The Jorge Posada Problem

Big jerk A-Rod spoils Melky's return to the Bronx
Are Brett Gardner's leads too big?
(AP Photo)

It’s no secret that Jorge Posada has been struggling this season, you didn’t need me or last night’s 0-for-3 to tell you that. He’s hitting just .147/.250/.343 at a time when the average designated hitter is hitting .256/.337/.392, so the Yankees have been playing with a significant disadvantage this season. Whether it’s just old age, or Posada finding life as a designated hitter difficult after all those years behind the plate, or something else entirely is really none of my concern, all I know is that Jorge’s struggling and it’s a drain on the offense. The season is still young, but we’re starting to reach the point where we can’t just blindly blame things on small sample sizes and expect him to snap out of it. Posada’s been terrible for almost 120 plate appearances now, so the Yankees have to starting thinking about alternatives and soon.

Fortunately, they have a very obvious alternative stashed away in Triple-A by the name of Jesus Montero. The organization’s top prospect hasn’t hit for much power this year (just two extra base hits in his last 20 games, .070 ISO), but we all know it’s in there.  If he wasn’t hitting for average (.333) or getting on base (.355 OBP), then it would be a concern. Montero’s bat is big league ready, there’s very little doubt about that, the only hold up is that there wasn’t an obvious spot for him on the roster or in the lineup. Now there is.

So if the Yankees do call up Montero to take over as DH, how would the lineup and bench work? Just thinking out loud here, but Posada could essentially take over the Eric Chavez role. No, he wouldn’t be able to play third base obviously, but he could certainly back up first base, pinch-hit, and DH on occasion. Eduardo Nunez would have to be the primary backup third baseman, and it’s worth pointing out that both Russell Martin and Frankie Cervelli have some experience at the position at the Major League level (71.1 and three defensive innings, respectively). It’s not ideal, but they’re always there in case of an emergency. Montero takes over as the primary DH and Ramiro Pena hits the bricks. Done and done.

The service time stuff isn’t much of an issue with Montero at all. We’re already well past the point of delaying his free agency by a year, and the Yankees could always afford whatever extra it would cost if he qualified as a Super Two player. CAA Baseball’s preliminary internal studies peg next year’s Super Two cutoff at two years and 146 days, which is right in line with what it had been in recent years. That’s basically 40 days into the 180-something day long season, so we’re right there (just for reference). Plus there’s also a non-zero chance that Super Twos will go away in the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement, so it might be a non-issue all together. Point being, there’s little incentive to be gained by keeping Montero down in the minors right now, at least not financial incentive.

I don’t think it’s time to pull the plug on Posada just yet, but we’re fast approaching it. We’ve got to see some considerable improvement out of him during this 16 games in 16 days stretch (now 15 in 15), which brings us to May 26th. I’ve been saying that June 1st was my target date for Jorge’s turn around, but May 26th is close enough. He has to be hitting by then because we’re going to be a third of the way into the season. They can’t wait forever. The first third is for evaluating, the second third is for making changes, and the final third is for riding them out. The simplest change the Yankees can make right now is at DH, and right now Posada is giving them every reason in the world to make that change.

Big jerk A-Rod spoils Melky's return to the Bronx
Are Brett Gardner's leads too big?
  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    posada sucks lol whatevs

  • Jorge

    I love him, but I think he’s done. I think it’s time for the other Jorge to settle into his golden years as a pinch hitter. I know I already have.

  • Stephen Rhoads

    Yep, agree completely. Nice piece.

    • Matt Imbrogno


  • Mike Myers

    Its sad to see his production drop to this level. Hip Hip…retire

  • zs190

    It’s hard to not be a bit sad to see Jorge struggle like this. I think pulling the plug after another 100 PA or so is reasonable, I’m glad we can afford to give him a little more time to make this work. If we were struggling like the Sox were, there would be way more people calling for his removal now.

  • Matt

    nice article Mike. seems like the end is near for him.

  • CountryClub

    I think they’re going to wait and see how bad Chavez’s foot is before they bring up Montero. I’ve read that their optimistic it’s not as bad as they first thought. If he can come back in a couple weeks he and Arod and DH (mostly Chavez).

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    The first third is for evaluating, the second third is for making changes, and the final third is for riding them out.

    Repeated for emphasis. This literally cannot be said enough.

    Not just for Jorge, but also for all those people who were calling for Jeter and Gardner to be benched/DFA’d/assassinated back in mid-April.

    • Matt Imbrogno

      Not just for Jorge, but also for all those people who were calling for Jeter and Gardner to be benched/DFA’d/assassinated back in mid-April.

      Shit, I have a few phone calls to make…

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Remember, kids, any deposit you give to an assassin is non-refundable, so be absolutely sure you really want to have that guy killed before you put money down.

      • MannyGeee

        Jack Bauer? Please hold for President Palmer.

  • AMSkollar

    Plus with Martin quietly coming back to earth, they could catch Montero a couple times a week. Martin will catch 4 Games a week, Jesus 2 game and he can DH 2 games giving Jorge 2 games to start at DH.

    • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

      Had the exact same thought about Martin. And the solution you suggest.

