Yanks recover from Mo’s blown save, top O’s in extras

Open Thread: Tight back for Soriano
Fan Confidence Poll: April 25th, 2011

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, then it was the best of times again. For the second straight game the Yankees jumped all over a young Orioles’ starter for some first inning runs and got a quality start out of their pitcher, but the last few innings of this one were a bit rockier than we’d like. Thankfully, it all worked out in the end.

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

What’s Wrong With Mo? Week™

It happens every year. Mariano Rivera will get knocked around a bit and blow some saves, prompting a few “Mo is done!” comments and articles. The standard reply: “He does this every year, don’t worry about it.” The standard reply to that standard reply: “But he was never XX years old before!” And then Rivera will right the ship and finish the season as his usual dominant self. Been like that for what, a decade now?

Rivera blew his second save in as many chances on Sunday afternoon, giving up the tying run on a double down the line by Brian Roberts, his 33rd (and final) pitch in what would have been his first four-out save of the season. The only reason the Yankees lived to see the tenth inning was because of a great set of relay throws by Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano, gunning down Robert Andino at the plate to end the inning.

As is the pattern whenever he struggles, Mo battled command today, missing either too far outside or two much over the plate on pitches that were supposed to hit the black. Complain about the strike zone if you want, but Rivera shouldn’t need a generous zone to retire Adam Jones (ten pitch leadoff walk), Mark Reynolds (seven pitch strikeout), or Matt Wieters (another seven pitch strikeout). He had four days off following his five games in seven days stretch, but who knows how that contributed to Sunday’s struggles. Mo will get back on track, he always does, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck when he struggles and blows leads.

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

Putting The Mental Back In Fundamentals

After a scoreless tenth inning (more on that in a bit) and a 45-minute rain delay, the Yankees got back on the scoreboard with some help from the shoddy Baltimore defense. Cano led the inning off with a double (after the rain interrupted his at-bat with a 3-2 count), then he managed to steal third when the O’s botched a run down. Cano broke for third then held up, but Matt Wieters’ throw to second was off line and pulled Andino to the first base side of the bag. That gave Robbie enough time to get to third safely.

Pinch-hitting for pinch-runner Eduardo Nunez, Eric Chavez was intentionally walked to set up the double play. Russell Martin almost obliged, grounding to short only to have Andino throw the ball away on the flip to second. After Brett Gardner‘s fourth strikeout, Reynolds threw an infield hit by Derek Jeter away to score another run. A ball off the glove of Roberts allowed Curtis Granderson to reach safely and score another run. Three of the five balls in play in the 11th were somehow derp’d by the Orioles’ defense, and although the Martin and Jeter plays were tough, they certainly weren’t impossible.

Of course, the 11th inning wouldn’t have been needed if the Yankees managed to capitalize on a first and second situation with one out in the tenth. They tried the small ball approach  with Mark Teixeira moving the runners up on a sacrifice fly before Alex Rodriguez tried to do the same, only to watch Jeter get thrown out on what was a straight up beast mode block of the plate by Wieters. He just planted his leg and didn’t budge as Jeter slid into him feet first. The Cap’n didn’t touch the plate until after the home plate ump called him out. Next time, just hit the ball out of the park and take your time around the bases guys. Good thing Buck Showalter’s crew reverted to their little league days in the 11th.

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

Sweaty Freddy Grounds The Birds

In his first start of the year, Freddy Garcia lulled the Rangers to sleep with a mix of junk, slop, and cement mixers. He did the same to a far inferior offense on Sunday, working Orioles’ batters up and down, inside and out with changeups and splitters, fastballs and sliders, curveballs and who knows what. Despite a hot YES Network gun, Garcia was only sitting 86-88 mph, but you wouldn’t know it by the results. He struck out seven and allowed just four baserunners (three in one inning), needing 90 pitches for 18 outs.

It’s been just 18 games, but the early returns on Garcia and Bartolo Colon (add Chavez to the mix as well) have been far better than expected. It’s clear that Garcia’s margin for error is small (if some of those 85 mph floaters catch too much of the plate one day, watch out), but the Yankees have no long-term investment in him and can milk it for all it’s worth. He’s been surprisingly awesome so far.

Leftovers

Under-rated moment of the game: Garcia pitching around Wieters in the second inning. The Yankees were up by two and the O’s had two on with two out, but he threw the O’s catcher (.368 average over his last six games, .310 in his last nine) four wide ones to load the bases for … Cesar Izturis. The offensively inept shortstop struck out on three pitches to end the inning, swinging over the top of curveballs for strikes two and three. Risky? Sure. But I thought that was a great job of pitching around the guy that could hurt you for the one that can’t.

