Jan
16

The Long-Term Catching Situation

By

(Al Bello/Getty)

As I said on Saturday morning, the trade of Jesus Montero has some far-reaching implications for the Yankees organization. First and foremost they’ll miss his offense, but he also factored into the team’s long-term catching situation. Granted, very few people not employed by the Yankees actually think he can stick behind the plate long-term, but his name had to be included any time we discussed the team’s future behind the plate. That has changed, obviously.

Thankfully, the catcher position is not an immediate concern. Russell Martin will be back as an arbitration-eligible player in 2012, projected to earn $6.7M by MLBTR’s system before becoming a free agent after the season. He was exactly league average on offense during his first season in pinstripes (.325 wOBA and 100 wRC+), which means he was better than the average AL catcher (.307 wOBA and 91 wRC+). Defensive metrics are imperfect (especially for backstops), but he definitely helped prevent runs with his glovework. Martin will be the regular catcher in 2012, there was little doubt about that even before the trade.

I have to think Austin Romine was pretty thrilled to find out that Montero had been traded, allowing him to finally step out of his shadow and solidify his position as the team’s catcher of the future, at least in theory. Even though he made his big league debut in September, Romine needs to get a couple hundred at-bats in Triple-A, which he should have received in 2011 but didn’t because of Montero. He’ll get those at-bats this summer while Frankie Cervelli backs up Martin, then hopefully force his way into the 2013 picture.

Further down the minor league ladder is J.R. Murphy, who made enough progress behind the plate in 2011 that staying at catcher long-term is no longer a pipe dream. Gary Sanchez is right behind him, but the reports on his defense have been pretty rough over the last year. Both guys can hit, more than Romine can, but they’re also several levels away from the big leagues and we all know how much can wrong when you’re talking about kids in Single-A. Both are a footnote in the team’s long-term plans at the moment, so it’s basically up to Romine to provide help behind the plate in the next few seasons. The only problem is that catching prospects tend to develop late, so his timetable might not line up perfectly with the team’s needs.

Because of the large learning curve — a new pitching staff and new hitters to study — and the physical wear-and-tear associated with the position, it takes catchers longer to adjust to big league life than any other type of position player. The Buster Posey and Joe Mauer types that come up and provide immediate impact are the exception while Matt Wieters-like growing pains are the rule. Having a veteran caddy to ease the transition is certainly preferable to just rolling the dice and hoping for the best with the kid, especially when you’re trying to contend. That veteran caddy for Romine could very well be Martin, who has expressed an interest in remaining with the Yankees beyond 2012.

“If you are asking me if I want to be here, yes, but they are in a nice position with the quality of kids they have,” said Martin to George King back in September. Brian Cashman has praised his backstop since signing him last December, but also said a long-term contract “hasn’t been discussed” as of a month ago. For what it’s worth, Martin’s agent did acknowledged that his client would consider a multi-year pact with the Yankees, and Moshe explored the merits of a such a deal earlier this offseason. In a perfect world, he’d take nothing more than two or three-year contract and help gradually usher in the Romine era, like Joe Girardi helped usher in the Jorge Posada era a generation ago.

The Yankees have a long tradition of great hitting catchers, but Montero won’t be around to carry the torch. Murphy and Sanchez might be able to fill that role down the road, but we’re several years away from that. Romine won’t have that kind of offensive impact, but he has the tools to be a sound defensive backstop while being a non-zero with the stick in the future. That’s a valuable player — especially at or near the league minimum — but the Yankees are going to have to make sure he’s given adequate support. Martin on a medium-term contract extension makes some sense, but if he’s not open to it, it would behoove the team to find a veteran backstop to ease their young catcher into the lineup.

Categories : Players
  • David, Jr.

    This relates to something that has now become incredibly obvious.

    I won’t answer answer it, but instead will merely ask the question, which is:

    Why exactly do you think that the Yankees consistently “talked up” Montero’s ability to be a starting MLB catcher?

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

      Why wouldn’t they?

    • Kevin Winters

      Make him more attractive as a trade chip. That’s what he was the entire time.

      • David, Jr.

        Precisely.

    • Holy Ghost

      It’s called “pump and dump”

      • JMK

        Scat film FTL?

  • Monterowasdinero

    How many times from 1996-2010 did we hear “what a great arm/great blocker/great quickness/great framer/great game caller our catcher was?

    Zero?

    We did pretty well regardless.

