Jul
21

Should the Yankees look to add offense?

By

Believe it or not, the Yankees might not be aggressively seeking pitching in the next two weeks. We’ll see them connected with any starting pitcher that becomes available, and we’ll continue to find potential fits for the rotation, but the pitching situation isn’t quite as dire as we might have imagined when the season began. Both Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon continue to exceed expectations, A.J. Burnett isn’t going anywhere, and Phil Hughes showed signs of life in his last start. Beyond that, the Yankees have depth with Ivan Nova at AAA. Where, then, would a new pitching acquisition fit?

The perceived surplus shouldn’t stop the Yankees from hunting for a rotation upgrade. As we saw last year after the Cliff Lee trade fell through, the rotation’s identity can change dramatically between July and August. But with a lack of available options who represent true upgrades, there just might not be a move to make. Does this mean that the Yankees will stand pat at the deadline? Probably not. There are always upgrades they can make, even when it comes from an area of perceived strength.

Make no mistake: the Yankees offense is top-notch. They’re second in the AL in runs scored, and are .8 runs per game better than league average. But there are areas where they can upgrade. Three of their nine starters are below average with the bat, and for the next few weeks they’ll be without their second best offensive contributor this season. It does raise an interesting question: is upgrading the offense a worthy endeavor?

The Yankees could stand to upgrade at three positions: catcher, DH, and shortstop. Clearly they won’t make a move at short; if they won’t even move Derek Jeter down in the order, there’s no chance they’re replacing him. Not that they’d really have an opportunity to do so. The players who have hit better than him are either not available or not worth a trade. The Yanks are stuck there, but again, it’s not the worst position to be in, considering the realistic alternatives.

At DH they face a similar situation, though they could more easily replace Jorge Posada. He’s already been relegated to duty only against right-handed pitchers, but even with that he’s struggled lately. He had an excellent two-month run, hitting .303/.380/.447 in May and June, quelling the calls for his removal from the lineup. Yet he’s tanked again in May, which again raises the question of what he can produce going forward. There might be political ramifications of further reducing his playing time, but it’s less of an issue due to Jorge’s contract situation.

At catcher the Yanks have a conundrum. The pitching staff reportedly loves Russell Martin behind there, which makes it difficult for him to replace. Yet his performance has declined markedly: .185/.296/.275 since his two-homer game against Baltimore on April 23rd. That’s 233 PA of replacement level production. There’s little chance they’d remove Martin as starter, because of his rapport with the staff. But that doesn’t mean they have to continue starting him four out of every five days.

To the outside observer, there is a clear opportunity here to bring up the team’s top prospect, Jesus Montero. He could not only take over DH duties for Jorge, but he could also jump behind the plate and reduce Martin’s playing time to three out of every four days, rather than four out of five. The Yankees, however, have not displayed a willingness to consider Montero as an option this year. We can disagree all we want, but it appears to be the same situation as with Jeter in the leadoff spot: we can whine and complain, but that doesn’t change the reality of the situation. The Yankees might upgrade their offense, but I’m fairly certain it won’t be with Montero.

There isn’t any player on the market, or even remotely available, who could help with the catching situation. If the Yankees don’t use Montero, they’re stuck in that regard. That leaves DH as the only realistic spot where they can upgrade. It would be easier, and more cost-effective, for them to just stick with Posada and hope that his current slump ends the same way as his first one did. But that might not be in the cards. It’s hard to say what Jorge will do at this age — he turns 40, remember, next month. If the Yankees can upgrade anywhere, it’s here.

The problem, of course, is that an upgrade isn’t free. Teams don’t just give away players, and while we’ve seen such actions in the past, there don’t seem to be many teams that absolutely need to shed payroll right now. Those that do — and it appears to be just the Astros at this point — don’t have anything to offer the Yankees. That makes it more difficult to find an upgrade. At this point, given the team’s resources, its options on the market, and its needs, I can’t see any better move than bringing up Montero. Failing that, I’m not sure anyone — whether Carlos Beltran, Jason Kubel, or Josh Willingham — will be both worth the cost and represent a significant upgrade.

The Yankees stand to improve their 2011 team, and in the next few weeks I expect to see them connected to many players. On offense, though, the wise move is to wait things out. There are a few areas of weakness, but the market doesn’t bear completely logical fits. The Mets want a top prospect for Carlos Beltran, and none of the other options provide an instant, noticeable upgrade. Considering the what’s out there and what they have, Montero appears to be the only logical upgrade.