Joba Chamberlain allowed a two-run homer to Reynolds to cut the lead from three runs to one, then David Robertson made thing interesting by allowing two hits in the eighth. That prompted Mo coming in for the four out save. With Rafael Soriano unavailable due to a tight back (which we didn’t know at the time of the game, of course), I like that Joe Girardi went to Joba in the seventh to face Baltimore’s top two power hitters (Luke Scott and Reynolds), saving the bottom of the lineup for Robertson in the eighth. Of course I didn’t want to see him take Garcia out in the first place, but I digress.

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

For the first time all year, I can honestly say: great job by Boone Logan. Cut right through two lefties and a righty in the tenth, then came back out after sitting for an hour (because of the rain) to retire Scott to leadoff the 11th. Very nice work from him after the letdown of the blown save. Also, big ups to Buddy Carlyle for the final two outs. Yeah, he threw one garbage time inning on Saturday, but he also threw multiple innings for Triple-A Scranton earlier in the week. That’s not to say he was gassed, but I can’t imagine he was completely fresh.

Jeter’s four hits were all ground balls, including two infield singles. The Grandyman clubbed his league leading seventh homerun in the first inning, then went opposite field for a double later in the game. He’s now 14-for-33 (.424) with five homers during his eight-game hitting streak. A-Rod walked three times to bring his season OBP to .492. He’s drawn 14 walks while striking out just six times this season. Cano’s double extended his hitting streak to 13 games, but he’s definitely taking some ugly hacks on pitches out of the zone. He’s always been a free swinger, but never to that extent.

Nick Swisher went hitless with three strikeouts in five at-bats, further continuing his struggles against righties. Brett Gardner continued his struggles against all pitchers by striking out four times (twice looking), though he did make a legit game-saving catch to end the eighth. Mark Teixeira made a nice play at first and reached base twice (hit and walk). He’s at .273/.403/.621 right now, so it’s safe to say he’s avoided the (prolonged) April slump this year.

WPA Graph & Box Score

So that got a little dicey. MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs everything else.

Up Next

Back to the Bronx, where the Yankees will welcome to slumping White Sox to town for a four game set starting Monday night. Ivan Nova A.J. Burnett will look to get back on track while Phil Humber (!!!) goes for Chicago. Tickets are dirt cheap on the secondary market if you want to catch a game, just check out RAB Tickets.

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Open Thread: Tight back for Soriano
Fan Confidence Poll: April 25th, 2011
  • bakekrukow412

    “Mo will get back on track, he always does.”

    BUT there is a possibility that someday, he won’t. I cringe thinking about it.

    • rek4gehrig

      BUT ther is a possibility that hell might freeze over.
      Dont worry about Mo. He’ll retire when he knows he doesnt have it anymore

  • Mocha Joe

    Mo is the least of our problems. The problem continues to be Derek Jeter, Brett Gardner, and Joe Girardi. Jeter got lucky today with his weak grounders. He needs to be hitting 8th and Grandy needs to be hitting leadoff with Swish 2nd. Brett Gardner should have been benched 2 weeks ago. He was horrendous today at the plate and should only be used to pinch run and play defense in the late innings. Joe Girardi nearly over managed us into another loss. Garcia felt fine to go 7.

    • Esteban

      I don’t think it was unreasonable to take Garcia out there. He hasn’t pitched much this year, is 34 years old and only pitched more than 100 pitches five times this year. And of course, it’s very easy to say that Garcia would thrown a shutout 7th, but he very easily could have given up runs.

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

        The more I think about it, the more I’m okay with Garcia coming out. He hasn’t pitched much recently, and his next few outings will be on regular rest, so he won’t be getting the extra day or two. Plus he hasn’t thrown more than ~90 pitches in a game since August.

        I guess the counterargument is that aside from the second inning, he didn’t have a stressful inning, and it’s not like he’s a hard-thrower that will see his stuff diminish if he doesn’t have extra rest or something.

        • YankeesJunkie

          It seems like a strict pitch count move which is too sadly the main determination of when a pitcher is in and out of the game.

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

            I agree, especially when Girardi was just saying they needed to get more length out of the starters.

