Sep
01

Where does Posada stand?

By

(AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

The refrain can cease. After months and months of yapping about Jesus Montero, the man himself is set to debut with the Yankees. For many it feels like a move long overdue. After a slow start Montero started to turn things around, and by the end of July it appeared that he could help the major league team. Yet the Yankees went through August doing business as usual, opting to wait until rosters expand before they called up their top prospect.

In a way that made sense. Roster construction dictated it. Early in the month the Yankees ran a short bench, opting to carry a sixth starter instead of a fourth bench player. That made sense, because it left the bullpen at full strength. They could have recalled Montero in that spot and worked with a short bullpen, but they also knew that Alex Rodriguez would return at some point in August. At that point they absolutely could not carry Montero, since they’d require all four other bench players. So even if they promoted him after the trade deadline, they would have had to send him back down after a few weeks.

The only way the Yankees could have carried Montero before today was if they chose to removed Jorge Posada from the active roster. While the organization and Posada came to blows in May, things seemed to smooth out from there. Posada started to hit, and the Yankees made it clear, through media channels, that they did not intend to release him. Despite his overall struggles he has managed to stay productive against righties, producing a .354 wOBA against them in 254 PA. That translates to 8.8 runs above average, a respectable figure for that number of plate appearances.

Now that the roster limit has expanded from 25 to 40, the Yanks have plenty of room to maneuver. They’ve wasted no time in calling up Montero, and he could immediately jump into a prominent role. YES Network’s Jack Curry recently reported that Montero will start at DH tonight against Jon Lester. That’s quite a debut assignment, and it portends his role down the stretch and perhaps into the playoffs. In fact, Joel Sherman quotes a Yankees official saying, “By the playoffs, [Montero] will be our best DH option.” That’s quite a bold statement for a player who has yet to face major league pitching.

While Montero’s assignment for tonight comes against a lefty, the unnamed Yankees official makes it sound as though he’ll play against right-handed pitching, too. That would leave Posada without a role. This is nothing new, of course; Posada lost his gig for a week in August while Eric Chavez took over DH duties against right-handed pitching. Posada came back with a fury, driving in six runs, including a grand slam, against the Rays. Since then he’s hit decently, but not to the level where he absolutely must remain in the lineup. Unless the Yankees use Montero behind the plate, Posada could spend most of September on the bench.

Throughout the season the Yankees have shown patience with Jorge Posada. They could have removed him from the lineup when he struggled early in the season. They could have treated him more harshly after his blow-up in May. But they stuck with him, for the most part, and he rewarded them with some quality numbers against right-handed pitching. But his complete lack of flexibility has hurt them at times. With rosters expanding the Yankees gain plenty of flexibility, and they’ll apparently use that to try another option at DH. Jorge will be there in case it doesn’t work out. But for the time being, his name won’t appear frequently on Joe Girardi‘s lineup card.

Categories : Musings

107 Comments»

  1. Martins Stache says:

    No role? What about replacing the suckfest that is Cervelli?

  2. Billy Pilgrim says:

    Posada’s done and that couldn’t have been more clear on Tuesday night when he grounded into two rally killing DPs. One of them was so slowly hit that a one year old could have crawled to first and been called safe. Jesus is our savior and he will be the best DH option vs lefties in the playoffs. Jesus DH and Jones LF vs lefties. Gardner LF and Chavez DH vs righties.

    • Jetrer says:

      Why Chavez DH vs. righties? Posada has been much better against RHP than Chavez, and probably Montero could be more of a threat than Chavez as well.

    • Cano He Didn't says:

      Dude you’re on crack! Gardner should NEVER be platooned! Arguably the best left-fielder in baseball this year defensively, plus he’s a pretty solid hitter and excellent baserunner to boot!

      • jon says:

        arguably the best left fielder?

        really please tell me the argument of why gardner is better than ryan braun and matt holliday

        • tyler says:

          because matt holiday got hit in the nuts trying to catch a line drive.

          • 42yankee says:

            Tyler, That’s the best answer I’ve heard in many a day. I’m still laughing Thank you for making my day. The thing that bugs me with Gardner is that he never or rarely swing at the first 2 pitches. Go Yanks.

            • Giovanni says:

              Gardner not swinging at the first two pitches, rarely or never, seems to bug me as well; however, it’s what most of the lineup does anyway. Plus, with Gardner leading off, he should take the first few pitches. I’m in agreement; Gardner is one of the best left fielders in Baseball and the speed is something that shouldn’t be platooned. Oh, and I laughed so hard on the Holiday’s nuts comment!!!

  3. Jerome S. says:

    This is sad. I love Jorge, but sacrifices must be made. I hope he gets a great goodbye.

    • Al says:

      After enduring his shitty play this year, I cannot wait for him to just go away. Sad was last year, this is pathetic and it needs to stop asap.

  4. Al says:

    I’ll believe it when I see it. Montero is surly to get a Noesi treatment with all the veterans on the bench. if he starts against Lester tonight, hell will freeze over.