Categories : Trade Deadline
  • Mike HC

    The Yanks can upgrade the offense simply by setting the lineup more intelligently.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      The difference may be negligible but in this division any way you can grind out a win is a must.

      • Mike HC

        It is not negligible to give better hitters more at bats, and inferior hitters less at bats.

        • JobaWockeeZ

          Over the course of an entire season it’ll give you 10 or 20 runs at the most. Which is 1-2 wins.

          • Thomas Cassidy

            In a division like this, one or two wins is all the difference you need to win the East.

            • CP

              But through the end of the season, that would be like 0.4 – 1 win. Luck will play a far bigger role than lineup.

              • Thomas Cassidy

                Not if they set the lineup the way it needs to be set.

                • Tim

                  Yes if they set the lineup the way it needs to be set. Or not. It doesn’t matter how they set the lineup – the chances of it making a difference between making the playoffs and not making the playoffs are virtually nil.

                  Can you people please get this through your thick heads? Derek Jeter is NOT getting dropped in the lineup. And it will NOT have any bearing on the Yankees’ ability to make the playoffs. All this hang-wringing about who hits where has really gotten tiring.

                  The baseball season is an EXTREMELY long one. If the Yankees did by some stroke of incredibly bad luck miss the playoffs by a game, would you point to Jeter hitting leadoff for the season as the primary reason? Or how about the game where they led 4-0 in the 8th to Minnesota and lost? Or Granderson losing a ball in the roof of the Trop the other day? Or Colon’s inability to field back-to-back dribblers in Toronto last week? When the season is over, there will be countless examples of games that slipped away, and yet some knuckleheads would still point to the wrong guy hitting leadoff as the “real” reason why they missed out by a game.

                  I’m no Jeter apologist. The guy looks done to me, and anyone who watches a Yankee game with me knows how much I beat him up. But can we please put this stupid, pointless debate to bed.

                  Say it with me, folks – ONE: Jeter is a Yankee legend who Girardi will not drop in the lineup, and TWO: it wouldn’t make any significant difference if he did, anyway.

                  • Jetrer

                    But losing a win due to stubborn lineup decisions is easily correctable. Of course there will be other games through the season that they should win and don’t, but using that as an excuse to potentially give a way a win for no justifiable reason is ridiculous. That said, I agree he won’t be moved down this year no matter what, so no sense arguing about it.

                  • Hugh

                    The batting order is susceptible to change in a way that a good CF losing a ball in the roof or a fat pitcher with a bad hammy not reaching a couple of dribblers (after his 3B has butchered the inning ending gb) is not.

                    It’s not thick-headed to raise it, at any point in the season. Doesn’t anyone remember that Jeter was never a good leadoff guy? Even at his peak, he was much better at 2.

                    Fighting the urge to write many, many, many more paragraphs about Captaincy, leadership, taking one for team but nurse is here now.

                  • 7commerce

                    Clearly you either haven’t managed or didn’t understand the importance of the batting order. I loved to play guys who didn’t get it.

            • JobaWockeeZ

              I don’t disagree but at this point it’s not a huge deal.

              • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

                What about in the playoffs where every single at-bat and everything in general is greatly magnified? Is it your position that the Yankees should not go with the optimal lineup in the playoffs?

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

                  It’s still just one extra plate appearance per game. At most, you’re talking about 19 extra PAs if every series goes a full seven games; 19 plate appearances out of a few hundred.

                  Whatevs.

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

                    Sorry: “At most, you’re talking about 19 extra PAs if every series goes a full seven (or five) games;”

          • Mike HC

            ok. So, if that estimate is correct, how much is 1-2 wins worth over the course of a season for the Yanks. With how much they spend in payroll, probably like over 2 million dollars per win.

            • Ted Nelson

              My guess is that the marketability of Jeter as a lead-off hitter (which includes the perception that he’s a star/leader, as well as him accumulating hits faster to move up the list further with more PAs) vs. as a #9 hitter outweighs the 5 runs the offense might score with Gardner #1 instead of #9. Especially since Jeter has apparently hit really well this season when leading off innings. I can understand why it irks fans… but I sort of doubt it’s even Girardi’s call.

        • Ted Nelson

          Every estimate I’ve seen has it being pretty negligible… and whether you believe this is luck or skill, Jeter’s stats leading off an inning are actually really impressive I believe. After that first inning him and Gardner are basically double-leadoff whoever is 9 and whoever is 1. I understand that over a season the PAs add up, but I think it might be more negligible that you imply.