    • CountryClub

      Martin’s defense has been very good. I think they’re less concerned with his bat than they are with him providing good D.

      • MannyGeee

        Russ was brought here for his D. straight bangin for the first month of the season was just icing.

    • MikeD

      Martin, if everything went well, is at best a .280/.360/.480 hitter who could bang out about 20 HRs. That would be fantastic. He might be a .260/.345/.400 hiter who might knock out 15 HRs. I think all Yankee fans would have been happy with that production heading into 2011. He is NOT the .360/.440/.660 guy we saw in April. A correction was coming.

      Martin’s BAs and OBPs the last three years (including so far this year) are: .250/.352, .248/.357, and .255/.358. The one difference is the power surge so far that has him with a .500 SLG. If he can continue to show power, which he had earlier in his career, this guy is a major steal. He has been a major steal.

      I’ve advocated Montero as the pretty every day DH, filling in a couple times a week at catcher and even some first base, so I’m in agreement.

      I’m just not ready to give up on Posada, anymore than I wanted to give up on Gardner or Jeter. Baseball is a long season.

      • MikeD

        *pretty much* everyday DH. Although some might think he’s also pretty.

  • Chris B.

    Is Kevin Long on the case or is the lack of production generally viewed as un-fixable?

    • Chris B.

      …or rather unidentifiable (un-fixable is a little harsh).

      • bakekrukow412

        Posada seems like the type that’s too proud to ask for help.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      His production has cratered across the board on all pitches. ANecdotally, it looks like he’s late on fastballs and swings over all breaking balls, indicating he’s lost all bat speed and is cheating on everything.

      Not sure what Long could realistically do.

      • Stephen Rhoads

        His production’s cratered across the board on all pitches because his production has cratered across the board. Iow, if he was getting better results he’d have better pitch type value results. Not saying that he hasn’t lost bat speed and that he isn’t cheating on everything – he very well could be – but using the pitch type value results just essentially confirms what we already know – that posada sucks lol whatevs (and that he isn’t hitting a lick).

      • MikeD

        They shoot horses, don’t they?

        Not ready to put the bullet in the chamber for Jorge. I’ll give him more time, but the Yankees might be looking to see where they stored the gun. Hmmm, check file under Bernie Williams.

  • Will F.

    Montero time. Yes. It’s long way overdue. All the other super prospects have already been called up (Heyward, Posey, Teheran, Hosmer) and I just think that the Yanks won’t be successful letting Posada continue to struggle with half the line-up struggling already. If he were 25 I’d give him more of a chance to snap out of it but the dude is 39.

  • Tom

    Sorry, but Montero needs to learn how to catch, or he needs to be traded away. Calling him up this season helps no one.

    • Matt Imbrogno

      Calling him up this season helps no one.

      Elaborate, please.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Nah, it’s probably better that we don’t ask.

        • Matt Imbrogno

          Still in correcting papers mode.

    • Tampa Yankee

      Sorry, but Montero needs to learn how to catch, or he needs to be traded away.
      For who You just don’t trade him because “he can’t catch”. There is NO ONE available worth trading him for. I hate the general thought that Cash$ wants to trade him. He was offered for Halladay and Lee, two of the premier pitchers in all of baseball. He wasn’t offered up for a bag of balls.

      Calling him up this season helps no one.
      Yes, it does. He can fill in ad DH and maybe catch a few games. That is value. Even if he can’t make it as a catch, that bat provides plenty of value.

      • Ted Nelson

        Totally agree with the first part, assuming no one is available worth trading him for.

        As far as the second part… I don’t disagree really, but he has to out hit not just Jorge but also Eric Chavez (who would be cut in Mike’s plan) and Andruw Jones to make that work. Definitely 100% possible, but not 100% certain. Can always send him back down if he struggles or do whatever, just saying. The part of it that bothers me is just cutting Eric Chavez after he’s shown he can offer something.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Come on, Ted. Mike didn’t mention Eric Chavez. Not mentioning him is not the same as saying that he’s being cut in Mike’s plan.

          Don’t put words in his mouth.

          • Ted Nelson

            Pena is in Chavez’s roster spot… He says Pena would be out and Montero would be up “done and done.” How else would one read that?

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              He says Pena would be out and Montero would be up “done and done.”

              That’s a horrible quotemine and totally changes the context. The sentence you just wrote implies that Mike is saying Montero should be up permanently and nothing about that should change.

              What Mike actually said:

              Montero takes over as the primary DH and Ramiro Pena hits the bricks. Done and done.

              The “done and done” isn’t an expression of finality. It’s a colloquialism meaning “this is good, we should do that.”

              Nowhere in there do I see the explicit suggestion that Jesus Montero’s promotion would be permanent, the suggested bench configuration would be permanent, or that Eric Chavez should be cut. You’re jumping to a GIGANTIC conclusion.

              • Ted Nelson

                Again, the implication from the article is that Jesus would be brought up permanently and take Ramiro Pena’s roster spot. Ramiro Pena’s roster spot is actually Eric Chavez’s roster spot permanently. The article doesn’t go any further than that. You are reading into it as much as I am.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Calling him up this season helps no one.