    • gc

      Yes we did. Doesn’t mean it’s the only way it can be done.

    • Needed Pitching

      I recall hearing at least some of that about Girardi from 96-99.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        He was a horrendous baseball player. He’s even worse than Cervelli. He had one triple in the playoffs, wow that’s so much better than Jorge.

        • Needed Pitching

          didn’t say at all that he was better than Jorge. I was merely pointing out that they one 3 WS with a defense first catcher starting the majority of the postseason games and saying that not hearing anything about a good defensive catcher from 96-99 is factually inaccurate.
          I never, ever said Girardi was better or even close to Posada. How ’bout you respond to what I actual post instead of ranting against something I never said.

          • Needed Pitching

            *won 3 WS

          • JobaWockeeZ

            They didn’t “one” 3 world series just because they had Girardi. They had stars like Jeter, Jorge, Mo, Pettitte, Bernie, Clemens, O’Neil and Tino do the heavy lifting. Wow he played in 7 post season games?! What an accomplishment.

            Sorry I’ll change it to, Wow Girardi got carried by great players in the world series obviously we need a defender with no bat.

            Maybe if we started someone with range at shortstop we would have 5 championships. Bernie had a crappy UZR maybe we would have had 6 championships if we replaced Bernie with someone with a glove for 7 postseason games.

            • Needed Pitching

              Again, where did I say they won because of Girardi? Nowhere. I merely pointed out they were able to win with a defense first catcher.
              Where did I say we need a defender with no bat? Nowhere.
              And thanks for pointing out my typo 6 minutes after I already corrected it. Much appreciated.
              You clearly seem intent on arguing against points I never made, so I’ll leave you to continue both sides of this imaginary argument on your own, as you have been doing so far.

              • JobaWockeeZ

                Again, where did I say they won because of Girardi?

                “I was merely pointing out that they one 3 WS with a defense first catcher starting the majority of the postseason games…”

                • jj

                  In no way, shape, or form does that imply that he meant the Yankees won a WS because of Girardi.

                  • Needed Pitching

                    Thank you. With =/= because.

                • gc

                  Your reading comprehension skills leave a lot to be desired.

                  The comment you quoted is fact. The Yankees won 3 world titles with a defense-first catcher starting the majority of their post-season games. That is FACT. I watched the games. The banners fly forever.

                  If he had said….

                  “Because Joe Girardi started most of the post-season games, the Yankees were able to win 3 world titles.”

                  or…

                  “Joe Girardi playing catcher was the reason the Yankees won 3 world titles.”

                  …then you could blast that comment all you want. That’s not even remotely what he said or meant.

                • Jose M. Vazquez..

                  I did not plan to blog again but I just could not let this pass. In the 96 WS Girardi caught 3 games. He won two and lost one and hit .200. Leiritz caught 3 games, won two and lost one. He hit .375 with a clutch homerun in 4th game. In 99 Posada caught 2 and Girardi 2. Girardi was 2 for 7 and Posada 2 for 8. So you see they did not win 3 WS with a defensive first catcher.

                  • Jose M. Vazquez..

                    In 98 Posada caught 3 of the 4 games.

        • gc

          Who here said he was better than Jorge?? Point is, they managed to win with Girardi behind the plate, and with Jorge behind the plate. There are different ways it can be done and they’ve reached the top of the mountain using different approaches to their catching position.

          • JobaWockeeZ

            Well yes. A team can go at the top of the mountain with Girardi if he’s being carried by Jeter, Bernie, O’Neill, Tino, Jorge, Mo, Pettitte, Clemens, Wells and whoever.

            It’s still not logical to start inferior players.

            • gc

              Well, Martin is currently the best catcher they have on their roster. Looks like they’re finally following your sage words of wisdom.

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

              Ever contemplate that one of the reasons the pitchers you cite excelled was due to Girardi’s framing, pitch calling, etc. etc. etc. ?

        • Monterowasdinero

          That highlight they always show…..Joe got a ton of mileage out of it.

    • bpdelia

      I get it. But as of now montero isn’t posada bad, he isn’t haft Lopez or Mike piazza bad, he is 9 of 10 scouts agree atrociously unplayable bad. If anyone thought he could catch he would gave been literally untouchable outside kershaw Hernandez terroitory. Montrro had more passed balls than entire teams last year. His cameo showed a guy who badly struggled recieving the ball, didn’t protect his hand, turned his left wrist badly, jerked after the ball and was amazingly poor transferring. Is it possible he improves to piazza, Neapolitan, Lopez, posada territory? Sure, of course. Is it likely? Well if it was this trade doesn’t happen. The fact it did speaks for itself.