          Not to mention that the last 3 years the difference between the 2nd place WC team in the AL East and the 3rd place team has been: 6 games, 11 games, 6 games… so I’m not sure one win is as important as people indicate either.

          I would imagine that the good-will of Jeter fans far outweighs the marginal increase in playoff odds for the Yankees. Perhaps not more than winning the WS… but again that might be a marginal change in odds really.

        • GenoS

          I totally agree. Jorge has been horrible recently. He is taking far too many hitable pitches, thus putting him in bad counts and swinging at the pitcher’s pitches and hitting either weak grounders, popups, or striking out. With A-rod out, whoever is in that DH role has to pick up some of the slack. I give Joe some credit for giving guys days off in the field and DHing them and keeping Nunez in the lineup ( I think this kid has a great career ahead of him). Stay tuned…

  • Cuso

    Whoa. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I sink or swin with martin in the lineup.

    Last night’s game with the Yanks running wild on Tampa, and Tampa’s inability to run wild on us speaks volumes IMO.

    If it’s a situation where Martin is our 9 hitter – fine. I can live with that. Gardy has to be at the top, anyways. But if there’s a spot I would have to accept lighter offense from, I’ll take Martin.

    • Mister Delaware

      I’m with you, even if part of me knows its illogical. Its just so much easier to watch a game with him behind the plate doing fancy stuff like “blocking spiked breaking pitches” and “not jabbing at borderline strikes”.

    • Hugh

      I’ll take Martin too. With Montero as DH and back-up. Let’s see what he’s got or, if he really hasn’t got it, trade him now before it’s COMPLETELY obvious to everyone else in the league that he’s got no value as a C.

      • Jetrer

        “before it’s COMPLETELY obvious to everyone else in the league that he’s got no value as a C.”
        I think that ship has sailed. Doesn’t seem like anyone outside the Yankees ( and maybe including the Yankees) think he is MLB quality catcher. His value is his bat.

        • Hugh

          That may be so, but not all the messages coming out suggest he’s a TOTAL butcher (as someone has stated below). And if he’s not, and he really is a near-premium bat, then he’s still got vastly more value as a C than any other position he could conceivably play, unless I’ve missed something and he projects as a workable SS too.

          But if they leave him in AAA a lot longer, I reckon his trade value has to fall. Which is fine if they’re just playing the patience game and letting Jorge go out with pride intact (which would go against the win-now-at-all-costs Stenbrenner family motto) in the knowledge he’s there for next year, but more of an issue if they really don’t intend to bring him up ever.

          I’d take ten more years of Jorge in his prime, wouldn’t you? If he’s even worse than Jorge behind the plate then he IS a butcher and we should trade now.

    • Incitatus

      Agree completely re: Martin. I think a RAB post recently lamented that Cervelli might be turning into CC’s personal catcher. The only reason Cervelli always catches CC is that ANYONE can catch CC and look good. Martin has to get a day off sometimes and the other pitchers in the lineup – especially AJ and Garcia, but also Hughes and (previously) Nova – rely heavily on Martin to block the many balls they throw in the dirt. I really think part of AJ’s awfulness last year was Posada’s inability to block those short curveballs, which led to AJ not throwing it as much with runners on.

      I know Martin’s offense has been pretty lousy but I think he is HUGE for our pitching staff, and I would hate to see what Montero, by all accounts a butcher behind the plate, would do with those short breaking balls from Garcia. If we’re going to bring up Montero let’s make him a DH, please. And if we have to wait until next year to do that so we don’t piss off the legendary Posada, well, I can probably live with that.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    Yeah complaining won’t solve anything but this problem has a good chance of fixing itself internally with Montero. He can’t be worse than Jorge against lefties at the very least.

    • Jetrer

      Except Jorge doesn’t usually play against lefties. Against lefties, the question would be if Montero is a better option than Jones as DH.

    • Kevin M.

      I think it’s becoming more and more apparent that despite what the Yankees say externally, internally they don’t trust Montero as a catcher. Newman basically admitted that Girardi doesn’t think Montero is good enought to catch and that’s why he hasn’t been called up.

      • Hugh

        One more reason for Newman to keep his mouth closed for evermore.

        As if one more was needed.

      • CP

        Link?

  • Jack Merridew

    They should and will continue to start Martin 4 out of 5 days. Any call to remove him is lunacy, there’s nobody better.

    • Crime Dog

      Uh…

      Sincerely,
      Brian McCann, Carlos Santana, Non-injured Buster Posey, Joe Mauer, and a few other guys I can’t think of

      • Tim

        There’s no realistic alternative option that is better, internally or externally.