      List of people who would be helped by calling up Jesus Montero:

      Jesus Montero, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira, Russell Martin, Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, Andruw Jones, Francisco Cervelli, Eduardo Nuñez, CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, Mariano Rivera, Rafael Soriano, Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson, Boone Logan, Buddy Carlyle, Lance Pendleton, Luis Ayala, Ramiro Peña, Eric Chavez, Gustavo Molina, Phil Hughes, Austin Romine, Andrew Brackman, Manny Banuelos, Hector Noesi, Steve Garrison, Ryan Pope, Chris Dickerson, Damaso Marte, Austin Romine, Joe Girardi, Kevin Long, Tony Peña, Mick Kelleher, Larry Rothschild, Robbie Thompson, Román Rodríguez, Brian Cashman, Jean Afterman, Damon Oppenheimer, Torre Tyson, Hank Steinbrenner, Hal Steinbrenner, Jennifer Steinbrenner-Swindal, Randy Levine, Lonn Trost, Reggie Jackson, the scout who signed Montero as an IFA, members of Montero’s family, citizens of Venezuela, Yankee fans everywhere, and all other baseball fans who do not reflexively hate all things Yankee.

      List of people who would NOT be helped by calling up Jesus Montero:
      Jorge Posada
      Osama Bin Laden (because he’s dead)

      • Pat D

        What, not Dellin Betances or Slade Heathcott or JR Murphy or Gary Sanchez, too?

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          I ran out of room.

      • Chris

        I would argue that one of Nunez, Pena, and Chavez will not be helped by calling up Montero.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          But they’ll all get a ring at the end of the year, baby!

          I built that into my scenario.

        • Jorge

          I’d argue that Steve Garrison probably doesn’t give a rat’s ass.

      • Dave

        If it’s going to help Randy Levine, I’m not sure it’s a good idea. Otherwise I’m all for it.

      • MannyGeee

        I would add Jay-Z, because He “Made a Yankee Fitted more famous than a Yankee did”…

        and this would certainly not help Theo Epstein or Jack ZwyncoaWNCOWEINFLKANGFOJN*(&%^%$IAK, since he decided to go Smoak instead of Jesus…

        sidebar, since that non trade has gone down almost a year ago, we are looking AWFUL lucky to still have Jesus here.

  • Drew

    I just can’t see Posada going out like this, we all know he’s frustrated. There was a full page article in the NY Post last week, talking about how he was frustrated and went into Girardi’s office and said that he appreciates that Girardi is sticking with him. Call me sentimental but Posada means too much to the team to be a pinch hitter. It would be the selfless thing to do (aka Varetek being the captain of the team but being the backup catcher, though I have no idea (nor care) how much he plays) but I can’t see Jorge being okay with that role.

    • RL

      Not sure which would be more frustrating for Posada: Continuing to hit .150 or so or being the secondary DH and playing 2 out of every 6 games or so, while enhancing the team’s ability to win. Neither scenario is ideal for someone with his credentials.

  • TonyO

    Good post Mike. Had to be said. Sad to see, but he looks lost at the plate. Its time to make that move, I’m glad you laid out the bench the way you did because I couldn’t grasp how they would make that work, I was thinking along the line of releasing Jorge…..but that is a drastic move especially when he can run into one for you from time to time we hope.

    • Ted Nelson

      I don’t know that releasing Chavez is any better than releasing Jorge at this point…

  • Joe in VA

    Mike – if they bring up Montero, what are your thoughts on how that affects his development at catcher? Do they try to platoon him and Martin to get Montero somewhat regular reps behind the plate?

    • Kosmo

      Then what do you do with Cervelli ? This is certainly going to create an odd situation if suddenly Montero is called up to DH most of the time AND catch on the days Martin rests.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Martin catches 80% of the games, Cervy 10%, and Montero 10%?

        • MannyGeee

          Cervelli is best in that role (small sample sizes)

    • Jericho Spade

      I think Jesus would be in the best place if he learned to hit in the majors and spent his down time watching almost like a young QB. He will catch a little bit maybe 10-20 games or so, and next year focus on it. I think best case scenario he is catching 60 games for the Yanks and DHing the rest in 2012. If he makes the strides necessary to catch full time, great. If not, he will be a great DH/part time catcher until first base is open.

  • Ted Nelson

    Would be nice to point out that Jorge is literally hitting .000 from the right side… How any analysis of Jorge’s struggles could miss his splits is beyond me. His wOBA is .316 as a lefty and .120 as a righty.

    Eric Chavez is also out for only a few more weeks from the last I’ve heard and has a .358 wOBA through 39 PAs… not sure why you’re so ready to throw him under the bus.

    So, you’re basically throwing Chavez completely under the bus and cutting him, ignoring Posada’s struggles being primarily from the right side, and assuming a rookie with zero MLB experience, zero patience, and displaying no power in AAA will out-hit Andruw Jones, Chavez, and Posada for the rest of the season. Jesus could be an answer to the DH issue, but first in line, IMO, is Andruw Jones and then Chavez… guys who have actually hit MLB pitching before. If they struggle you still have Jesus in the wings in a few weeks. If you cut Chavez you can’t bring him back.

    • Kosmo

      I agree on the Jones and Chavez point and I might add if necessary Vasquez and possibly Maxwell would get the call before Montero.