          • Johnnyd

            Much like the people like to say the 30s are the new 20s, apparently the 6th inning is the new 7th inning start for Joe Girardi. Absolutely no reason a veteran like Garcia couldn’t come out for the 7th inning. The bullpen is going to get worn out at this pace. I’m so tired of looking at box scores and seeing other teams letting their starters go eight innings plus. Girardi is not only allergic to the complete game, but he is apparently allergic to a seven inning start as well!

            • zs190

              It’s not that he couldn’t come out for the 7th, it’s that Joe thinks using Joba gave the team a better chance to win. If our starters were actually good then I don’t think Girardi would have pulled the guy. But what we have are over-the-hill veterans that are constantly hurt and not fully stretched out. They are getting by with slop and could blow up in your face any time, I don’t think Joe made a mistake going to Joba, it just didn’t work.

              • YankeesJunkie

                How do they ever plan to stretch Garcia if Giradi does not let him go to 100. Not like it matters if he gets hurt in July and August.

                • zs190

                  He’s just had two starts with a lot of extra days off in between, I fully expect Joe to let him go to 100 next start when he’s on regular rest.

                • Ted Nelson

                  “Not like it matters if he gets hurt in July and August.”

                  Yes, it does. Even if the Yankees trade for Felix freaking Hernandez they still need a full rotation of starters. Hughes may not make it back, and outside of CC who else is reliable? AJ? Nova? Colon? The Yankees can’t be burning options.

                  Unless you have spoken to Joe Girardi and Freddy Garcia and Brian Cashman about why Garcia was pulled after 6 innings and 90 pitches, I see no reason to jump to conclusions and throw around baseless speculation.

                  • dalelama

                    “I see no reason to jump to conclusions and throw around baseless speculation.”

                    So serious…….lighten up.

        • Hurling Darvish

          You can apply the same soft tosser logic as an argument to keep him in the game. He has no velo to lose by keeping in him, and he’s a still a big, strong looking dude, whose arm doesn’t appear to be fallig off.

          Garcia’s repertoire is a great matchup versus the impatient, fastball hitting O’s, whose big hits this weekend all came off heaters (Jones versus CC; Reynolds versus Joba; Roberts versus Mariano).

          As an aside, the 2 O’s homers were the cheapest possible in that ballpark, just over the fence and just to the left of the high scoreboard in right. Left field plays deeper than right, and dead right field has the higher scoreboard; neither homer would have close to going out.

        • Ted Nelson

          The shoulder is also an x-factor. Girardi may have a lower pitch count for a guy with Garcia’s shoulder, based on his gut, an organizational dictate, Garcia’s own wishes/physical self-awareness, and/or recommendations from the medical staff.

      • Esteban

        And of course, I meant he only pitched over 100 pitches five times LAST* year.

    • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

      Is it really worth getting this worked up after a victory?

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

        Always

    • steve s

      Had to respond (even late) when a post is so wrong in so many ways. On a day when Jeter goes 4 for 6, Gardner makes one of the best clutch catches in a regular season game you’ll ever see and Girardi is managing with a depleted bullpen and an ump who didn’t know a strike from shinola and you post that the “problems” continue to be Jeter, Gardner and Girardi? Reality meet Mocha Joe. Mocha Joe, say hello to reality.

    • Tank the Frank

      Agreed. Either Gardner or Jeter is going to have to step up and give the Yanks at least average production out of the leadoff spot. I don’t think Granderson is the answer though.

      What more can you say about Girardi? I’m surprised anyone thinks he’s anything more than an average manager. What got lost today was another attempt at small ball when he had Nick Swisher square around to bunt in the 11th.

      But how do you know he called it! Swisher could’ve bunted on his own!!
      Stop it. This is a “strategy” that Girardi’s been using and it’s not going to stop no matter how many times it fails or succeeds. I guess we’re going to have to get used to it.

      But that doesn’t change the answer to this question: How many other batters in the Yankees lineup besides Gardner and Jeter should ever bunt?

      Zero.

  • zs190

    Nova tomorrow? I thought it has been determined that AJ is starting Monday, Nova Tuesday, Colon Wednesday and CC Thursday.

    As for the game, that 9th inning adventure wasn’t fun. Was really worried that Joe was going to let Mo throw a bajillion pitches K-Rod style. Wasn’t good that he gave up the double to Roberts but I was really glad he got out of the inning when he did.