        • Crime Dog

          Okay whether you agree with that or not is one thing but to claim that there’s no one better than Martin is pretty absurd

          • gc

            I think he meant there’s no one better currently on the Yankees, in their minor league system, or available on the cheap from other teams who would be better than Martin behind the plate.

            • Crime Dog

              Well then that’s fine, it just seemed like he meant nobody in the MLB is better

              • radnom

                Context.

      • Doug Glanville

        Wilson Ramos.

      • Jack Merridew

        If we can trade for one of those guys let’s do it, but we can’t so there’s nobody better. Who do you want to play more, Cervelli?

        • Crime Dog

          Misread your post as saying there weren’t any catchers better in the league. Sorry bout that bud.

          But to answer your question, I’m with the people that say bring up Montero and have him catch 1-2 days a week and DH a couple times as well.

    • Brian S.

      Russel Martin has an OPS of .571 since April 23rd. He is really really bad.

  • Mattchu12

    If the offense really needs to be improved upon, the only reason that Jesus Montero shouldn’t be in the lineup is if he’s packaged in a deal to bring in Ubaldo Jimenez (hopefully packaged with Huston Street instead of Ty Wigginton, had to add that, haha).

    Montero could back-up Russell Martin, two games a week or so behind the plate, while getting three to four games a week at DH with Jorge Posada as the DH when Montero is catching or has his day off. He needs to come up to the Majors, and with Posada slumping, there’s no better time.

  • Paulie21

    There’s certainly risk wtih him staying healthy, but getting Chavez back should help a bit on the offensive side. (would also reduce the number of starts for Nunez at 3rd, which is a mixed blessing in my mind)

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    Shake things up….put Martin at DH and have Jorge start catching again……..wait, what?

  • Bronx Byte

    Sorry but Jorge won’r suddenly go on a tear with the bat and Andruw Jones is not the answer. Need another bat. No guarantees that Chavez won’t come up lame again.

  • UYF1950

    Chavez, certainly will help when he gets back. But I’m curious why can’t when the situation calls for it (again when Chavez returns) Chavez, Nunez and Posada split/share DH’ing responsibilities. While it’s true in the short term either Chavez or Numez will be in the field the other can split duties with Posada. Then when A-Rod returns approximately the middle of August all there along with dare I say Jones can share DH’ing responsibilities. Just a thought.

  • Thomas Cassidy

    Tex and Betances to St. Louis for Pujols straight up.

    • CS Yankee

      I think your about four player too light, but if st Louis feels that Albert is serious about a 300M$ deal they should trade him before he becomes a Cub.

      • Thomas Cassidy

        No, the Cards would take that if they knew for a fact Poo-holes is gone.

        I can see Cubs, but I’m gonna go with Rangers.

  • CS Yankee

    Beltran for Brackman & Kei, whereas…

    Swish to DH, Beltran to RF

    • Thomas Cassidy

      Hell no. Not Igawa. If they ask for him I’d hang up.

      Cervelli, too.

  • http://none Favrest

    I like Kubel. It feels like he’s always beating up on Boston. In particular, a homer off Papelbon sticks in my mind.

    • whozat

      This is a terrible reason to make a decision.

      • Mister Delaware

        And he’s some BABIP correction away from being very mediocre.

    • Jetrer

      And AJ dominated the Red Sox before he came to the Yankees…

  • Carmine T

    Hunter Pence could be a nice fit for years to come! Gardner Grandy and Pence would be the fatest outfield in baseball.

    • Greg

      Earlier when Swisher was struggling, I suggested to look into Hunter Pence.

      • whozat

        He’s a total trade-high guy, though. His career year is fueled by out-of-the-norm success on balls put in play. Is there anything to suggest that he’s established a new true-talent-level, and not just having a kinda lucky few months?

        • Greg

          Even though, he is a career .291/.339/.481 guy

          • Mister Delaware

            He’s still more valuable to other teams than he is to the Yankees. The marginal improvement over Swisher doesn’t justify what should be a pretty massive price tag.

            • Jetrer

              In that scenario, he would be replacing Posada in the lineup, not Swisher. Pence could improve the OF and Swish would be a big improvement over Posada at DH. Not happening though…

              • Mister Delaware

                Going back to last year, Swisher has played an equal or better RF than Pence*. The cost of acquiring Pence rather than just acquiring a much cheaper rental bat to replace Posada is still very not worth it.

                * And looks far cooler doing so, even on the bad plays.