      • Jericho Spade

        Vazquez and Maxwell of the 30% K rate in AAA, are not getting anything.

    • zs190

      I can’t tell which one of us has reading comprehension issue but where does the article suggest cutting Eric Chavez?

      The idea is that while Chavez is hurt, Nunez can be the backup at both 3B/SS and we can use Ramiro Pena’s spot to bring up Montero and use Jorge as backup 1B sometimes and give Montero some at-bats at DH for a bit more offense.

      The problem with using Andruw Jones at DH is then we would have no viable backup OF’s. Yeah, Pena and Nunez can sort of play OF but you don’t want to do that too often. Plus Jones hasn’t exactly hit well himself.

      • Kosmo

        What is the point of having Posada as a backup 1B when they have Chavez AND Swisher if needed ?

        • zs190

          Did you read what I wrote? I said as a backup 1B when Eric Chavez is hurt. Swish is in the lineup almost every day as is at RF, there are very few times when he’s actually available to be the backup at 1B.

          • Ted Nelson

            You can put Jones in RF and Swish at 1B when Tex needs a day off.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          There isn’t really a point. And we’d all likely agree that Jorge the non-starter offers exceedingly little value as a bench player.

          But do any of us really think they’re just going to release Jorge outright? I doubt it. So backup DH/1B and lefty PH is what his role will become.

        • Chris

          The point is that Chavez is injured now, so they don’t have him.

          • Ted Nelson

            He’s out for a month, not the season. What do you do when he’s back?

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

              Mike writes another article about “What do we do now that Chavez is ready to come back?”

              And then we all comment on it, and we bitch about how little value Jorge the bench player presents.

            • Chris

              You could send Jesus down – this isn’t a final decision.

              Also, do you really believe that he’ll be back in a month?

      • Ted Nelson

        Chavez is only hurt for a few weeks, though. He’s on the 15 day DL and supposedly out for a month from Friday or whenever, which gives him 3.5 weeks. Once he’s back who do you cut? Him? Jones? (Can’t, of course, unless Nunez is your 4th OF.) Carry one less pitcher? I suppose you could option Frankie to Scranton, use Jesus as a back-up C, and Jorge as an emergency C…

        Jones has had 33 PAs… 6.5 games worth of PAs, and sporadic at that. Too small a sample to say anything. As much as this could be a way to get a slightly earlier look at Jesus, it could also be a way to get a look at Jones and see if he’s your 4th OF all season or you want to explore other options like Maxwell and the trade market. Or if he’s even your right handed DH… with Jorge and/or Chavez picking up the left side of it.
        Jones could still take the spot start in the OF with someone else (Jorge, Chavez, Nunez… whoever) taking the DH PAs that day. Only time it hurts you is if an OF goes down mid-game. Not a big concern to me. You can probably live with 1/2 a game of Nunez in LF. Worst case it causes you to lose one game.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          I suppose you could option Frankie to Scranton, use Jesus as a back-up C, and Jorge as an emergency C…


          • MannyGeee

            so you will have 2 defensively challenged backup catchers (one old and the other inexperienced) behind a guy who has a major injury history (and is on borrowed legs)?

            feels like a recipe for an october implosion

            • Ted Nelson

              A. You are overselling Martin’s injury history. Way overselling it. The guys averaged 150 games the 3 seasons before 2010. What major injury history are you referring to? The guy was injured once.

              B. There’s absolutely no difference between that and what we have now… Under that set of circumstances if Martin gets hurt guess who gets the call? Frankie.

        • zs190

          Why does anyone need to be cut? Montero and Cervelli both have options. When Chavez comes back, you can send Montero back down or if you find him to be actually adequate as a C, you can send Cervelli down instead.

          I think you are being very optimistic about Chavez’s comeback too. Preliminary estimate for comeback is 4-6 weeks. Chavez can’t even resume baseball activities for 2 weeks and then he needs to rehab and such. Plus it’s Eric Chavez, he’s as fragile as they come, you just can’t assume that he’ll be able to come back from injuries on a normal time table. It honestly wouldn’t shock me to see him out until ASB.

          • Ted Nelson

            I would prefer not to see Jesus jerked around. Bringing him up in May in a very high pressure situation and watching him fail not only increases the odds that he’ll ultimately fail, it also increases the odds that the Yankees trade him rashly. I have a lot of faith in Cashman, but he jumps off the bandwagon pretty quickly… Last season Melancon and McAllister were traded after struggling and Jesus was offered for Lee after struggling. I think Jesus is more likely to succeed if he’s brought up in a smaller role, and not as a starter. If he struggles as a starter it will not go unnoticed or unexcused… 50 bad PAs as the starting DH and he’s back on the bus to Scranton and/or the mobs (and SteinLevine) are calling for his head. As a back-up later this season getting ready to start next season he’s got more leeway.

            The Cervelli thing is an option. You’re still brining Jesus up into a high stakes situation, though, and you’re not exhausting the Jones and Jorge options. If you give them a larger sample and they continue to fail you can seriously consider disposing of them and upgrade the roster. If they succeed in a larger sample, you keep them. If you give them scarce PAs, you can’t be too sure what their production is because the sample size is too small.