  5. Monteroisdinero says:

    We’ve shown patience with Jorge-in spades. Now we will show patience with Montero and give him 4 ab’s every game for the rest of the season.

    Let us begin.

  6. ultimate913 says:

    So does that mean Jones takes over in LF today for Gardner? Gardner has been cold as ice and Jones is being a monster. Since he apparently won’t be DH’ing.

    • Al says:

      If not, then Girardi is a fucking asshole…

      • Yeah, this is exactly right. If Girardi makes a potentially sub-optimal(short term) move so that he can snap his every day left fielder out of his funk, he’s a fucking asshole.

        Sigh. What are schools teaching these days?

        • Al says:

          By your logic he should keep playing Posada too.

          And whats with the school comment? Dont take it so personal, bored Jim.

          • I didn’t say I disagreed with the idea that Jones would outhit Gardner.

            I disagreed with the idea that any remotely reasonable baseball decision could make someone a “fucking asshole”.

            And yeah, I actually do take the sad state of people’s logic abilities personally, because I’m forced to interact with them in real life. Here, I choose to do so, to my own detriment.

            But I choose to do so with you no longer.

            • Al says:

              Grow thicker skin, you are easily offended. You dodnt have to save the world from people like me.
              And if Giradi starts Gardner over Jones tonight, he would be a bonehead on most days, but on a day Yanks play Sox with a 3-11 record against, that would make him an asshole.

    • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

      I bet we’ll see this:

      Jeter ss
      Grandy cf
      Tex 1b
      Cano 2b
      Swisher rf
      Jones lf
      Montero dh
      Martin c
      Nunez 3b

  7. Dan2 says:

    Posada doesn’t stand. He will sit.

  8. MattG says:

    The Yankees will use the remaining games to try and validate Montero as the best DH option. You don’t make personnel decisions on SSS, especially March and September, but I think this decision is already made, and they want to use September to validate it.

    I don’t necessarily think that means Posada is not on the post-season roster, though. There will be five spots, Nunez, Chavez and Jones are locks. That leaves room for both Posada and Montero if they’ll leave Cervelli behind.

    • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

      Cervelli will be on the playoff roster. No way they have Montero catch in an extra innings situation (when the back up c is most likley to get used) IMO, it’s between Posada and Jesus.

    • Bobby two knives says:

      at this point, my post season roster will omit Ayala – keep Hughes and Burnett in the bullpen as maximum 2 inning relievers throwing as hard as they can (see recent graphs of mid-90′s fastballs only in innings 1 and 2 with decent effectiveness)- leaving Ayala’s spot open for Montero. Cervelli and Posada stay on the roster as well. Starters will be CC, Nova, Garcia, and Colon, in that order. Everything else stands pat. I believe the numbers add up.

      • Plank says:

        I think Posada will remain too. In the postseason, the worst pitchers that are there for depth and the 162 game schedule aren’t necessary. It’s unlikely that anyone other than the 4 starters, Mo, Robertson, Soriano, Logan, Noesi, and a starter who is ready to be the longman see any time in the postseason. That’s 10 pitchers.

        I doubt the Yankees would drop Posada after 15 years of service even though it may be the best move.

        • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

          Wade will be on the roster in the pen. probably instead of the “longman starter” since you don’t really need one in the playoffs.

          • MannyGeee says:

            shit, you are giving AJ a whole buttload of credit with this comment

          • Plank says:

            Good point. The more I think about it, the more complicated it is. They can probably get Burnett or Hughes on the DL but I doubt they would pull that with both of them. Maybe not taking Noesi would be a move, but it would be hard to defend keeping Burnett and dropping Noesi.

            • Jetrer says:

              you don’t have to put anyone on DL for postseason, just leave them off the roster, and they can be added in later rounds, or for injury replacement

          • Jetrer says:

            I’m thinking they probably carry 11 pitchers, with Wade, and one of the extra starters
            Right now, probabaly CC, Garcia, Nova, Colon – starters
            Mo, Ro, So, Lo, Co, No, and Hughes – BP
            Still room for a 5 man bench – Jones, Nunez, and 3 from Cervelli, Montero, Posada, Chavez, and maybe Golson or Dickerson

            • IRF says:

              They need a middle infielder. Maybe Nunez instead of Chavez

              • IRF says:

                Oh, I’m an idiot

              • Jetrer says:

                I listed Nunez, he’s a lock along with Jones, with Chavez in competition with Cervelli, Montero, Posada, and maybe Golson or Dickerson for the final 3 spots

                • chaz says:

                  Chavez, Posada and Montero are your candidates to start at DH, so if Chavez were to start as DH, Posada, Cervelli, Montero, Jones and Nunez would all make it as part of a 5 man bench.

