Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2008-04-08 15:55
by Cliff Corcoran

It rained all morning in Kansas City yesterday, and though the precipitation stopped in time for the Royals' home opener against the Yankees, the weather remained cold, dank, and dreary. The two teams played accordingly, putting 30 men on base, but scoring just seven of them in a slow, sloppy contest which the Royals won by the surprisingly tidy score of 5-2.

Brian Bannister failed to execute his gameplan early on, throwing first-pitch strikes to just three of the first 11 men he faced. Phil Hughes didn't fair much better, getting strike one on just four of his first dozen batters. Neither pitcher was sharp, and the weather was at least partially to blame, as Hughes seemed to spend as much time blowing into his pitching hand as he did actually pitching, but home plate umpire Mark Wegner's strike zone wasn't helping. Wegner's performance behind the plate was one of the worst I can remember. There was absolutely no consistency to his zone not only from at-bat to at-bat, but within single at-bats. Both benches were riding him, both pitchers were frustrated, and batters on both sides couldn't figure out what to swing at or what to take. In part due to Wegner's embarrassing performance, there were ten walks and 19 strikeouts in the game, eight of the latter on called third strikes.

Things were bad all over. At the end of three innings, the game was tied 2-2 with both starters having walked four men. Brian Bannister had thrown 71 pitches and allowed eight baserunners. Hughes had thrown 79 pitches and allowed nine baserunners. Things tilted in the Royals' favor when Bannister pitched around a Johnny Damon single in the top of the fourth and Phil Hughes came out and gave up a pair of singles to start the bottom of the inning. Those two at-bats pushed Hughes' pitch count to 87 and, thanks to the baserunning of Joey Gathright (more on that below), gave the Royals a 3-2 lead. With a man on first and no outs, Joe Girardi went to his bullpen, hoping for a groundball double play from Ross Ohlendorf.

Ohlendorf delivered exactly that, then struck out Jose Guillen to end the inning, but after Bannister pitched the first 1-2-3 frame of the game in the top of the fifth, Ollie coughed up a pair of runs in the bottom of that inning to set the final score.

The Yankees got three more baserunners against lefty reliever Ron Mahay, but never staged a credible threat in the late innings as their last nine batters were retired in order by Mahay, former Yankee farmhand Ramon Ramirez, and the end-game combo of Leo Nuñez and Joakim Soria, thus wasting scoreless innings of relief by Ohlendorf (who saved the Yankee pen by going three full), Billy Traber, and LaTroy Hawkins (who again put two men on only to work out of his own jam).

Adding insult to injury, the Yankees played poorly in the field. Bobby Abreu made the only error of the game in the second inning when he tried to backhand a single on the run only to have the ball clank off the heal of his glove and the runner go to second, but there were several other misplays by the Bombers. Johnny Damon uncorked and errant rainbow throw from the outfield on an RBI single in the fifth that allowed the batter to go to second. Wilson Betemit, who otherwise acquitted himself well at shortstop, twice misplayed throws from Jorge Posada at the keystone, once having the throw clank off his glove and another time attempting, unsuccessfully, to take the throw while straddling the bag, narrowly avoiding a knee injury in the resulting collision with the baserunner. Most distressingly, the Yankees thrice correctly identified when the Royals were going to attempt a steal, twice pitching out and once throwing to first behind the runner, but failed to catch the runner in any of those three instances. In the last, Jason Giambi failed to get a good grip on the ball and never even made a throw to second.

Those issues with opposing basestealers were the most disturbing part of the game. Clearly aware that Jorge Posada had been struggling with a sore throwing shoulder, new Royals' skipper Trey Hillman decided to run on the Yankee catcher at every opportunity. The Royals' first batter, Joey Gathright, led off the bottom of the first with a single, then stole second. In the second, Hillman again found himself with a runner on first and no one ahead of him and had Tony Peña Jr. steal second. In the fourth, Gathright again led off with a single and stole both second and third in the next at-bat.

Posada singled in three at-bats, but his inability to control the Royals' running game forced Girardi to replace him after six innings. Jose Molina's record was promptly tainted by Ross Gload stealing on the pickoff botched by Giambi, but Molina announced his presence on the next pitch by throwing Gload out at third.

So here's where things go from bad to worse. Adding injury to insult, Posada was scheduled for an MRI on his shoulder after the game. He says he feels no pain in the shoulder, but that his arm feels "dead," a feeling he's had before, but one that's previously gone away with four or five days of rest. Posada rested three days last week and had Monday off, but obviously his shoulder is no better.