      Seeing him after 5 years not tuck his right hand was a HUGE red flag for me. Huge. You learn that in like minute 3 of catcher training. That bodes very poorly

      • bpdelia

        To respond to myself and explain in college obdurate time i ended up emergency catching the last 3 innings of a double header when both our catchers got hurt. The manager came to me, handed me the gear and said “just make sure to keep your right hand behind your ass.” So that was literally the one piece of advice deemed necessary to give a guy catching for the first time. And i did keep my hand behind my ass. What that says is either a) montero refuses to do it or forgets or b) he hascsuch awful balance that he simply CANT do it. Either way not a good sign

      • Monterowasdinero

        Really? He got nicked in the 7th inning on a foul tip off an inside pitch against Tampa. We were winning 7-0 at the time and there had been no passed balls and we were pitching none of our main guys.

        Montero came out and the great Romine handled our pitching staff to an 8-7 epic loss.

        Catchers fingers get nicked all the time. Montero could have played on but they weren’t taking any chances. He played soon after.

        • Kevin Winters

          Do you think Romine will catch any heat if he struggles with the bat? Not from the Yankees but from fans upset about losing Montero

          • T.O. Chris

            The one that’s going to catch heat is Pineda. I fear the fans are going to be merciless to him with every mistake simply because of their beloved Jesus.

            • JJ

              I agree. And it really shouldn’t be this way.

            • Monterowasdinero

              I don’t think so. I’ll go out on a limb and say that most (non-RAB) Yankee fans were not at all attached to Montero and won’t be merciless to a Pineda fail.

              As for Romine, expectations are low for me so a .250 singles hitter is all I expect.

              • Mike HC

                If Montero starts mashing and Pineda struggles, the fans that didn’t know will quickly be brought up to speed. I remember when Austin Jackson got off to a blazing start and Jay-Z himself was whining about trading such a sure fire gem.

              • Kiko Jones

                I’ll go out on a limb and say that most (non-RAB) Yankee fans were not at all attached to Montero…

                Interestingly, a Venezuelan buddy of mine—a Yankee fan who lives in Caracas and follows the team somewhat—wasn’t even aware of Montero last season until I brought him up in conversation. Yes, an incredibly small sample size to say the least, but your comment reminded me of that exchange with my friend.

            • Kevin Winters

              True he is under the gun especially in this market.

        • bpdelia

          I’m saying he literally never protected his hand. He didn’t cover it up. Look at the tape man

  • MattG

    Yadier Molina. Discuss.

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

      Cardinals are going to re-sign him.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    Meh I’ll never get the love with Romine. He’s always been pegged as COTF but his absolutely best case scenario is Rusell Martin with an inferior glove. Romine isn’t exactly one of the youngest players in the competition he faces. He hasn’t posted an OPS at .800 or above since like 2008. His upside with the bat can be better than Martin but it’ll only be marginal.

    Regardless Romine’s defense was never said to be great and by most accounts Martin’s defense is tops in baseball.

    Give Martin 2 or 3 years, wait for Gary Sanchez to develop and once he hits the Jesus level of hype trade him immediately. Don’t give him a chance just outright trade him.

    • Preston

      I agree with keeping Martin, but Romine definitely projects better than Cervelli and catchers need plenty of days off.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        Oh I’m fine with him being a back up catcher. But he should in no way be the “catcher of the future” as long as we have Martin.

        • Rainbow Connection

          No one said he would be.

          • JobaWockeeZ

            See you miss out on what people say in comments when you troll.

            • Rainbow Connection

              Stop lying.

    • Rainbow Connection

      So bitter.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        I’m being told this from Rainbow fucking Connection.

        • Rainbow Connection

          I’m not bitter. I’m honest. Big difference.

    • Kevin Winters

      Don’t give him a chance just outright trade him.

      ———————–

      That’s the plan when the next young stud pitcher becomes available.

      • JJ

        How else do you acquire a young, stud pitcher? Should we offer Cervelli the next time one becomes available?

        • Kevin Winters

          You could actually grow your own but the Yankees have a hard time doing that.

          • JJ

            Aces don’t just grow on trees. Most teams don’t have a homegrown ace. If money is a non-factor (as is the case with Pineda), why does it matter whether a player is home-grown or acquired? CC Sabathia’s stats are just as valid as Tim Lincecum’s.