            If the Dr.s say 4-6 weeks (and considering it’s only a broken bone in the foot), I’m not going to assume they actually mean 9 weeks (ASB).

            • Ted Nelson

              I’d like to see the Yankees commit to Jesus when they bring him up, basically, and not react if he struggles in a small sample. If they bring him up to be the starting DH, I think there’s more of a chance they react if he struggles. It’s not necessarily logical or definite… but it’s sort of like the Joba situation. If the Yankees jerk Jesus around in high pressure situations and he ultimately fails it’s a lot more frustrating than if they commit to “developing” him and he fails.

    • Jericho Spade

      I was going to address this, as well. The article is silent on what happens when Chavez is ready to come back. First, I give Jorge till the end of May. Then make the move if necessary, when hopefully Jesus has found his power stroke.

      Furthermore, Chavez contributes a lot more when healthy then Jorge does. The Yanks don’t need a pinch hitter that much and having Jorge in that role takes away the flexibility the bench had. The truth is, if Jorge can’t turn it around he should go the away of Griffey. It is not going to be a pretty situation either way.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      I hadn’t realized Chavez would be back that soon. That does change things. Here’s my idea, then…

      If June rolls around and Posada’s still struggling and Chavez isn’t ready: demote Peña, call up Montero, and roll with a Cervelli-Nuñez-Jones-Posada bench with Montero the everyday DH and second backup catcher, Cervelli the BUC, Nuñez the UI, Jones the 4th OF, and Posada the PH/backup DH.

      When Chavez returns, demote Cervy and make Montero the primary backup catcher. If Montero’s now taking 10-20% of the catching days, he can have 60-70% of the DH days and the rest go to Posada (or Chavez).

      • AMSkollar

        The issue here is in case of injury no catchers on the bench if your 2 are in the starting lineup 60-70% of the time.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Yeah, it’s not ideal, but Jorge could be an emergency backup.

        • Ted Nelson

          Jorge would be the emergency C on the bench. The number of times a C gets hurt mid-game or a game goes deep into extra innings is pretty marginal.

          • Chris

            Plus, if Montero is DH, he can just catch and you have the pitcher hit (or use a pinch hitter). It would only be one game, so it shouldn’t be that big a deal.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            That too.

            No matter which way you look at it, the roster will always contain at least three of the four men capable of being a catcher (Russell Martin, Jorge Posada, Frankie Cervelli, and Jesus Montero) and no more than two of them will be in the lineup at any given day (between C and DH). There will always be at least one person on the bench every day capable of catching amongst those four guys.

      • Kosmo

        If Jorge doesn´t snap out of it I imagine a Yankee press conference would be in order with Jorge telling everyone it´s time to hang em´ up.
        I just don´t see Posada riding the pine the rest of the season as some sort of Yankee gesture.

        • Kosmo

          that should read ´´Yankee goodwill gesture´´

      • Ted Nelson

        All I was really saying is that the Yankees don’t *have* to turn to Jesus immediately. Jones offers an option already on the roster. If they want to give Jesus his first shot I’m not going to complain. I just think they could also exhaust the Jones and Jorge options (in a platoon) before turning to Jesus. A. See what Jones and Jorge have to offer… can they contribute or do you need reinforcements? B. It’s not a huge concern for me, but I’d rather not Jesus start a roller-coaster ride between AAA and MLB… I’d rather he come up to stay when he comes up… which is more likely later in the summer in a smaller role or to start a season. You bring him up in the middle of May to be a fulltime starter on a contender, he doesn’t hit in maybe 50 PAs, and he’s on a bus back to Scranton. People wrote him off because he struggled in ST… imagine what the public backlash will be if his first 100 or so MLB PAs don’t go like Buster Posey’s. And imagine the increased pressure on Cashman from SteinLevine to trade him for a mediocre starting P if he struggles in his first taste of the bigs.

    • Gonzo

      But Jesus is a lock for the Hall of Fame!!!

    • Chris

      The reports said that Chavez would be in a boot for 2 weeks and then would need to get back to 100%. Based on his history of recovering from injuries, I would estimate that he’ll be ready to play again sometime in 2015.

  • guy

    I know this really doesn’t help with the basic problem — but, I can’t help but wonder if Jorge’s lack of production AT the plate is also the main reason he’s not BEHIND the plate. It seems like concussions really took their toll last year; and while there was quite a bit of news in Sept., 2010 about whether there was a “real” concussion or not — he clearly had concussion-like symptoms.
    There was a short piece in RAB about concussions in baseball; but, I submit we’re seeing one of the outcomes.

  • TogaSean

    Agreed, it’s time for Montero if Jorge doesn’t snap out of this during this 16 day stretch. Anything they get from his bat is much needed right now, and there’s still plenty of games to let him catch occasionally to get some defensive work too.

  • paul

    IMO- I would sit Jorge for a few days and let Long work with him. Kind of like last year with Granderson…Kick pride to the curb if that is what it is and ask for help…3 to 4 days of sitting and working on swing, watching video, etc.
    Then see what happens.

    But, I agree that Montero needs to be brought up. Good article.

