to look up facts.

        • pat

          Looking up facts is akin to pornography for a basement dweller such as myself.

      • King of the Troglodytes

        We’re still talking about Swisher, right? where the hell are you getting these stats?

        Baseball Reference has his situational hitting as knocking in the runner from 3rd with <2 outs as 13-33 and moving the runner over from 2nd with no outs as 9-43. His productive outs were 13-70.

        And I trust these stats, because I felt like I was cursing Swisher's name on a nightly basis for his lack of fundamentals!

        • pat

          You bitched about his performance last year yet cited his career stats. I posted last years stats.

          • King of the Troglodytes

            Still don’t know where you’re getting those stats. I posted this season’s stats.

            • pat
              • King of the Troglodytes

                I found what you were looking at – I’m quoting his situational hitting stats. It pops up when you click on “More Stats” when you go on his web page.

                I don’t care what he hits – I just want him to drive in the damn runs! I’m going by the percentage of successful times he did that.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                  But the problem with your argument is:

                  A.) you haven’t demonstrated that he’s better than, equal to, or worse than other players in this regard, you’ve only claimed that his rate stat isn’t to your liking because it’s not “50%”. Why is 50% the standard? How many players actually drive in 50% of the runners in that situation? 50% seems tremendously high. I doubt that even the best RBI men in history (whatever that concept actually means to you) drove in 50% of all possible baserunners in all various situational hitting situations. You’re making the perfect the enemy of the good (or, at least, not being specific and thorough enough in your argument to make it convincing).

                  B.) Those two situational hitting stats you cite are two discrete aspects of the totality of how baseball players should be evaluated. Even if he’s actually bad in those situations (which, again, you haven’t actually demonstrated), it doesn’t mean he’s bad all around. Jorge Posada is bad at a great many things; he’s still one of the best catchers in big league history.

                  The fact that I can’t memorize my lines or avoid looking into the camera doesn’t make me a bad pornstar.

  • Ted Nelson

    re: Montero
    I think people have a good point that he’s a 20 yr old C in AAA, and every scout may not be able to process all the elements of that equation in writing a report on him. You’re relying on your observations and can’t blank out all your biases (and there is a natural bias against big, unathletic looking guys, as well as a bias that a AAA C should look like X). If he’s where an average C is at that age–rookie ball or college–he might look relatively better compared to his surroundings. Not saying he would suddenly look like a good defensive C, and there would probably still be plenty of questions about whether he can stick at C long-term. Just saying he might look a bit better relatively.

  • Johnny O

    How about Feliciano as the LOOGY? Or did the Mets run him into the ground? Seems to be perfect for only facing 1 batter and shouldn’t be too expensive. Fuentes would probably be a better LOOGY but will cost too much.

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      On a one year deal sure. But I think he made ~3m last year and no chance he’s accepting a one year small money deal that Cashman will give to a LOOGY

  • Rod

    Montero has similar PB and CS% numbers to Posada in the minors. Unless someone can come up with a better metric I’ll stick to that. Montero is being penalized for looking a little awkward back there. If that awkwardness doesn’t translate into worse numbers then who cares what he looks like. There are no style points in baseball.

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      /not.how.scouting.works.

      • Ted Nelson

        I’m not saying to look at PB and CS% as infallible, but scouts are also not infallible. Scouts make literally thousands of “mistakes.” If we listed the number of players that the scouting consensus was couldn’t do X at age 20, it would go on for days.

        • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

          Ok, but that’s awfully close to just writing off tons of scouts because we all want Montero to succeed. Sure they missed on Cano – but tell me what about his performance/approach in the minors suggested he would be an all-star caliber 2B?

          And why aren’t fans adamantly questioning the positive things scouts say about Betances and Sanchez and Brackman? I’m sure those scouts have been wrong too.

      • Rod

        I’m not saying to ignore the scouting completely but the observations should turn into measurable phenomena at some point. The staff pitched well and a high number of balls went to the backstop (though not an outrageous number). Is there any other evidence that points to Montero causing the team more runs defensively than other ML catchers?

    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

      Well there’s obviously more to catching than PB and CS% but I understand what you’re saying. I’m just very cautiously optimistic because people seem to be assuming that Montero will be okay if 1) he’s no worse than Posada/Cervelli behind the plate and 2) if he hits like he’s capable of.

      Those are two very, very big “ifs” and I’m wary of penciling him in when considering the differing scouting reports on his readiness to be a MLB catcher. I trust the Yankees to make the right decision, I just hope they don’t rush him before he’s ready.

      • Ted Nelson

        Luckily, Cashman is specifically quoted in the article as saying Montero will have a chance to compete. Your top prospect will have a chance to compete for a somewhat open position (old starter, mediocre back-up). What is unusual there?

        • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

          Nothing is wrong with it at all. Just saying, I’m cautiously optimistic about it.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    Moyer’s just not dependable enough. I’d pass, though I like the creativity.

    You want a creative idea? Dontrelle Willis.

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno
      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        (sigh)

    • http://www.twitter.com/ngoral Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

      Not even Dave Eiland who helped lead Vazquez and Burnett have stellar seasons could fix Willis, and Eiland is gone now, so…..

    • Ted Nelson

      Not saying Moyer or Willis in particular, but if the Yankees see a guy out there looking for a minor league contract with an age, injury, performance question but the upside to help in the Bronx at some point… I would like to see them go for it. Again, depending on how low probability I’m talking minor league deal or maybe a million bucks… and obviously it has to be a guy with no market value as a starter or more of a desire to win than anything: a guy whose best option is the Yankees.

  • Yo Quiero Montero (formerly LarryF)

    I am no scout but have watched tons of baseball for more years than Bex has lived (haha). I saw Jesus up close catch 3 games at Scranton this year and he is PASSABLE. He set up well, received well, framed well and threw well. His hitting was ridiculous. Saw him hit a homer to left center that was crushed-a mammoth shot against pawtucket with 2 strikes on him. His RF power is scary too. Keep him away from AJ and the microscope will not be on his defense. No one will notice a fall off from what we have now.

    • http://riveraveblues.com Rich

      Let’s all pray that Montero is ready…..can we really stand another year of Posada(getting worse every year) and Cervelli as our catching options?

  • Mike HC

    I can’t wait for the Jesus Montero era. We could have used him in this years playoffs really too, but I guess that would have been too bold.

    He should hit great, and catch like shit. But we are used to that as Yankee fans.

  • Camilo Gerardo

    as long as the Jesus doesn’t pop out of his croutch early instead of framing a la Jorge, I’ll be fine!

    • larryf

      He is not athletic enough for that :-) Seriously, the Molinas are about as unathletic as you can get and they defend pretty well back there.

  • Poopy Pants

    Looks to me like the Yanks are hyping Montero for a big trade. I’m not saying I like it. It just looks that way to me. “Look! He’s major league talent ready to go! His defense can’t be THAT bad can it?”