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(Tell Me Why?) I Don't Like Mondays
2008-04-28 05:41
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

It is a cold, rainy spring day in New York. The skies are dark and the Yankees and their fans are going to continue feeling anxious until their is more definitive word on the extent of Jorge Posada's injury. If he needs surgery, he could be lost from 4-6 months. According to Tyler Kepner in the Times:

Posada will return to New York with the Yankees after Monday's game, and he said he wanted to visit Dr. James Andrews, the orthopedic surgeon in Birmingham, Ala., who operated on his labrum in 2001.

Andrews has read the M.R.I. results, and Posada has said that surgery will not be necessary. But the problem has not improved as Posada hoped, raising the specter of an operation.

After the initial M.R.I., the Yankees said the injury was a strained shoulder. But a strain is a euphemism for a tear, and Posada seemed concerned about the extent of it.

"It's not getting any better, so we've got to find out what it really is," Posada said. "The M.R.I. showed a strained muscle, and I think it's more than that."

..."It's early, and we've got to be smart about it," Posada said.

..."But it's really disappointing to work really hard and not feel good. I worked really hard to be back at it. I'm even apologizing to the Yankees, because I signed a good contract."

Meanwhile, it's an election year, so here is a pefect twist in the Roger Clemens saga.

Book it, Pluto

Terry Pluto, the veteran Cleveland newspaperman, is also the author of several entertaining books, including The Curse of Rocky Colavito and Loose Balls. His latest effort, Dealing, is covers the Indians from their Gashouse Gorilla days in the 90s through the Dolans, up to the current team. Over at the Plain-Dealer, five chapters of Pluto's book are excerpted. Check 'em out.

Comments
2008-04-28 06:33:13
1.   Sliced Bread
Speaking of .500 ball, and good news/bad news: looks about 50-50 for tonight's game. Crap forecast in Cleveland: 60% chance of showers, dank cold.
50% chance of Good Moose, 50% the other shows up.
Feeling lucky? Yeah, why not?
2008-04-28 07:35:22
2.   williamnyy23
It seems as if the injury hasn't affected Posada with the bat. If he does need surgery, I wonder if any consideration would be given to having him remain active as a DH/PH. I know it would tie up a roster spot, but the Yankees could manage that by trimming a pitcher from the bullpen and utlizing a Scranton shuttle when the relievers get overworked.
2008-04-28 07:36:38
3.   williamnyy23
Looking ahead, the Yankees offense had better get healthy over the next four games because they are lined up to face Bedard and Felix over the weekend.
2008-04-28 07:37:32
4.   horace-clarke-era
Cranky as I am about Roger, and I buy Roger Angell's wonderful phrase in the New Yorker that he was 'deeply weird' in front of the House committee, and I have no personal doubts after reading the medical depositions that he used steroids and lied under oath ... I find the dredging of long-ago sexual transgressions SUCH a non-issue.

There's even something ludicrous about the way it was explained in that snippet piece Alex links. His defamation case gets undermined by previously unknown transgressions that NOW come out and thereby show he did not have a previously good character?

I find it shabby, though I suppose if McNamee's previous alleged sexual transgression is in play someone might say it is fair to balance this ... but I think it just serves to wildly deflect attention from the real issues. I know that in law if Clemens' lawyers try to paint him as a pilar of virtue against a scumbag, they do open themselves up to 'what pillar of virtue?' but it takes the whole thing SO far afield.

Yes, the election year comment is a smart one ... everything becomes in-play?

And yes, everyone in Yankeeland will be waiting for Posada's results. It seems obvious to me the Yanks weren't playing games with his injury as they released their #3 catcher! You don't DO that if you have any slight worries about your #1.

