The Forgotten Yankee

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(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The season is just nine games old, but so far Joe Girardi has gotten every player on the 25-man Opening Day roster into at least one game, most more than one. Except one guy: Gustavo Molina, who has yet to take the field and play. The backup catcher by default, Molina is only with the team because Frankie Cervelli had a foul ball break his foot and Jesus Montero underwhelmed in camp. A career .235/.295/.348 hitter in the minors, it’s easy to see why Girardi has hesitated to use him in a game.

It’s not all on Gus* though. His name was penciled into the starting lineup last Wednesday, but Mother Nature intervened and rained the game out. That allowed the team to skip Molina’s start just like Freddy Garcia‘s, keeping Russell Martin in the lineup. And it’s not like Martin has been overworked either. He’s started no more than four consecutive games at any point in the season so far, and it’s not like the sun has been beating down on him at this time of year. With the way he’s hitting, why would they want him out of the lineup anyway?

With the weather expected to clear up today and hopefully through the weekend, it looks like Molina’s first start is imminent. The Yankees will play in each of the next five days before Monday’s off-day, and I would be surprised if Girardi used his starting backstop in all five games. He knows all about the position, and four starts in five days seems to be the accepted limit for a catcher. Martin is playing well, but you don’t want to run him into the ground like Joe Torre did over the last few years and have him turn into a pumpkin come June.

Unfortunately for Gus, his time with the Yankees figures to be short lived. He might start this weekend, but he’s only keeping the job warm for Cervelli, who recently shed the boot and has resumed non-baseball workouts. Early-May sounds like a reasonable expectation for his return, but even if it’s not, Montero is hitting the snot out of the ball in Triple-A and could be called up at any moment. All of that means Molina is down to what is likely the last three weeks of his Yankees career.

But you know what? Gus will be able to tell his grand kids that he once played for the Yankees, and that alone is pretty cool. If things break right the rest of the season, he might even be able to show them his World Series ring. Now that would be cool.

* Yeah, I’m calling him Gus from now on. It’s an old-timey kind of New York name, and the Yankees could use a Gus.

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Plotting the rotation going forward
Link Dump: Hughes, Draft, Felix
  • jsbrendog

    If things break right the rest of the season, he might even be able to show them his World Series ring. Now that would be cool.

    wilson betemit nods in agreement

    • jsbrendog

      bold fail

      • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

        That’d be nice if Betemit had a ring. Poor sucker got traded in between the 08 and 09 seasons

        • jsbrendog

          DOH. total fail

          • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

            Happens to the best of us Brendo.

            • Chris

              Who was the pitcher that was up for one or two days in 2009, but never got in a game?

              • steve (different one)

                Steven Jackson?

                • http://www.mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK

                  Yep.

  • Drew

    Gus Sounds like the mutant offspring of two cousins from Alabama.

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

      Or the name of a basset hound

      • nsalem

        or a Zernial,or a Bell or a Johnson or a Firefly

        • Browncoat

          Did someone mention FIREFLY??

          • nsalem

            Rufus T Firefly

            • Sweet Dick Willie

              Or Eddie Murphy’s uncle, from Delirious. You know, back when Eddie Murphy was actually funny.

              • TMiller

                I didn’t know such a time existed.

    • king of fruitless hypotheticals

      Axisa says they need a ‘Gus’ while another guy says Gus is like Sal–a good NY name, and you think Gus is an Alabama name?

      /geoappellation fail’d

      • http://www.twitter.com/james_dasilva James d.

        Two reasons Gus is a good name:
        1. Gus Bell was a solid ballplayer and spawned longtime catcher Bob Boone, who spawned one-hit wonder Aaron.

        2. A recent Gustavo on the Yanks who didn’t get nicknamed “Gus”: Karim Garcia

  • YankeesJunkie

    Mike, it is great that you getting on such a personal level with some of the players, but come on, you can do better than Molina. I was really hoping that you and Nunez would become buddies and you can talk about how worthless of a baseball player he is.

  • http://www.twitter.com/yanksnats4ever Alex C.

    Hehe it was Rosenthal the first one who I heard call him Gus first. I don’t know if he has been previously called that way before.

  • AndrewYF

    “…the Yankees could use a Gus.”

    Yeah, ever since we lost Sal the team hasn’t been the same.

    • RL

      Yeah, Gus & Sal. Very “New York” kinda names. Where else would Gus and Sal come from? Maybe NJ or CT (or a NY transplant in CA), but Gus just seems to fit NY (Sal too). :-)

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

      Yeah, ever since we lost Sal the team hasn’t been the same.

      I love you, Johnnycakes.

      http://images.eonline.com/eol_.....122508.jpg

  • the Other Steve S.

    Does anybody think Montero would be better off getting the ‘Gus’ treatment in NY as opposed to how he has spent the last week?

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

      I don’t think he’d be getting the Gus Treatment. If Cervelli was healthy, I could almost guarantee he’d have started a game by now.

  • http://bigleaguewiffleball.com/ Jon

    I don’t think this really matters on April 13. There are still over 150 games left in the season. I’m sure he will get a start sooner or later.

    • Rick in Boston

      If there are enough off-days and Martin stays healthy, it’s doubtful he’ll get a start before Cervelli comes back.

  • ando

    ‘Gus’ a good scottish name derived from Angus. Not many Scots in the show…

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

      Joe probably calls him “Gussie”.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      I used to work with a fellow named Gus, but it was short for August.

      • http://www.mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK

        I used to have a neighbor who had a dog named Colonel Gustard. He had arthritis and had difficulty standing.

    • nsalem

      Romans may disagree.

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

    A backup catcher that can’t hit you say? Maybe we can trade them to Boston when they need a new Captain.

    • elvin

      Lmao hit emm right on the nose with that one