  • Jensen

    Is it really worth it to stunt Montero’s defensive development just because he’s the best offensive alternative to Jorge? That seems like getting some short-term game at the cost of long-term development. Montero’s worth will go way down if all he is capable of doing is DHing, that’s the road he will be on if he’s called up to replace Posada.

    • Griffey’s Grotequely Swollen Jaw

      Montero’s bat is ready. there’s no question of that. and as has been said many times, who knows how much better, if at all, his defense is going to get. plus there’s a possibility that he could be helped by Tony Pena and Girardi. but I’m not the yankees so who knows what’s going to happen.

      • Jericho Spade

        Plus, wouldn’t his bat development be stunted by not moving forward. You can learn bad habits that way.

        • Mister Delaware

          Like how my little league coach told me to stop playing wiffle ball because my backyard had a fence in RF and it was fun to hit it over the fence but I was becoming way too pull happy. Still am.

          • RL

            And that, no doubt, killed your opportunities to play at the MLB level. :-)

      • RL

        there’s a possibility that he could be helped by Tony Pena and Girardi

        This. While he won’t be playing as much, he’ll have plenty of top-notch people around him to mentor and teach him the trade. He may develop better under their tutelage (or may have fully reached his potential already, in which case, none of this really matters).

    • Mister Delaware

      “Montero’s worth will go way down if all he is capable of doing is DHing …”

      Austin Romine’s worth will go way down if all he’s capable of is DHing. Montero is a still a super elite hitting prospect; most all of the prospect lists him in the top 3 do so knowing he’ll likely move off catcher. If he does stick behind the plate and reaches his offensive comps, he’s a HoFer. Its not like he suddenly becomes the next Jason Kubel if moved to DH/1B.

  • JPB

    I would bring up Montero, but I would probably first try catching Jorge once a week. I think it might help him if he were catching even once in a while. Also, production this abysmal has to have at least some slump component to it. He’s performing well below minor league level, and you don’t slip to that level with one year of aging. Or do you?

  • dalelama

    Why wouldn’t they cut Posada flat out and carry Montero and Chavez? Have a nice little going away party at the Stadium and offer him a front office job. It is not like the extra money carrying Montero is going to break them and Jorge is probably a negative to the team. I think it is called addition but subtraction.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Why wouldn’t they cut Posada flat out and carry Montero and Chavez?

      Because he’s Jorge Posada. And the 25th roster spot isn’t really worth disrespecting one of the greatest players in your team’s history.

      If Jorge decides he wants to retire midseason, the team won’t stand in his way. But we’re not pushing him out, not when we can just carry him in the final bench spot for the rest of the year (which we can).

    • MikeD

      Why are you cutting him? Were you cutting Jeter last week? Gardner a couple weeks back? If so, then you were wrong. It’s possible you’re wrong here, too. The Yankees are paying Posada $13 million this year, and they damn well are going go figure out if he’s slumping or his skills have eroded. If a player is cut the first time there’s a slump, it’s an immediate sunk cost, with no chance to determine if the man was simply in a slump.

      Chavez? He was hitting okay, yet he might have gone 2-20 and Yankee fans would be calling for his head. If Jorge can’t pick it up, his playing time gets reduced, and others start picking up ABs in his place. It doesn’t mean they take him out back and shoot him. He’s here for the year. The question is what’s his role.

      I’m all for Montero, but I’m willing to give Posada another month before sitting him.

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    I believe Jorge’s problem is not mechanical as it is emotional. He may indicate, “I’m OK with the role” but he’s really not adapting to the lack of activity with the team play. Yes, he’s proud and hitting slightly aove his wife’s weight is troublesome to him. He has caught up to some fastballs but is lost on the breaking pitch. It sounds like a guy who would be stuck in AAA if younger but that is not the case. I’d give him another 10/15 games end of this marathon of 16 in 16. If it hasn’t turned around then reduce his role with Jesus but Jesus needs 4/5 games a week.

    Also, Jeter and Mariano are watching over the shoulders of this transition. And there buddy needs to be treaty properly. I’m not sure that he’s done but time for a decision is coming.

    • LarryM.,Fl.

      Maybe his dad is not watching the games and calling him in the dugout. That was bad, sorry

  • JDS

    First things first, you can’t just keep throwing him out there like Girardi has been doing. The vote of confidence is a nice gesture, but at some point you have to ask yourself whether you’re doing it because you think he’s really going to turn it around, or whether it’s just pure sentimentality for what he did in the past.

    It’s time to give him a week or so off to work with Kevin Long on his swing. Then bring him back and see if he can make it work.

    If he can’t turn it around by the all-star break, it may be time to have the conversation with him where you give him the “choice” between bowing out voluntarily or getting released. Sad but true. He can’t play any position with any proficiency, and he can’t catch. If he can’t hit either, then he’s just keeping somebody who might be able to help the team off the 40-man roster.

  • Price73

    Posada has been great for the yankees for years show him some respect let him have some more time before we write him off

  • Rookie

    Whatever the Yankees do with Posada, it should be good practice for what they’ll have to do with Jeter around age 39 and ARod around age 40, 41, and 42. They should be great at dealing with that issue by then. After all, like they say, practice makes perfect. :)

  • Gonzo

    I read through the whole thread. Nobody mentioned his .134 BABIP. Just curious, does everyone think his physical decline will keep his BABIP that low throughout the season?