                • Jetrer

                  I agree. I wouldn’t make the trade, Pence would cost too much. Just saying you can’t just compare him head to head with Swish, Posada factors into the equation.

        • Greg

          You can argue that his career has been fueled by BAbip.

          Average BAbip is .327

          He’s played in 5 seasons.

          BAbip: .377, .301, .308, .304, and .378.

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

      Pence doesn’t have big HR power in a park that really favors righties. He’s a gap hitter, and the left-center gap at YS is a chasm still.

  • Gonzo

    I know there’s no chance, but I am curious what would Billy Butler cost right now? Could the Royals sell Kila as a replacement to the fans?

    It’s just my Yankee greed.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      They don’t have any trust in Kila for their long term plans. They already shoved him aside for Hosmer.

  • David, Jr.

    If they are going to add somebody, I would like to see it be somebody that can actually play baseball, instead of being some aging cow that can still hit a little, meaning run the bases effectively and play positions. Our team has guys that would greatly benefit from days off, so a guy that can play multiple positions serviceably in addition to being a DH upgrade would be just what they need.

    I got shot down before for this one, can’t remember why, maybe cost, but the perfect guy for this is Michael Cuddyer. He is a free agent at the end of the year, and the Twins are sitting there with 8 years at $23M a year for Mauer, plus they will need to sign Morneau. They are marginally in contention, although maybe not with three teams ahead of them and no chance at the wildcard.

    • Greg

      Twins though still feel that they have a chance and might not trade him.

      • David, Jr.

        Could be. They are kind of on the line. It is a terrible division.

    • King George

      Minnesota has already said about fiftyleven times that Cuddyer will not be traded and that they’re active buyers at the deadline now that they’ve closed the gap to 5 games.

      • David, Jr.

        Minnesota has said that they are active buyers?

        Send one of those fifty seven links that you are talking about. I haven’t seen a word of that.

        • David, Jr.

          Can’t find anything that says that Minnesota would be buyers, except one that said that they could look for a middle reliever.

          Another similar example – Josh Willingham of Oakland.

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

      You can’t say you want a player who plays defense in one breath and then say Cuddyer in the next. He is horrible at every position he plays.

      • David, Jr.

        I thought about average. Is he that bad?

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

          No. He is bad in the OF and bad at 3B, worse by far at 2B.

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

          http://www.fangraphs.com/stats.....ngadvanced

          Everywhere he has more than 50 innings, putridly negative.

          • David, Jr.

            You are right. Versatile, but awful no matter where he is. I was looking for the combination of a DH upgrade who could also do better than for example what Nuney is doing now for ARod.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    Melky for Melky.

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

      My mind: BLOWN.

  • Granderslam

    Any chance of DH’ing Swish and going after Pence, Beltran?

    • JobaWockeeZ

      The Yanks said they have no interest in Beltran.

      • Brooklyn Ed

        That’s just Cashman’s ninja talk.

        /scarasm

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

      Sure, there’s a chance.

      You probably won’t like the cost for either Beltran or Pence, though.

      • Brooklyn Ed

        I always thought Pence looks like Roger Maris. Wears #9, and play right field too. Maybe Maris is his idol? but that’s just my opinon.

  • JamesNeuf

    I think it’s time to bring back the (real) stache.

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

      I’m intrigued. He’s having a hell of a dead-cat-bounce.

      I wonder what Colorado would want from him, though; they’re not broke, they can afford to pay his modest salary. They’ll probably want a decent prospect for him, which lowers my interest.

      • Crime Dog

        Eh, I just can’t see it happening.

        His season looks great based on SSS (I’m assuming, can’t really check his stats at the moment) and his 3 HR game against the mets

    • Crime Dog

      I remember hearing how Giambi loved Colorado (can you blame him?) and that he could do the pinch hitting gig there till he was 50. I can’t see them trading him

      • JamesNeuf

        Yeah, it was more of a pipe dream than anything.

  • steve s

    Saying the Yankees offense is “top-notch” is really not accurate without Arod for the next 40 games or so (also the Yanks are now third (not second) in AL runs scored having now fallen behind Texas as well as the Red Sox after leading the AL for most of the season). The relevant question regarding the need to upgrade the lineup is can the Yanks at least maintain their 5.1 run a game in Arod’s absence (so far in the 9 games Arod has missed the Yanks are only averaging 4 runs even per game). I think the answer is pretty clear; the Yanks without Arod need to add a significant bat by the trading deadline.

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

      They are still second in runs per game. Texas has simply played more games than they have.