    We have a really thin bullpen tomorrow(no Moe and Carlyle tomorrow, Soriano might or might not be able to pitch), I wonder if Carlyle will get DFA’ed for a fresh arm or we’ll just have Lance Pendleton take one for the team if AJ doesn’t pitch well (I think Pendleton’s supposedly capable of going 4+)

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

      Nova tomorrow? I thought it has been determined that AJ is starting Monday, Nova Tuesday, Colon Wednesday and CC Thursday.

      Whoops, my bad. Fixed the post.

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

      I would assume Carlyle’s good for tomorrow, he’s the definition of expendable. Who cares if they run him into the ground? Logan might not be available after essentially pitching two innings today (the tenth, long layoff, warming up again for the 11th). So if no Logan, Soriano, or Mo, the pen is: Robertson, Joba, Pendleton, and Carlyle in an emergency. Not great, but doable.

      Go A.J.

      • zs190

        You are right, he’s probably available. MASN gave me an impression that he pitched the day before yesterday so I thought he might have pitched 3 straight. Just checked MiLB and he actually last pitched in the minors on the 19th so just two short stints so far.

      • Hurling Darvish

        Go AJ indeed. We’ll need AJ to be efficient tomorrow which hasn’t happened this year, although he has been effective overall. Better than Nova’s chances I guess, based on IP per start so far.

        I’m guessing Carlyle is not optionable and he’s looked OK, so it seems a bit of a waste to DFA him after two outings/3 innings.

        • dalelama

          AJ era

          04/2010= 2.43

          04/2011= 4.37

      • Rookie

        Yep. Carlyle’s logical role is that of a spare tire. And hopefully Girardi takes your advice and spreads the workload in the bullpen more before he Joe Torres them to death.

  • Snake Plissken

    I thought Mo did okay.

    I credit the Baltimore hitters for taking alot of pitches. He did tire as his pitch count reached 30, but who doesn’t. And there was a bit a luck in Jake Fox’s hit just missing Cano’s glove for what would have been the 3rd out and win.

    • Hurling Darvish

      I thought that Roberts’ double was also was almost flagged down by Tex, but they didn’t show a YES-mo of that part of the play. Tex snagged a similar ball earlier in the game.

      BTW. I heard you were dead. Great name, do you have the eye patch to go with it?

  • Kosmo

    I think Girardi is playing it safe with Garcia .Yanks want Garcia for the longhaul not as a stopgap.Although I´m not surprised Girardi took Garcia out after 90 pitches but it is still a curious move seeing that Soriano couldn´t pitch.
    A win is win is a win.

  • Tom T

    In defense of Swish — he did hit at least two, maybe three balls hard. The left side struggles are a bit overblown.

  • China Joe

    You know who Garcia reminded me of with that second inning walk to Wieters? The craftiest righty of all time, El Duque. He was the master of pitching around the guy who could hurt him.

  • mbonzo

    Martin
    Arod
    Tex
    Cano
    Swisher
    Granderson

    Six 30 homerun guys in 2011?

    • YankeesJunkie

      I will say three, however Cano and Swisher will be close and Martin will be closer to 20.

      • mbonzo

        Martin will have 20 after the next series.

        I personally think Posada will get real close to 30 too, but I’ll be in the minority, which is why I didn’t mention him.

        • hogsmog

          Remember when Tino led the league in homers for a little while in early 2005, just long enough so that you thought it might be real? That’s what I think of when I see Martin.

          • Rookie

            I have no idea how many homers Martin will hit. But after an early season game in which he was an offensive force, he alluded to it being easier to do it early in the season before he’s ground down or beat up or something to that effect behind the plate. Sounds logical/realistic to me to expect to usually get a catcher’s best offensive performance early.

            • Ted Nelson

              Would be nice if Jesus can come up and not only produce himself but also keep Martin fresh.

  • nsalem

    Freddy pitching well should not be surprising. What would be surprising is if he’s healthy all year.
    Anytime he can get through 6 innings and he’s not seeing anyone in the line up for a 4th time will usually be a plus for us. Using him intelligently will hopefully help him stay healthy for longer than we expected.

    • Ted Nelson

      I’m not sure how surprising it will be if he stays healthy. Since returning he hasn’t gotten hurt. It wasn’t 3 years on and off the DL. He got hurt, missed a full year, caught on with the Tigers at the end of 2008, got cut by the Mets entering 2009, caught on with the Sox late that season… He’s been healthy for a long while now. I would not be at all surprised if his shoulder history makes him more likely to get injured than an average pitcher, but he’s not Mark Prior or something.

  • Monteroisdinero

    To give Joe G the benefit of the doubt (even though I don’t like his managing style), perhaps he asked Freddy if he was gassed and the answer was yes?