    Serious question.

    • RL

      BABIP not only has to do with lick, but also with how well you’re hitting the ball. He’s not hitting it well. He doesn’t have the speed to leg out infield hits. While there may be some regreassion, if he doesn’t hit the ball better, his BABIP will not improve much.

      • RL

        luck, not lick.

        • Mister Delaware

          Bexarama : Pettitte :: RL : Posada

          • RL

            I laughed.

      • Gonzo

        I’ll point you to what I said below. He’s hitting .024 over his LD%. That’s ridiculously low. Not saying he’s going to be a .300 babip guy, but I think it’s artificially low.

        • Mister Delaware

          Right, its basically somewhere in between now and good Jorge. So luck neutral, he wouldn’t be good, but we’d likely tolerate it.

    • Mister Delaware

      Probably both. His BABIP is ridiculously low, but his line drive rate has plummeted as well …

      2009: 21.3%
      2010: 18.5%
      2011: 11.0%

      2009: .328
      2010: .287
      2011: .134

      • Gonzo

        I thought I read something somewhere that, historically, line drive rates can jump around and do funny things.

        Even so, BABIP should usually be .120 over LD%. Over and you’re getting lucky, and under you are getting unlucky.

        .024 over his LD% is ridiculously low. No leeway for Jorge?

      • Gonzo

        I just saw that Pujols has a LD% of 13.5% so far this year.

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    People have told Posada that he’s too old and too slow to play in the Majors. Posada continues to prove them wrong.


  • Bpdelia

    Wow. I almost always agree with ted nelson but not this time.
    A) there is no period that jerking around, or early failure lead to ultimate failure. Hell ted you know that both mantle and mays and arod struggled badly at first. If early struggles ruin a guy it wasnt gonna happen

    B) cervelli goes down, or you finality become the team that drops the extraneous useless last pitcher. That position is what options are for. Personally I send down cervelli and pendleton and bring up montero and gokson or maxwell.

    C) now I have martin and montero and posada. my bench is
    Posada 1b, c dh, S
    Jones of, r
    chavez 3b, 1b l
    Nunez if,of s

    D) I can now slowly work in montero, I csn let jorge go out catching once or twice a month, my bench is powerful and flexible and I ccan safely pinch hiy for anyone without worrying.

    its the no brainer here. Ted I respect your opinion and comments as much as any ome in here but I think you r just being contrary here.

    And. With the age if our stats montero should only be dealt for a star. A dh has value and a dh,c has value. Vic martinez had been a pretty good player right? David ortiz was a useful player no??

    • Ted Nelson

      I’m not saying don’t bring up Montero if that’s what they think is the best move. I’m saying that it’s not the only move they have available. Andruw Jones is a damn good right handed hitter right on their roster who is getting very sparring PAs in the OF right now. Jorge is hitting a lot better from the left-side than right… Still poorly, but not hopelessly so.

      A) Mantle had an OPS+ of 116 at 19 years old and 161 at 20… when did he struggle? Mays had a 120 OPS+ at 20 years old. A-Rod was 18 when he struggled… by 20 he had an OPS+ of 160. Those guys are ridiculously amazing HOF players. I agree that players can struggle early and come through, not usually once a generation players like that though. I’d just rather not see another Joba situation where everyone bitches about how the Yankees “screwed up” on Jesus. If he fails, I’d rather see it in a nice slow progression where he gets a fair chance. Not a one month try-out while Chavez is hurt. Again, as much as I think it’s better for him to do it that way, I more so think it’s better for me not to deal with morons correlating causation…

      I’m not saying this as a psyche argument, though. I said:
      1. the Yankees have proven options on their roster, namely Andruw Jones. When you consider that Jorge’s struggles are largely on the right side… platooning him for a while might make sense. Burn those options before going down the line… if they work out you still have Jesus, and if they don’t you know you need to upgrade by the deadline (which might be an internal upgrade like Jesus or Maxwell… just an upgrade). 33 PAs is not enough to decide Jones forgot how to hit along with Jorge. That he hits .333 in AAA with no power and no patience doesn’t mean Jesus is better than Jones or Jorge from the left or Chavez going forward… if Vazquez or Maxwell had his line people would point to the lack of patience, power, and 24% k-rate as sure signs he’d never make it in the bigs. Since he’s the golden child people are sure he’s ready. Including people who never watch him play.
      2. If he struggles he might be traded. Cashman has a strategy of giving up on prospects who struggle. I think there’s some solid reasoning behind it… but sometimes it backfires. Did with Melancon, and could have had they traded Jesus for Lee and Lee left anyway. Combine Cashman having done this before with SteinLevine’s antics… and… certainly worth factoring into the equation.

      B) Pendleton has been doing well… I’m not sure that pitcher is extraneous or useless… at least any more so than another bench player.

      C) And none of those guys are getting any PAs… it’s an option. I would just give Jones some PAs to see what they have in him in 2011, and give Jorge a bit more rope to see if he hangs himself.

      “its the no brainer here.”

      I don’t think it is. I think there’s as much logical support for giving Jones some PAs and bringing up Jesus whenever it was the Yankees originally thought he was ready, as for rushing Jesus.