            • Kevin Winters

              Most teams don’t have a homegrown ace.

              ———————–

              There are quite a few that do though. When Cashman took over full control wasn’t his goal to produce at least 1 high end starter out of the big 3. One guy is a middle reliever, the other is a back end starter, and the other is performing well for another team but thankfully he netted us Curtis.

              • T.O. Chris

                It’s a crap shoot. If you develop a pitcher into an ace from within it really came down to luck more than anything else. If there was a set formula for doing it more teams would have them. You try and get the highest upside arms you can find, pray they don’t get injury, and hope they learn how to do more than throw. Sometimes it works out, most times it doesn’t.

                • Kevin Winters

                  And so far it hasn’t worked out hopefully it does but until it does it’s more of the same.

              • JJ

                Verlander, Kershaw, Lincecum, Hamels, Shields, Felix, Josh Johnson You can (depending on opinion) add Wainwright and/or Lester into that mix, which means that less than 30% of MLB teams have home grown aces.

                It’s obviously not something that’s easy to do. And it’s extremely petty to knock for the ‘big 3′ collectively ‘failing’ as a unit, considering he traded one of them for an MVP candidate.

                How is it Cashman’s fault Hughes’ fastball just died? Even if you want to assume Joba’s failure was 100% on management (and 0 percent on the player who was the one doing the failing), you can’t fault Cashman for Hughes or for turning IPK into Granderson.

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

                  Nitpicking, but Wainwright isn’t homegrown. Drafted by the Braves, traded to the Cardinals for J.D. Drew.

                • Kevin Winters

                  I fault them for how they were handled. The switching back and forth, the dumb rules, the bullpen stints instead of more develop in the minors, etc.

                  • T.O. Chris

                    I blame Joba almost completely on management, but Hughes was given plenty of opportunity in the minor leagues and in the rotation. He just kept getting hurt on his own every time he showed any kind of encouraging signs. That’s just unlucky.

  • gouchonyy

    Oakland trades two more young pitchers to Colorado for Seth Smith. Why? Do they try to spin Smith to the Yankees?

    • Will (the other one)

      I can’t figure out Billy Beane’s game anymore. I know his offense needs huge upgrades, but he seems more than happy to gut his rotation–present and future–to try and make them. Not sure what that’s all about.

    • CJ

      Seth smith would be the perfect platoon split for dh/of with jones. Guess they are not going platoon direction. Smith is cheap 2.5 oakland traded spare parts not “young pitching” Cory wade/Adam Warren is way better package.

  • Will (the other one)

    One of the great things about this offense is that it could absorb a drop of a few runs from the catcher position if that’s what it takes to bring in another veteran in a couple of years. If Martin is able to keep producing at a level comparable to last year while maintaining his defensive quality, I’d love to be able to bring him back on a medium-term deal; if that doesn’t happen, though, there should be plenty of vets out there who can play quality defense while hanging in enough at the plate to make things work just fine.

  • YankeeGrunt

    The defensive stats for Sanchez are pretty good. His 31% CS as an 18 year old at Charleston compares favorably to Romine’s 20%, though Austin was in his first full year with the org (Romine nabbed 30% at Tampa the following year but hasn’t topped 24% since). The PB stats are problematic but they improved as the year went on, and PBs are often as much an issue of concentration as of talent. None of this speaks to his ability to call a game or frame pitches, but the talent to throw out runners certainly seems to be there.

  • Bacciagaloop

    I think the problem with us Yankee fans is that we want to see one of our homegrown players in the catcher role, ala Posada. All the grief that we take for making big free agent acquisitions and having a huge payroll leaves us begging to grow some talent and develop them into future hall of famers i.e. Jeter, Bernie, Jorge, Mo, Andy.

    We all want to see these catchers play, but reality is, they aren’t ready, and we have one of the best defensive catchers in the business. I am all for signing Martin to a 3 year deal and waiting on Sanchez. Romine doesn’t blow up anyone’s skirt. That being said, I would take my little bro backing up Martin over Cervelli. He sucks!

    • JJ

      Martin is fine given all that we are really asking of him is to field the position well, call the game well, and at least not be horrible at the plate. Martin can’t carry a team, but we don’t need him to. Our lineup is stacked and we can afford to sacrifice some offense from our catcher if he meets the other criteria I listed.