2008-04-28 07:41:10
5.   williamnyy23
Little disappointing to see a link like the one on Clemens in this bastion of integrity and credibility. It would be nice if accusations alleging statutory rape would contain at least some document evidence.
2008-04-28 07:42:00
6.   Just fair
Loose Balls. That's what she said. : )
Man, the fact that the boys are a game over 500 and 1.5 out of first with all the goings on so far is a minor miracle.
We'll see what these guys are made of now. They survived without the Captain a few years ago for a good length of time, but something tells me Eric Almonte does not catch.
2008-04-28 07:44:49
7.   dianagramr
I'd rather have only one season left of Moose than 5.5 of Barry Zito.
2008-04-28 07:45:52
8.   dianagramr
... maybe the Rays CAN get to 80 wins this season!
2008-04-28 08:01:39
9.   Rob Middletown CT
8 I think they can. They're going to be a major PITA this year. Thankfully the Red Sox have to play them too :)

I still don't see what others see in Ohlendorf. He throws hard, but his command is suspect and he's hittable. Bad combo.

Granted, Girardi probably shouldn't have put Saturday's game on him like that (paging Mariano...) and the offense spit the bit (Jeter's DP was sooooo painful, especially since I had just said, right out loud "like to see a squeeze here").

I'm terrified of losing Posada for an extended period. Ack.

2008-04-28 08:18:30
10.   ny2ca2dc
Even aside from how much it hurts the offense, losing JoPo just makes me sad. You know his heart is breaking. Jeter might get antsy on the bench, but Po's got the red ass and all, this has got to be just killing him. Hopefully this is something 2 weeks of rest can cure. Hopefully Molina is back to 100%. Sure is a shame Cervelli is hurt, this would've been a nice time to get him a taste of the bigs. Dumb Rays.
2008-04-28 08:30:04
11.   pistolpete
2 Posada already shot down the possibility of playing anywhere but behind the plate:

''I'm not playing first base,'' he said. ''I'm a catcher. We've got seven first basemen.''

Here's the link: http://tinyurl.com/45w7ez

2008-04-28 08:40:10
12.   Shaun P
1996: Yanks primary C: 471 PA, .244 EqA, 11.5 VORP

1997: Yanks primary C: 433 PA, .222 EqA, -6.1 VORP

We've been spoiled by Posada for years, and Mike Stanley from '93'-95, but the Yanks have won with crappy hitting catchers before. It can be done. The Angels did it in 2002 (primary C: 459 PA, 0.206 EqA, -7.9 VORP). The White Sox did it in 2005 (primary C: 497 PA, 0.243 EqA, 11.9 VORP). The Cards did it in 2006 (461 PA, 0.204 EqA, -19.7 VORP).

(The Diamondbacks kinda did it in 2001. But don't look at how the D'backs offense performed in 2001 by advanced metrics. Seriously. You'll thank me later.)

2008-04-28 09:05:13
13.   OldYanksFan
There's no doubt that for offense, Po can't be replaced. You might call this heresy, but Molina's defense and throwing were somewhat of a relief. The question if we lose Po is, will the rest of the team step up?

If Giambi can post a .850+ OPS, JD continues to hit as he has of late, and Cano, Jeter and Abreu hit like they should, I think we will be fine. After all, a little less O and a little more D is not a horrible idea for our team as curently constructed.

No, we are not a better team with Molina instead of with Po, but we may not be that much worse. I guess a real question is can Molina hold up as a regular catcher. Good thing Girardi hit the ice cream!

2008-04-28 09:14:21
14.   Schteeve
That whole, "We've got seven firstbasemen, makes me love Posada even more."
2008-04-28 09:15:05
15.   Schteeve
13 Replacement Level said that losing Posada is a six run a month downgrade.
2008-04-28 09:15:43
16.   RIYank
13 You're forgetting the biggest good surprise of April: Melky's OPS+ is 133 (he's slugging .506).
I don't think he can maintain it. But if he's close, that's a huge upgrade over last year.
2008-04-28 09:18:22
17.   rsmith51
I wonder why we don't see more squeezes. Does anyone know the success rate of a squeeze? I was at last Tuesday's game, and I said to my wife that I would like to see Jeter squeeze, when he had the bases loaded. He looked bad striking out before Abreu hit the GS.
2008-04-28 09:18:28
18.   williamnyy23
11 But did he say that knowing his only other option was not playing at all?
2008-04-28 09:19:37
19.   williamnyy23
17 I am not a huge fan of the squeeze, but in Saturday's game, the 9th inning was begging and screaming for a squeeze. Girardi's lack of action there was a huge disappointment to me.
2008-04-28 09:26:05
20.   dianagramr
From Will on bp.com:

Posada has a torn rotator cuff, the same muscle (the subscapularis) that has Rich Harden on the shelf. Posada will head to Birmingham for an examination and consultation with Jim Andrews. After the announcement, Posada seemed very emotional, which could indicate that he knows this is a longer-term injury or could just be a reaction to being placed on the DL for the first time. A subscapular tear is a bad thing for a catcher, and it isn't something that one can come back from quickly, though surgery doesn't look like an option. I'm setting Posada's DXL at 30, but remember that he could come back as a DH more quickly than that.

2008-04-28 09:27:18
21.   dianagramr
From Will on bp.com:

Posada has a torn rotator cuff, the same muscle (the subscapularis) that has Rich Harden on the shelf. Posada will head to Birmingham for an examination and consultation with Jim Andrews. After the announcement, Posada seemed very emotional, which could indicate that he knows this is a longer-term injury or could just be a reaction to being placed on the DL for the first time. A subscapular tear is a bad thing for a catcher, and it isn't something that one can come back from quickly, though surgery doesn't look like an option. I'm setting Posada's DXL at 30, but remember that he could come back as a DH more quickly than that.

2008-04-28 09:28:29
22.   dianagramr
18

nice touch .... 2008 IS the 25th anniversary of "WarGames" :-)

2008-04-28 09:34:56
23.   RIYank
17 I've been trying to find out the success rate of squeezes for a while and I can't find the information anywhere. I think I once checked Strat-O-Matic to see what percentages they used, on the theory that somebody there went to some trouble to make it realistic, but now I can't remember what I found.
My bet: with a bunter like Jeter, you score the run squeezing about as often as you do letting him swing, and of course the chance of a better result than the successful sac is much higher when Jeter swings.
2008-04-28 09:39:38
24.   williamnyy23
23 But the chance of a worse result (the DP) is much less. Percentages really blur the point though because that particular situation seemed to be the perfect storm for a bunt. Jeter is a great bunter; Damon is a very fast runner; and a dominant Mariano is poised to come in if you take the lead.
2008-04-28 09:47:38
25.   RIYank
24 I think the chance of Jeter hitting into a DP (with the bases loaded) is about 5%. So the chance of a worse result isn't much less.

Damon is a good runner, but that decreases the chance of a DP, so I think it makes the squeeze look worse.

2008-04-28 09:50:57
26.   RIYank
25 Hm, I take that back. It must be higher than 5%. I was looking at all of his bases loaded plate appearances, but some of those were obviously with two outs and 0 possibility of a DP, so they would have to be removed from the denominator.
2008-04-28 09:59:21
27.   Shaun P
23 I'm positive the last few BP annuals have said how often each manager runs the squeeze, but I'm not sure if they included the success rate or not. It would be a small data set, but its a start.
2008-04-28 12:32:55
28.   EdB
I think you'd have to look at K% and pop up % too in addition to DPs to comapare that scenario. It is highly unlikely that he would do any of the three on a bunt and none of the three would result in a run. So all that I would guess the odds of scoring a run on a bunt would be better than swinging away.
2008-04-28 13:41:16
29.   RIYank
28 But sac bunts also result in Ks and pop-ups sometimes; also the runner from third sometimes gets gunned down.

The reason we differ on which is better, though, is probably mainly that I am skeptical about the success rate of suicide squeezes. My guess is that with a bunter like Jeter it's around 50%. Most people would guess higher. Without data, of course, it's all just guessing.

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