      “I think you r just being contrary here.”

      If they want to bring up Jesus because they think he’s ready and that’s what they want to do… ok. I’m fine with that. If they’re making the decision despite not wanting to bring up Jesus yet based on an imagined need that doesn’t exist because they don’t want to give Jones some PAs or because fans want it to happen… I think that’s the wrong move.

      “With the age if our stats montero should only be dealt for a star.”

      Hmm? I’m not dealing him…

      “a dh,c has value. Vic martinez had been a pretty good player right?”

      Victor Martinez had never been a DH for more than 7 games in a season prior to this one… but, yeah I think a DH has value. Don’t remember saying otherwise.

      • Ted Nelson

        Basically… a big part of my problem is the assumption that Jesus is ready. His OPS in AAA is .764. Last season in AAA it was .870. What do people realistically expect in the bigs? Certainly he has the kind of talent where he might respond to the challenge (or he might just get lucky and go on a tear). If you’re going to dock 100 OPS points or so for the AAA to MLB jump, though, we’re talking about a poor-to-average MLB hitter. Just last season Jones had a .827 OPS in the bigs. As much as he’s stuggling, Jorge is at .716 OPS from the left side this season… Jorge has a .716 OPS in the bigs from the left and people are so sure a 21 year old guy with a .764 OPS in AAA is an upgrade? Maybe, but maybe not. I don’t think it’s a no-brainer. At C Jesus’ bat has a lot of value almost definitely almost immediately (could always pull a Weiter of course… but even Weiters is the #5 C in MLB so far this season), but at DH it’s more a wait and see thing… probably eventually, but far from definitely right away.

  • Bpdelia

    Wow. Using swype and posting from my phone is bad. Swype corrected my spelling with erong words everywhere. But yall get what im saying.

    You could have worse problems than a bench of posada, chavez, nunez, jones.

    And before chavez comes back I dump pens and pendleton and go golson mintero.

    Let posada catch once in awhile so he is ready.

    Having 2 backup catchers,dh types greatly increases flexability and would allow.giardi to pinch hit (or more likely pinch run) more often and with no risk

  • J. Scott

    Not sure what the hurry is about promoting Montero with his sub-mediocre defense and .764 OPS. It’s not like he’s tearing up AAA. If you absolutely have to have immediate offensive help then why not Vasquez? He more directly fills Chavez’ roles [ DH, 3rd and 1st ]; he’s out-OPSed Montero this year, last year, and the year before when they were both in Trenton. Personally, I’d just stick with Posada, but if there HAS to be a short-term replacement I’d go with Vasquez and continue to let Montero learn how to catch at Scanton.

  • J. Scott

    I should know better by now not to trust my memory for stuff like this. Checking I see that Montero had the higher OPS last year at Scranton, though not by a lot. Anyway, my main point stands in that Vazquez is the better SHORT-TERM solution, if in fact this situation requires a solution, which I don’t think it does.

  • Monteroisdinero

    13M reasons why Jorge gets another month and finishes out the season on the roster despite all his sucky decrepitude.

    Monteromaybedinero but not yet.

    Royals have 7 rookies at YS I believe they said last night. Yanks don’t “do” rookies as easily.

  • BG90027

    I’m all in favor of giving Jorge 3-4 games off to work with K. Long. I’d also be in favor of giving Jorge a couple of starts behind the plate on Martin days off to see if it helped get him mentally out of the funk. He’s not a great defender anymore but part of the reason to DH him was to try to keep him healthy and presumably a more productive hitter and clearly that isn’t working out.

    I know there is a limit to the ability to keep sending him out there with these results, but the problem I see is that once you delegate him to the bench he stands a much lesser chance of breaking out of it and being able to add any value. Cutting him would certainly be harsh but is it really less harsh to banish him to the bench and not use him. How much do you really think they’d use him as a backup 1B or a lefty pinch hitter? Tex doesn’t need many days off and who are you going to pinch hit Jorge for other than Pena or Cervelli? Also, if you bring Montero up before Chavez is back, I’d send down Cervelli rather than Pena. I think Montero needs to still get some reps behind the plate and you might use Posada back there too to get some value out of him.

  • Bob G

    Excuse me, you guys are off the mark. The guy who is tearing up the international league is Jorge Vasquez. He plays first and third, neither one well. But he can HIT. He would be a great DH. He is not on the 40 man roster but that could easily be accomplished by releasing this terrible relief pitcher they put on the 40 man roster when they released Russo. The guy was the most valuable player in the winter league world series, our best hitter in spring training and is tearing up the international league. He can HIT. Let Montero stay and catch in triple A and give this guy a chance to hit.

    • LockDown

      I agree that Vasquez is the one who should have gotten Russo’s spot. His bat is MLB ready & he would fit the DH spot (backing up at 1B/3B).

      Here’s one way they could bring in Vasquez. Nunez needs to play everyday to hone his defensive skills. Send him down for a bit, leave Pena as the defensive infield backup. Bring up Vasquez to take Nunez place. Now you can give Posada days off here & then by using Vasquez as the DH.

      However, this could lead to another problem. What IF Posada continues to suck & Vasquez rakes?