    • Monterowasdinero

      Bacciagaloop? rofl

      Sincerely,
      ChickencatcherTorre

    • Holy Ghost

      Cervelli is more than adequate for a backup catcher and he’s gotten some big hits in big games. I don’t understand the hate some fans have towards the guy…

  • http://yes jim

    Didn’t know about the chat and this isn’t a catcher question, but, with Kuroda and Jones needing to be added to 40 man, who goes? Whalen and Maxwell?

    • Fernando

      I think they only need to clear one 40-man spot. They netted one free spot by trading Montero/Noesi for Pineda/Campos. I’d say dump Maxwell.

  • ThatstheMelkyMesaWaysa

    There is no long term catching situation. That’s what worries me. You can’t sign Martin to many more short term deals, Cervelli has only done something important once (Homer after Girardi got ejected against the Marlins in 09), Romine will never be ready to hit major league pitching. I think you have to wait for Romine and hope he has some epiphany about making the bat hit the ball.

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

      What are JR Murphy and Gary Sanchez, then, if not long-term plans at catcher?

      • ThatstheMelkyMesaWaysa

        As we saw with Montero, items to be traded for unproven pitchers.

    • Mike HC

      Considering we just lost a Yankee legend in Jorge, I would say the Yanks have done great in the catching department. Martin is at least an above average overall catcher still in his 20’s and a desire to play for the Yanks, and Romine, Murphy and Sanchez are all legitimate catching prospects of different degrees and skills. I don’t see anything too concerning there.

    • Adam Parker

      Cervelli homered against the Braves in Atlanta after Girardi got ejected in ’09. I know, I was at the game the day BEFORE when the Yanks lost. :(

      • ThatstheMelkyMesaWaysa

        Oh sorry my bad.

    • Holy Ghost

      “Romine will never be ready to hit major league pitching”

      I don’t think that’s a fair assumption to make at this point in his career…

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    What I learned in 2011 is how valuable a better defensive catcher is. The entire pitching staff outside of Burnett and Hughes had a great year. While part of that may be due to the addition of Rothschild more of it is a result of Martin. Martin calls a better game, frames pitches better (this is huge) and throws better than the average catcher.

    I liked Jorge and he was great on offense but he was not a good catcher. Montero seemed to be set up to follow that path. We all know that the Yanks worked with him to improve his catching. But I also wonder if they approached him about learning a new position. I would think that he could learn to be a serviceable outfielder. Hell, look at Manny – he was horrible on defense but his hitting was out of this world. Perhaps Montero balked at that idea and the Yanks go the impression he either didn’t want to work that hard at catcher or learn another position to increase his value.

    Hate to see Jesus go, but he didn’t really have a fit with this team.

    • T.O. Chris

      I don’t think Montero in the OF was ever a possibility. He is just to slow and nonathletic to play outfield with any competence. Manny may have been a bone head in the outfield but he wasn’t slow and nonathletic like Montero. He would be a danger to himself running around out there and he would be god awful on the pitching staff.

      • Foghorn Leghorn

        i agree with you. you could tell he had very little mobility or speed when he was on the basepaths. the irony is that you need to be athletic to catch….not fast, per se, but a good catcher should be athletic.

        perhaps he was fat as a kid like englerburt from the bad news bears. just put the fat kid at catcher!

        • gc

          HEY! There’s energy in chocolate!

        • T.O. Chris

          This is why I never thought he would stick behind the plate. He isn’t as big as Joe Mauer and Matt Wieters yet in the crouch behind the plate he looks bigger and clumsier than they do. He’s just not the level of athlete necessary for the position. His ability to block balls was always going to be awful and he leaves a giant hole between his legs that the glove just couldn’t always make up for.

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    Russell Martin to me is an “excellent catcher.” By this I mean he performs well defensively, offensively, pitch selection,handling pitchers and throwing. The issue with Martin IMHO is health. His bulldog attitude which I like and appreciate in a catcher needs monitoring. Not the verbal review by manager or coaches but resting him. He’s such a physically active catcher that fatigue and injury is prevalent with his type. Girardi needs to provide a couple of days a week off for Martin to keep him fresh. 125 games (500AB) should be max during the season then let him go for the playoffs. I felt his play went down especially offensively as the season progressed which is natural. I may be stating the obvious but I like his bat. Martin can be more productive if Girardi gives him the time off.