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

        And who’s first/second/third at any given moment doesn’t matter. All that matters is who is “good”, who is “average”, and who is “bad”.

        The Yankees have a good offense. They’ve had one all year long. Probably will continue to be good all year as well.

        • steve s

          I agree but doesn’t a drop of a run a game without Arod raise a bit of a flag to you (in this case a 9 game sample is really not that small of a sample considering it represents approximately 20% of the games Arod will be missing). Yanks won’t be much over .500 over th enext 40 games if they continue to score 4 runs a game during Arod’s absence. Are Yanks willing to risk what we all think now is at least a lock playoff spot by staying pat offensively?

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

            Yanks won’t be much over .500 over th enext 40 games if they continue to score 4 runs a game during Arod’s absence.

            That’s a gigantic conclusion to jump to, and it’s most assuredly false. ARod was nicked up earlier this year and played like shit for a 40+ day stretch, and the Yankees did not immediately become a .500 team. The Yankees have enough great players to sustain ARod being on the shelf for 4-6 weeks without going in the tank and falling out of the playoff race.

            Not having ARod sucks, but you’re being needlessly alarmist.

            Are Yanks willing to risk what we all think now is at least a lock playoff spot by staying pat offensively?

            Probably, yeah, because even if we go .500 during ARod’s absence (which we probably won’t), it’ll only change a lock playoff spot into a probable playoff spot.

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

            But this brings us back to the question asked above: where can they upgrade? There’s no room for a significant bat, unless they’re going to jettison Jorge. And don’t say 3B, because 3B is the worst-hitting position in the majors right now. Nunez’s OPS, believe it or not, is average for a 3B. So they’d have to trade for someone better than average to get an upgrade, who is by definition a starter. A starter to fill in for 3-4 more weeks? Not worth it, IMO.

          • http://twitter.com/waybj Brandon W

            The Yankees have also been facing some pretty good pitching lately. They will score more than 4 runs without Alex, he isn’t worth a run and a half a game over the next guy (on offense, maybe if you count Nunez’ defense though..) all by himself, even in top MVP form.

            They’re a playoff team, I’m more worried with being set up for postseason success (meaning, either get a bat or start getting Montero big league experience now, and maybe some pitching). Obviously, things could go disastrously wrong and that would change, but as of right now that’s where I think they’re at.

          • Ted Nelson

            I would still say that 9 games is a small sample. SSS is about variability. You can’t use SSS results to predict what the true, in this case, offensive output is over a larger period. One 9 game stretch you score 4 r/g, the next 9 you score 6 r/g… it’s evened out to 5. If instead of 6 you score 2 r/g the next 9, though… suddenly it’s actually only 3. The the next 9, and the next…

            • steve s

              Well the next 9 game stretch is not likely to start out well; Grandy is out and Shields is pitching!

      • steve s

        Agreed (was just responding to the way it was originally phrased above).

    • Evan3457

      And A-Rod’s already been out for 10 days, only about another 25 days to go (average estimate of 4-6 weeks out of the lineup). 25 days is 24 games to go, not 40.

      You don’t trade multiple major prospects for a 3 1/2 week fill-in.

      • steve s

        If Arod is back in the line-up by Aug 14 I agree with you and would be happily surprised. I think that is a most optimistic estimate. I think those estimates usually mean “can resume baseball activity”. Need to add some days including some rehab games to the calculation which I think will push this back closer to the last week in Aug and closer to 40 more games missed.

  • MRoberts

    For the love of g-d, why not HUNTER PENCE???!!! The Stros seem motivated to move him and he’s only 28 and under team control at reasonable rates till ’13. Out him in right, slot Swisher into DH and bat him 6 or 7. He’s the big right handed bat we need to compliment A-Rod especially now that Martin isn;t hitting his weight. The price in prospects will be steep but probably not as steep as for a premium pitcher. The lineup is simply sub-average after the 6 hole. Just look at Boston by comparison.

    • Jetrer

      Boston also is sub average at 3 spots ( not counting Reddick’s SSS yet) RF,LF,SS

      • Brian S.

        Crawford is not going to be sub-average for very long.

        • Jetrer

          true, but can you guarantee Saltalamachia will stay above avg, or that Martin won’t turn things around and move back above avg. (he’s barely below avg overall now).
          My point was that both lineups have weakspots. Yankees have more right now because ARod’s out.

        • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

          I’m betting on it.

          /half-serious’d

  • Addison

    Since May first, Montero is splitting .253/.329/.714.