    Also, Mo had a close inside pitch called for a ball against Adam Jones. He often gets that pitch for strike 3.

    • Gonzo

      PitchFX is not up yet for that game, but the called strike 3 on Mark Reynolds looked like a ball and it didn’t look all that close.

      • Tim

        The third strike to Reynolds did look like a ball to me, especially after he didn’t get the Jones call. The 3-2 to Jones was a better pitch IMO than the third strike to Reynolds. I guess it all evens out.

  • Rookie

    For whatever it might be worth:

    Freddie Garcia in 2010:

    On 4 days of rest: 6.14 ERA
    On 5 days of rest 4.60 ERA
    On 6 or more days of rest: 2.56 ERA

    By the way, eyeballing his game log in 2010, as I recall, by the last month or two of the season, he was pitching very well on regular rest, too. Whether that was because he was fully healed from injury by that point or some other reason, I have no idea. I just thought the stats were interesting.

    • Ted Nelson

      Definitely interesting.

  • steve (different one)

    I find it a little contradictory to constantly talk about how “little margin for error” Garcia has, then criticize Girardi for pulling him.

    As long as the bullpen is rested, and it was, I don’t see much of an issue. You have two guys coming up who can hit HRs, and a starter who already throws in the mid-80’s getting to 90 pitches.

    If Joba works a clean inning, I doubt we’re still talking about the decision, even though it’s the same decision.

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

      “As long as the bullpen is rested, and it was, I don’t see much of an issue.”

      Agreed. No reliever not named Buddy Carlyle had pitched since Wednesday. We need to be able to look past just the game we’re watching when considering bullpen strategy. There were people complaining on Saturday when Sabathia went back out for the bottom of the 8th, but I think Girardi played this weekend the right way. He used his best starter to give him some length (and didn’t overtax him, the guy didn’t throw too many pitches on Saturday) and saved his relievers for Garcia’s start on Sunday when it was more likely they’d be needed. Sometimes pitchers give up runs and it’s not the manager’s fault, I think Girardi played this weekend the way he should have.

      • Ted Nelson

        Good points. Besides not overworking Garcia’s surgically repaired shoulder, I also don’t think it’s the worst thing to take your starters out before they blow up rather than afterwards. If Girardi leaves a few of these guys in to get crushed in the following inning, I’ll bet you the articles and criticism are about how he’s overworking a mediocre rotation and not trusting his billion dollar bullpen…

        People point to Mo’s 4 days rest as a possible reason he wasn’t sharp last night, but also say he’s being overused. He needs to be used more to stay sharp, but Girardi’s using him too much… not sure how that works. Monday morning QBing is always interesting.

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

        We need to be able to look past just the game we’re watching when considering bullpen strategy.
        We need to be able to look past just the game we’re watching when considering bullpen strategy.
        We need to be able to look past just the game we’re watching when considering bullpen strategy.

        Threepeated for emphasis.

  • Big Apple

    what a weird game it was.

    only issues i have are Mo pitching more than one inning….he’s too old for that…and Joba…he needs to step it up and get the job done.

    Too much bitching on here about the umps..some of you sound like a bunch of whiny women…no offense to the whiny women out there.

    And to those saying Jeter’s hits are/were lucky…wft…that’s baseball – hit it where they ain’t.

    • Big Apple

      my comment about the umps was on yesterday’s game thread…i wanted to post there but the site had issues. for the love of God, stop that nonsense!

    • the ultimate warrior

      whiny women? bexy”, w/e her handle is these days, comes to mind. just had to put it out there. don’t bother insulting me, i’ll never come back to this blog again.

      adios, suckers.

      • Big Apple

        i’m just kidding…the umps are sometimes good and sometimes bad but they are usually consistently good or consistently bad for both sides.

      • Ted Nelson

        I think you’ve already done a sufficient job of insulting yourself.

      • Mo my Savior

        I really hope you read this: get some help.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

          This is from the same IP as ultimate warrior.

          • the Other Steve S.

            Free Public Library?

      • Klemy

        How people who post something stupid always say not to bother insulting them because they won’t be back to read it? We all know you’ll be looking to see if anyone posts about it.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

        Thanks?