                  • Jetrer says:

                    good point, forgot about that
                    seems like Chavez and Posada would both pretty much play the same role though, LH DH. I’m thinking they may carry an OF speedster instead of carrying so many DH’s. They probably wouldn’t need the extra bats since I wouldn’t think they would PH much in the first 2 rounds of the playoffs

        • Ed says:

          Wade’s probably higher up on the chart than Noesi – he’s been better and used more often. They’ll probably take one of Noesi, Hughes, and Burnett.

  9. JohnC says:

    Agree but I bet they flip flop Montero and Martin becuase of the experience factor

  10. Gustavo says:

    Montero at DH tonight? ugh, I was looking forward to NOT watching tonight’s AJ beatdown but with Montero there I’ll have to tune in. At least the Yankees will have one good Venezuelan catcher (Sorry Frankie)

  11. MannyGeee says:

    so get this link ready for tonight, juuuuust in case Lester comes in a little wild.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8AyHupByuU

  12. JoeMoes says:

    Have montero catch AJ see how that goes lol.

    • Mr. Sparkle says:

      That’ll just give Burnett one more catcher to blame.

      • MattG says:

        Which is one more than he’s blamed so far.

        Burnett hasn’t used any excuses. The organization does all his apologizing for him. Be angry with him for pitching badly, but he doesn’t deserve this sort of shot.

        • Yeah. This.

          Outside of his outbursts leaving the mound(which, he’s a fiery guy, I don’t blame him) he hasn’t made any excuses. He’s answered questions, faced the media, and from all signs has been a stand-up guy publicly.

          • MannyGeee says:

            agreed. as hard as its been to excuse his performance on the field, he has always carried the blame on his own shoulders.

            not the field conditions (Pedroia) or the umpiring crew (the other 24 assholes in red)…

            WE (fans, media, blogisphere, etc) assumed the personal catcher/AJ’s Black Eye/ Jose Molina thing was a complaint AJ blaming Posada for him sucking…

            As you can see, has not played out like that.

  13. Yank The Frank says:

    Line up posted. Cervelli catching Chavez DH. Jesus waits.

  14. Brian S. says:

    Jorge Posada has a better wOBA against right handed pitching than Mark Teixeira does. Over ten poins in fact.

  15. Tom says:

    I began pulling for the Yanks in 1952, when the rotation included Raschi, Reynolds, and Lopat. In all that time, I’ve never seen a pitcher more likely to lose any given start than tonight’s starter.

    During that time, I’ve paid my Yankee-fan dues in tension, bitten-down fingernails, cursing (silent and loud), lost nights, etc., over will-Mickey(-Reggie-Donnie-et al.)do well, over tense games with the Indians (Public Enemy 1 of the 1950s), White Sox (#2), Orioles, Red Sox, Dodgers(!), etc. I don’t know who’s doing tonight’s game–YES, NESN, or Fox–but if it’s Fox, and that lugubrious-voiced Buck, who needs it? The Yankees have shortened my life enough: tonight, I’ll either read or take my wife out to an anniversary dinner. I can’t take AJ no more!

    I guess I won’t see Montero pepper the Monster.

  16. Bronx Byte says:

    Unless Girardi finds a way to get an at bat for Jorge after Burnett gets the living shit kicked out of him, he’s been to Boston for the final time in his career as an active player.

  17. Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

    Lineup posted

    1. Derek Jeter (R) SS
    2. Curtis Granderson (L) CF
    3. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B
    4. Robinson Cano (L) 2B
    5. Nick Swisher (S) RF
    6. Andruw Jones (R) LF
    7. Jesus Montero (R) DH
    8. Russell Martin (R) C
    9. Eduardo Nunez (R) 3B

    http://baseballpress.com/lineup.php

  18. Dick M says:

    This is why the saber guys are off base. To say that Jorge is 8.8 runs above average is way misleading and it just doesn’t paint an accurate picture of where he is at as a lefty hitter. You have to watch the games, see how he handles (and doean’t handle) pitches. He occasionally has a good game (invariably against a soft tosser like Hellickson) but by and large he is totally overmatched. There is no way he is truly 8.8 runs above average.

  19. infernoscurse says:

    Where does Posada stand?

    the answer is quite complex, he may choose to stand next to the manager, at the end of the bench with the pitchers, in the first step to greet the players coming in next to kevin long, or he may sit on the crowded expanded roster bench

    he cant say they arent giving him options cause he clearly has a couple to choose from.

  20. Jamey says:

    Al is my new favorite RAB commenter. Now that the Montero crisis is over, may I suggest a new mission for him? “Is it really September?” I mean, do we have reliable sources on this, just saying.

  21. LiterallyFigurative says:

    Jorge might get some run the next few days with Tex banged up (another hit Yankee. What a shock!?)

  22. Ed Maldonado says:

    Posada has been a great warrior for the Yankees and has been instrumental during those championships, However father time comes calling for us all. Posada no longer possesses a MLB skill set that justifies an active roster spot. Yankees need to groom the younger up and coming players. Thanks for every Jorge but we all have to move on.

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