    Newsflash: He’s not an upgrade.

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

      Hmmm… perhaps that’s one of the reasons he hasn’t been promoted.

      Nah, let’s just all assume he hasn’t been promoted because Cashman thinks he sucks balls and wants to trade him ASAP before it’s too late. It’s the only acceptable conclusion to draw, he has no future in pinstripes.

      • mike

        within the sarcasm, i believe Montero could get promoted if not traded by the deadline – he has really limited value if he repeats his ST performance for a week at the ML level, where his season-long slump at AAA cannot be blamed on his non-promotion.

        If not traded, i would bet we will see him before Arod returns (maybe a time where cervelli/ dickerson doesnt play for a week so the DL can be retro for a short time) and have Montero get 5-7 games before going back.

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

          We should start a “When will Montero be promoted?” pool.

          Put me down for September 5th.

          • JobaWockeeZ

            August 1st for the Yankees or some other team.

    • Jetrer

      Posada full season so far 224/310/382
      Montero could be an upgrade now, and he has much higher potential than Posada at this point

    • Brian S.

      You do realize that if that really is his triple slashline than his OPS would be over 1.000?

      • Jetrer

        I’m thinking he meant the .719 as his OPS. Otherwise…

      • Addison

        The .714 is his OPS.

    • Evan3457

      I’m a bit dubious about that .714 SLG number since May 1st, as his seasonal number is .410.

  • Guest

    The answer is for Jesus to get hot at AAA. I am amongst those who think its ridiculous he hasn’t been called up yet given the team need and the facts that (1) he’s not going to get much better behind the plate in the minors anyway…you can’t teach athleticism and he doesn’t have it, and (2) despite his regression, he is still a better hitter than the other options they have and the regression is more likely a slump than than a sign he can’t hit anymore.

    But, they aren’t going to call him up with a sub .800 OPS. If he goes on a tear and starts mashing, all that stuff about his “playing every day” will rightly fly out the window.

    You’ve got the whole world in your hands, Jesus. Hit and you will be in the show. Soon.

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

      I still don’t get how Jesus not being promoted yet is “ridiculous”.

      It’s a series of contingencies that didn’t go his way. He didn’t hit in the spring, he got off to a slow start in the minors, Russell Martin stormed out of the gate and showed defensive chops, Posada struggled but then got hot again, Montero seemed to get frustrated/bored/whatever in Scranton and that rankled the brass, the team keeps winning and the offense is near the top of the league, etc.

      A prospect who isn’t setting the minors on fire and has two veterans who have shown general effectiveness for stretches of time in his two big league positions on a club in (or near) first place that isn’t desperate for a shot in the arm doesn’t seem like a “ridiculous” situation, it seems like a fairly mundane and understandable situation.

      If the Yankees were in 4th place like the Mariners, then sure, we’d all say “why are we wasting time with Posada/Martin when Montero is the future and the future needs to start now?” If the Yankees offense was middle of the pack and was the weak link keeping the team from competing for a playoff spot, we’d all say that giving Montero a shot was a necessity.

      This team doesn’t NEED to promote Montero, though, and Montero hasn’t played in a way that says he NEEDS to be on the team because he’s just playing way too good to not get promoted.

      I don’t see the ridiculousness in a 21 year old catcher not lighting AAA on fire not being called up to a team that doesn’t need an offensive kickstart and has no problems winning.

      • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

        Mundane = ridiculous, amiright?

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

          I laughed.

      • Guest

        TSJC, “ridiculous” was too strong a word. You’re right. The fact is, he isn’t hitting. Nothing ridiculous about not calling up a kid who isn’t excelling at the number task whereby he could help the team.

        On balance, I do think he could help the team more than Chris Dickerson. He can spell Martin a couple of times a week and DH a couple of times a week. In spite of the slump, I think the Yankees would be a better team than they are currently if they were to call him up and use him in the above described fashion.
        I also don’t think his hitting or defensive will improve that much more with more time in the minors than it would with more time in the majors (where he will be coached by three good defensive catchers (Pena, Girardi, Martin)).

        But, you’re right to call me out on my use of ridiculous. He’s not hitting well enough right now to warrant the word “ridiculous.”

        Here’s hoping he starts doing so soon.

    • SDM

      The thing is Jesus is not a butcher behind the plate, I’ve been fortunate to watch him many times this season and while I’m no scout my personal feelings is that he moves and acts like a natural catcher…he’s not super flexible but he looks comfortable and actually appears to have good rapport with his pitchers (and is capable of calling a good game) and I was also shocked at his throwing skills…although he only has an 18% CS rate in more than a few cases it seemed that it was more the inability of the pitcher to keep the runners from taking big leads because Jesus’ throws were accurate and quick (and in one game I remember well against the Durham Bulls the runner was clearly out but was called safe).