  • Rookie

    Amazingly similar pattern for Millwood, by the way, in 2010:

    Kevin Millwood in 2010:
    On 4 days of rest: 6.02 ERA
    On 5 days of rest 4.44 ERA
    On 6 or more days of rest: 2.87 ERA (albeit in only 5 starts and 31 innings pitched)

    And a similar, but not nearly as strong, pattern in 2009:
    On 4 days of rest: 4.00 ERA
    On 5 days of rest 3.41 ERA
    On 6 or more days of rest: 3.03 ERA (albeit in only 5 starts and 30 innings pitched)

    And in 2008:
    On 4 days of rest: 5.11 ERA
    On 5 days of rest 5.57 ERA
    On 6 or more days of rest: 3.24 ERA (albeit in only 3 starts and 17 innings pitched)

    So three years in a row (albeit in a very small sample size each time), Millwood (who most would consider to be a crappy pitcher) had an ERA of between 2.87 and 3.24 on long rest.

    Preliminary conclusions:
    Some old pitchers near the end of their careers can be much better — even relatively good — on long rest.
    If so, maybe it can make sense to piece together a staff of relatively cheap, old pitchers IF you have the insight and ability to use them on long rest.

    • Gonzo

      Maybe a team could field a 6-man rotation of old pitchers. That would be funny.

      • Big Apple

        is Wilbur Wood still pitching somewhere?

      • Ted Nelson

        I was actually thinking that this could be an interesting possibility under a certain set of circumstances… Basically, one where the Yankees don’t mind carrying only 6 relievers or 3 bench players.

        Maybe not a 6 man rotation, so much as a 4 and 2 half men rotation. Or 3 and 3 half men. I don’t know if it’s possible and not going to try to plot it out on the schedule, but perhaps you could keep Garcia and Millwood and Colon (or whoever the 2 or 3 are) on 6 days rest and keep 3 other starters on fairly normal rest. Mixing in long-relief or bullpen sessions if a guy ends up with a 10-ish day rest.

        You’d need Nova (or Hughes) to step up for the first three to be solid, and you’d need to trust all 6 of your relievers if you went the short-bullpen route.

        You’d only really need 3 bench players if Jesus were in a DH/back-up C role… but I guess that’s more next season if Jorge’s not back. Or if you felt comfortable using A-Rod as an emergency SS and … I don’t know… Jeter or Cervelli as an emergency 2B. Could try to mix in Nunez getting recalled for a start every once in a while to rest Jeter/Cano.

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

          Maybe not a 6 man rotation, so much as a 4 and 2 half men rotation. Or 3 and 3 half men.

          #winning
          #tigerblood
          #adonisDNA

        • 28 this year

          you don’t want your only backup C being DH because if he is a DH and needs to catch, you lose the DH and have to bat the pitcher.

          • Ted Nelson

            It’s a concern, but a fairly marginal one.

            How often in a season does your C need to be pulled mid-game? If you’re resting Martin regularly while catching Jesus… in a long extra-inning game, or if a guy gets hurt. A couple of times a season. That could easily be worth a dramatic drop in ERA from 2 or 3 starters, if there is one to be had. You might lose one or two games due to a late inning P at bat, but you might win a bunch of games due to the stronger performance of the #4-6 pitchers relative to 4-5 in a 5 man rotation.

            And you don’t have to bat the P, you can also pinch hit. With relievers you’re going to be switching every couple of innings in most cases anyway, so it might work out.

            • Ted Nelson

              This season, if both Jorge and Jesus are on the roster together, Jorge could also be the emergency C on a day Jesus is DH and Jesus the back-up C when Jorge is DHing… that doesn’t help the 3 bench players thing, but Jesus’ problems have been from the right-side this season (.383 wOBA as a lefty… all 6 of his HRs and 9 of his hits are from the left side), so platooning him with a righty like Jesus or Jones handling lefty starters might be wise.

  • JPB

    When baseball schedules weren’t so chaotic, it wasn’t unusual for teams to have an old pitcher who would pitch every Saturday or Sunday, only. Sometimes as part of a double header, other times just that was his day.

    It probably can’t be done, but I’d consider using guys like Garcia and Colon this way.

    For sure, I would do it on offense with Posada. Jorge would probably hit better if he played a few games in the field. Jorge could catch every Saturday or something. If they don’t start giving Martin time off he’ll be injured by late July.

    • Tim

      They will start giving Martin time off, once they start playing more that 3 games a week. With the schedule and the weather what it’s been, there has been little reason to give Martin time off. He’s getting plenty rest between games.

      • Camilo Gerardo

        I say run martin into ground, offer arby, and he can be jesus’ backup next year, a damn fine backup!