    • T.O. Chris

      I didn’t understand all the hate Martin got during the year. It seems people don’t understand that “catcher” isn’t an alternate term for guy who hits. The more important job is the actual act of catching and all that goes on behind the plate. You add 18 HRs and 10 steals to that and you have a very valuable player.

      I agree he needs to be protected from himself at times and 125 games give or take seems the perfect number to keep him fresh. I loved the Martin signing when it was originally done and I saw nothing during the season that didn’t make me a bigger Russell Martin fan than I was before.

    • Monterowasdinero

      And Montero catch the rest.

      oops!

      Cervelli

      • LarryM.,Fl.

        Montero is money. His value brought to us a very nice pitcher without much additional cost in players. Noesi can be replaced.

        • T.O. Chris

          The funny thing is in 10 years Campos may be what truly decides how good this trade was. He has some serious potential and seems to have a much higher ceiling than Noesi.

          • Monterowasdinero

            This will be exciting to watch. Agreed.

          • ThatstheMelkyMesaWaysa

            Is this assuming pine a and montero are both major flops or all stars? In that case you would be correct. If the rotation is ever pine a banuelos Campos I think we win

    • G

      Get AJ out of the rotation and Martin will be injured literally a third as frequently. His breaking balls in the dirt killed Russell.

  • KL

    We had a long term catching problem if we Montero. Cause you know, he can’t catch at the ML level.

    The Yankees and every scout in baseball knew this.

    • KL

      ^ kept

    • Monterowasdinero

      But not the Mariner scouts and organization.

      Suckers! We fooled ‘em.

      • gc

        The Mariners are so desperate for offense, they would gladly take that risk and happily suffer through the defensive deficiencies if it helped raise their offensive output above pathetically anemic. Montero is probably the best bat in their line-up RIGHT NOW.

        • Monterowasdinero

          Oh. I thought he was the best bat in our lineup RIGHT NOW too.

          Maybe Cano a bit better….

          • Needed Pitching

            he definitely has that potential, but to expect that in his rookie year is probably very unrealistic

          • G

            I know you love Montero, but best bat in our lineup? Are you high?

      • JJ

        So — just because the Mariners thought he could catch or play 1st, then that means he can? OK, glad to know that the Mariners are always right, make all the right calls, and never make any mistakes. How’d Richie Sexson work out?

        Dude we get it, you have a huge Montero bias and hate the trade. But seriously, get over it, and stop acting like a bitter 16 year old spurned ex gf. It’s embarrassing.

        • Foghorn Leghorn

          The Mariners would’ve been better off trading Pineda for Lavernaway b/c he’s the next Johnny Bench.

        • Monterowasdinero

          I’m not embarrassed. Don’t worry about it.

          Thanks.

  • Rod

    Any talk of moving Sanchez off C or giving him time at another position? Seems like he could handle moving off C better than Montero. Not a high bar obviously.

    • T.O. Chris

      I hope not. With Montero gone he needs to stay at C and try and get as good as possible in hopes of sticking there. Sanchez looks to have more raw power than Montero, and better on base skill, even if that comes with higher strikeouts and less contact. His frame also gives me more hope that he can stick in some capacity behind the plate than Jesus.

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    Ever since this trade went down I have spent quite a bit of time on the Sox boards trying to get their reaction. its pretty amazing. Very few back away from the emotions of hating the yankees to indicate that the Yanks made a good trade.

    Others point to Pineda’s performance dropping in the second half or the fact he has pitched in the AL West, ignoring the fact he is a rookie or that he consistently strikes guys out with 95-99 MPH heat. These people also point out that he will suck in NY b/c the Sox hit him hard in his only appearance.

    The best posts are from the Yahoos that are pissed at the Sox management because they feel the same deal could’ve been made with Lavernaway.

    • T.O. Chris

      Everyone at OTM have resigned themselves to battling it out for third place and seem to love the trade and signing of Kuroda.

  • P

    Watching Francisco cervelli play baseball irritates me to my core. His stupid fist pumps, his pathetic attempts at swinging a baseball bat, and his uncanny ability to never, ever, throw anyone out make me wish there was a fault line at home plate that will crack open and swallow him up, never to be seen again. Other than that, he seems like an alright dude

    • Monterowasdinero

      Imagine if Montero threw the ball to Granderson on sb attempts!

    • CJ

      Boston agrees with you? CC says “you’re a clown”

  • WayneD

    It’s either amusing or disheartening to call Romine our catcher of the future. I’ve seen him play at Trenton, and he’s just okay defensively and will probably hit very, very little at the MLB level, based on what I saw of him two years ago.