      We know the guy can hit he’s shown it throughout his career, power doesn’t disappear so that shouldn’t even be an issue because its been seen countless times in games situations that you can expect it to show up.

      I think more than anything the freak accidents (such as the foul ball to his balls) and injuries he’s had this year have really wreaked havoc on his timing more than we might think.

  • Bob Michaels

    The Yankees should give Austin Romine a shot.

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

      … of Louis XIII?

  • John

    Montero needs to be called up. It was one thing to send him down to the minors for the batter half of the year so he could continue to catch regularly and because we had Posada/Jones/Chavez to DH, however, those 3 are producing well below average and the team could certainly use an infusion of youth/talent.

    Montero would certainly provide that. Give the kid the full time DH spot and let him spell Martin every few days to give him some more experience catching. Granted his AAA stats aren’t screaming superstar, but if given the chance to get regular ABs as the full time DH, I believe he’d really run with it and put up solid #s. At the very least, he’d trump anything were going to get from Posada going forward.

  • Dale Mohorcic

    Isn’t it likely that montero gets called up when rosters expand? That’s only about 40 days away. There’s enough flex in the current bench that they can bring him up a day or so early to make sure he qualifies for the post season roster and see what he has in September when they may need more offense based on the schedule.

  • Naved

    Russell Martin: .217/.320/.370
    Jorge Posada: .224/.310/.382
    Francisco Cervelli: .205/.263/.274

    And you are telling me we don’t need an upgrade at C/DH ?

    • nycsportzfan

      Don’t forget our RF is hitting in the 250’s, our short stop just about in the 250’s, our best hitter is just about int he 280’s now, which is good but for your best hitter? Our 1st basemen is hitting in the 230’s… It goes on and on.. As good as Grandrson has been, and hes been great, he can’t be your best “HITTER” type because any way u cut the dice, hes still a 265-275type hitter, which is fine when your “HITTERS” on the team around him are hitting better, but jeez! This team can’t win unless there clubbing pitchers, and in the playoffs its kinda hard to “CLUB” pitchers, because there usually pretty good…

  • Alfredo

    i love montero i really do but we do not see him play everyday he might be hitting the ball hard and nothing to show for it. he is a great option and looking at the trade market for offense i think he is our best possibility. Also about pujols i would like to see him in a yankee uniform and to make that happen i think the yankees should trade tex to the giants for bumggamier (idk how to spell it) he is the lefty, think about it we get pitching help and pujols.

  • nycsportzfan

    Uhh, make no mistake about it, this offense is not that good at all.. If u cant tell by the 230hitting 1st basemen and 220hitting DH, and 217hitting catcher and 259hitting Shortstop, and your best hitter almost hitting in the 280’s now, then i don’t know what to tell ya.. Just because the Yanks lead the AL in Runs, dosen’t mean there offense is good.. THey have guys who can go deep, and every once in awhile your gonna get 3or4 HRs in a game, scoring like 9-12 runs… You would have to of not watched this team at all, to think there offesne is anything but lacking…

    • El Anonimo

      BA is overrated.

    • MRoberts

      Totally agree. Then watch what happens when they face premium pitching in the playoffs, and watch them wilt as they have two of the past three years. They are not going in with thee or four aces like Philly or the best lineup in the MLB like the Sox. They are doing what they have o do against lesser teams — which ,let’s face it, pretty much describes most teams in the MLB — but the playoffs are another matter. As currently constituted they are a first round loss waiting to happen — and they still may have to worry about Anaheim or TB mounting a late season run for the wildcard. They need A-Rod back (Tex won’t hit until then) and they DESPERATELY need a big stick to slot into the 6 hole. DH, RF, doesn’t matter. I still LOVE Pence, even at the cost of Montero and a Killer B, but would settle for Beltran. Hey, about making a play for Wright and putting A-Rod and his roid-addled frame at DH. Just a thought.

  • Rainman

    That announcer would drive me crazy if I had to hear him all the time. “He Gone” ??????

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    There is one thing all of us Yankee fans agree on. That is that this team as it is currently constructed cannot get very far into the olayoffs provided they get there. Since losing Matsui and Damon it appears that no player in the lineup has stepped up to get a key hit when needed. Last year is agood example of this.