A look at Jorge Posada’s struggles

Secondary market soft for looming homestand
Game 19: Dirty Laundry

It’s become tough to watch Jorge Posada‘s at-bats this year. I’ve taken to covering my eyes and listening for that good contact that signals a long double or a homer. Of course, Posada has none of the former and six of the latter this season, while collecting just nine hits total. It’s led to something of a baffling start for the former catcher. Today at FanGraphs I point out some disturbing Posada trends. His swing and contact rates are all sorts of screwed up, which has played heavily into his slow start. There’s time to turn things around, but with the way he’s looked in his first 60-some-odd plate appearances, I’m having a hard time convincing myself that it will happen.

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Secondary market soft for looming homestand
Game 19: Dirty Laundry
  • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

    Watching Arrieta pitch to Posada yesterday was instructive. He fed him a steady diet of breaking pitches down and in, and Jorge could do nothing at all with them.

    • JohnnyC

      That’s been Posada for years now. Down and in breaking stuff that scrapes his toes is his blind spot. That’s been the go-to 2 strike pitch to Jorge forever.

    • 7commerce

      Jorge has always been a sucker for down & in from both sides (not a function of age). His weight gets forward early and his balance is lost–maybe he iss cheating (function of age) to catch up w/ FB. Seems to look better righty but w/ few results.

  • NJYankeeFan

    I can hear the minions rising up in support of Jorge Vasquez over Posada as DH.

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

      We’re already getting emails urging the Yanks to replace Posada with Montero at DH.

      • NJYankeeFan

        I’m not surprised but you gotta give the guy 175-200 ABs to at least have a chance to adjust to being a DH.

        • Ted Nelson

          I don’t know if that adjustment explains all of his struggles. He’s played 86 games at DH before this season, and I think you’d have to demonstrate an age-independent trend of guys struggling making the transition to DH and then adjusting.

          • NJYankeeFan

            Your probably right but I still think you have to give him more than 67 plate appearances this year before you kick dirt onto his coffin.

            • Ted Nelson

              Yeah, I definitely think it’s far too small a sample to declare him done.

            • YanksFan77

              One could say his struggles started at the end of last season too.

              In Sep and Oct of 2010, in 66 AB, he hit only .181 with 2 HR and 7 RBI.

        • 7commerce

          Too many for a vet, but 100 is fair. His HRs were cracked–good guessing or good read?

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

        We’re already getting emails urging the Yanks to replace Posada with Montero at DH.

        While it’s way too early to do that in April, I would like to see Montero up here for at least a few months of the second half to get his feet wet, seeing as how he’ll probably be taking over Jorge’s role as the primary DH next year (with a healthy dose of being RNC Martin’s backup to supplement, of course).

        • Ted Nelson

          Yeah, I agree it’s too early to do it. Not too early to start thinking ahead to it as a fan, IMO.

          If Jorge continues to struggle, the Yankees do have options. Chavez and Jones for starters. Vazquez. If his struggles continue to come from the right side predominantly, could be a great opportunity to break Jesus in during 2011. As great as Jorge’s been I wouldn’t mind seeing him get Pipped…

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

            Especially since a tangibly productive Montero the Big League DH would provide further ammunition for Cashman and Hal to dissuade Hank from doing something horribly dumb with Prince Fielder.

            • Ted Nelson

              Then again an inconsistent PT/ rookie-struggles Jesus could do the opposite… I’m not sure you can predict HankLevine. I just think it’s good to get Jesus up here for a while this season to get a taste of the bigs (and hopefully get some MLB production out of him too), but I have no real proof of that.

              Prince Fielder would be hugely overkill, and might be more valuable to NL teams since DHs don’t seem to be in fashion right now (then again, it’s not like his glove really helps him). That bat in YS from, say, 28-33, 34 year old might not be a bad signing for the Yankees though. *If* their payroll can absorb it and keep ticking. I don’t think the org as a whole would go through with blocking Jesus like that if Martin is still around/productive, but who knows.

              I saw an article this weekend that Prince at $22 mill might be as good of or better a value as Pujols at $30 mill, given their ages. I don’t know that I’d advocate either, but if Prince’s size limits his market and we’re talking 6 years for Prince, I would fear 10 years $300 mm for Pujols more than signing Prince. And given the A-Rod contract, we know that the Yankees just might sign Pujols to a 10 year deal.

      • AndrewYF

        Do people think you forward these emails to the Yankees?

        • NJYankeeFan

          They probably think these guys are part of the Yankees organization. I think it’s the YES logo on top.

  • nick

    I think he will pull a carlos pena year. .200 sub average but 30+ HOUR

  • Ted Nelson

    Tough to discuss Posada without mentioning that all 9 of his hits (6 of his HRs) have come from the left side, no? It’s a small sample, but against righties in YS he might get by for the season. He’s not going to hit so many HRs, but some more balls should fall in. Not every pitcher can even consistently throw breaking ball in the zone, and just as pitchers may respond by throwing fewer FBs Posada may respond with more patience and laying off breaking pitches early in the count.

    Yankees have some good options behind him, as well.

  • Len

    Maybe he does need to catch…just kidding. Does Jeter and Posada have expiration dates that go off at the same time?

  • NJYankeeFan

    With Rivera blowing 2 saves in a row, Petitte retired and Jeter and Posada struggling, the core 4 looks to be on life support at this time (though I’m pretty sure Mo will end up with a typically dominant season when all is said and done).

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

      We should sign Scotty Bro out of retirement. That gritty gamer could roll out of bed (after a decade of inactivity) and hit .300/.400/.500 and play a sterling shortstop. I’m sure of it.

      #corefive
      #nevarforget

      • NJYankeeFan

        He probably couldn’t look much worse than Jeter has so far this year.

  • Stevis

    Jorge has been a terrific Yankee…. but now its time to let Eric Chavez be the full time DH..the man can still hit!
    And its also time for real Yankee fans admit that Derek Jeter is becoming a liability… if groundouts were only hits!!!!

    • GMan

      Oh trust me i cried when they extended him 4 years. That was just stupid. Personally I’d throw him a farewell party at the end of the season and tell him to keep the cash as a parting bonus.

  • JPB

    I would let Jorge catch one game per week. Might help him offensively. If he isn’t looking better by June, it’s time to say bye-bye and bring on Jesus.