    Now, of course, guys can and often do grow as hitters as they develop, so I checked his ’11 stats against his ’10 stats, and those stats don’t seem to back up your assertion that Romine should have been played in Triple-A last year.

    If Romaine was truly ready for Triple-A last year, we should have seen an exponential increase in his hitting against inferior talent at the AA level last year, yet his hitting stats increased little in most cases, and digressed significantly in at least one important area.

    His BA increased a mere 18 points from .268 to .286.

    His OBP increased more significantly from .324 to .351.

    His SLG dropped from .402 to .378.

    His OPS increased a minuscule amount from .726 to .729.

    The most disconcerting thing to me is the direction his hitting took in terms of extra base power: he averaged an extra base hit every 11.09 ABs in 2010, but that number dropped to one extra base hit every 17.68 ABs in 2011. That’s not a good trend if you’re supposedly playing against INFERIOR talent, one level BELOW where you supposedly should be playing.

    I would say Romaine looks more like a career back-up catcher, rather than a starter based on the above stats and what I saw of him two years ago. Signing Martin to a 3-4 year deal, then, makes a lot of sense following the inadvisable trade of Montero.

    • T.O. Chris

      “Signing Martin to a 3-4 year deal, then, makes a lot of sense following the inadvisable trade of Montero.”

      You say that like Montero was going to be the catcher of the future and wasn’t much more likely to be the DH of the future.

      • JJ

        Montero was not even going to be the DH of the future, that position is reserved for Arod / Tex. Montero was nothing other than a trade chip; it becomes incredibly evident if you examine how the Yankees have handled him since 2 years ago. Personally, for the record, I agree that he is essentially a DH in the making though.

        • Kevin Winters

          A-rod and Tex the gifts that keep on giving smh.

          • T.O. Chris

            I’m actually really encouraged for Alex this coming season. He had that surgery in Germany that Kobe had on his knees and recommended he get, and I’ll say just watching Kobe play basketball this year I’m excited. Kobe’s lift and explosion looks like it’s taken 3 or 4 years off his legs. I haven’t seen him look this good physically in a while. If it can do a fraction of that for Alex he could have a nice season.

      • WayneD

        I expected Montero to be primarily a DH with some catching duties (50 games or so a year). I can’t imagine he wouldn’t have been able to catch as well as Piazza or Posada, for that matter. Neither one of them was particularly elegant behind the plate, you’ll recall.

        My primary problems with trading Montero are:

        1) I expect his bat to be one of the best in baseball over the next 10+ years if he doesn’t get injured.

        2) I expect our much heralded offense to drop off some each year for the foreseeable future as guys like Jeter, A-Rod, and Tex get older, necessitating the need for good, young hitters to pick up the slack. (Name a great hitter in the Yankees farm who’s currently slated to play at AA or AAA.)

        3) I’m not convinced that Pineda is good enough to warrant trading Montero. As I noted in a Jan 13 post in response to one of Mike’s articles about the trade. All but two of Pineda’s better performances last year came against bad teams. He got his butt handed to him by Boston, Texas, the Angels, the Tigers, and virtually every other good team.

        His best outings, on the other hand, came against “powerhouses” like the Padres, Twins, and A’s. I hope he turns out to be great, but the evidence is not overwhelming. I don’t think his stats warranted someone of Montero’s ability.

        Adding Kuroda was enough of a pitching upgrade in my opinion; they didn’t need to trade a hitter of Montero’s capability.

  • paul

    martin for the next few years with cervelli backing up=solid to me. defense first. Romine is a def stud, and a solid hitter. Murphy and Sanchez will be groomed and continue to work on fundamentals. Catching IMO is set for years to come. Montero-I was with all of us Yanks fans in wanting to seem him mash as a yankee…but we need SP and if not hernandez, then pineda was a phenom pickup. Plus campos as a future pitcher…great deal IMO. but catching-i like where we sit.

    • Monterowasdinero

      We’ll see if Romine is a defensive stud. Not proven by any means.

      He does not fist pump which is a good sign.

  • P

    It seriously baffles me that people say the reason that cervix is on the roster is for defensive reasons. He couldn’t throw a disabled turtle out.

    • Monterowasdinero

      Cervix is a deep hole in the roster I agree.

      We will never be rid of him or Joba!