The thing is, with Derek Jeter also out of commission, Posada's injury leaves the team with a two-man bench and Morgan Ensberg, who last donned the tools of ignorance as a schoolboy, as their backup catcher. Either man could be back in action by the end of the weekend, making a DL stay excessive in either case, but the Yankees may be forced to make some other sort of roster move in the meantime just to avoid being caught shorthanded. For example, farming out Ohlendorf in the wake of his three-inning, 36-pitch outing in order to make room for triple-A catcher Chad Moeller or an extra infielder might make sense. Ohlendorf would have to spend 10 days in the minors, but the Yanks could juggle the roster by replacing Moeller with Jonathan Albaladejo when Posada's ready to catch again, then decide what do with Ohlendorf when he becomes eligible to be recalled (certainly Ollie's ability to come in and get a groundball DP like he did yesterday is of considerable value, as is his 6:0 K/BB rate in seven innings thus far this season). Of course, Posada's MRI could show that he'll need to miss more time, making a DL stay and Moeller's recall an easier decision, but we likely won't know more about that until closer to game time. Stay tuned . . .

If there's good news to be had here it's in Molina's performance thus far. Molina has picked up a hit in each of his four starts in place of the injured Posada, two of them doubles, and has thrown out four of the five men who have attempted to steal on him (not counting yesterday's botched pickoff). If he can stay hot both at the plate and behind it, the Yankees won't miss Posada too much provided he doesn't miss any more than the 15-day minimum, preferably much less. That's a lot of wishful thinking, but Molina has looked good in the early going.

Comments (124)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-04-09 03:24:21
1.   Bagel Boy
Serious question (seriously): What about Piazza? He hasn't retired yet. Give him a two-week contract, while Jorge is on the DL, and let him play 6 innings with Molina coming in as a defensive replacement. If he shows anything, he's a fine right bat for the bench. If he doesn't, you release him.

Sure, I know he didn't show much last year, but even that was better than Molina. And it would be much better than Molina with a backup of Moeller.

2008-04-09 04:06:54
2.   williamnyy23
Piazza's OPS+ last year was 96, meaning he is now a below average bat. Considering he has had no Spring Training, I don't think that idea is even remotely possible. The Yankees have to hope Jorge's shoulder is ok...if he missed 5-10 games, they'll survive. The only emergency contingency should come if he is going to be out longer.
2008-04-09 04:12:32
3.   williamnyy23
It looks as if the Yankees may be preparing to place both Jeter and Posada on the DL. Both men have been among the two most irreplaceable players in the Yankee lineup over the past 10+ years, so it will be interesting to see how the team copes without them.

Interestingly, Posada has always been undervalued, but I think many people have also started to under appreciate Jeter's importance to this team. All the headlines about his defense have kind of chipped away at his aura, but his presence in the Yankee lineup is still extremely important.

2008-04-09 04:32:01
4.   Sliced Bread
Thanks, as always, for the comprehensive recap and analysis, Cliff, and thanks for accentuating the positive at the end there.

Assuming the injuries to The Commander & Chief (Posada & Jeter on yer scorecards) are not season-ending, it's not the end-of-the-world that these vets are getting rest, and their backups are getting work.

Here's hoping batters one through six can get the sticks working, and that Kennedy finds his groove tonight.

2008-04-09 04:32:05
5.   Bagel Boy
And Molina last year was at a 61 OPS+ with a 65 OPS+ in 2006.

By contrast, Piazza had 122 OPS+ in 2006 (and slightly above average seasons before that).

The point is: Piazza is a no-risk, decent reward option for two weeks and much better than the Molina and Moeller combo.

2008-04-09 04:42:10
6.   williamnyy23
5 I am not suggesting Molina can hit with Piazza even now, but when you factor in the defense he is playing, a 90s OPS+ doesn't necessarily trump one in the 60s.

When you add in that Piazza hasn't had a spring training or likely even faced live pitching, it could take weeks for him to even get up to a 90ish OPS+ speed, making him more of a long-term solution than a short-term one.

In other words, Piazza does carry risk...that he might not hit in April and would be an awful defensive catcher (if he can even do it anymore).

2008-04-09 04:43:43
7.   monkeypants
I would like to point out that yesterday I advocated immediate DLing for Jeter because I suspected that the injury was more severe--I was roundly rebuked. Now it looks like Posada will go on the DL. Once again the Yankees tried to hide an injury on the bench for a few days, then play the injured player, and now the DL clock can only start today.

This won't affect Jetere. If he goes on the DL it can be retroactive to yesterday. But how many games will Posada lose by not starting him on the DL when he was first injuried?

2008-04-09 04:46:38
8.   monkeypants
5 6 I'm not sure I would go with a back-up if Molina has to start. I know it goes against baseball dogma to carry one C, and it limits PH options. On the other hand, adding Moeller (who is even worse than Molina) is not very inspiring. It's better, in my mind, to use the roster spot for a player who can hit some or even an extra BP arm. If disaster strikes--or if there really is a critical PH spot in one of teh upcoming games (what are the odds, really?--then you go with the emergence C (Ensberg) for one game.
2008-04-09 04:50:48
9.   williamnyy23
7 Personally, I prefer not to diagnose the severity of injuries. There is no way someone watching from afar can do that accurately. Obviously, the Yankees felt Posada did not require a DL stint. As Jorge stated himself, he has had similar problems in the past and they usually lasted 4-5 days. It would have been foolish to have DL'ed him and lost 10 healthy games as a result. The same holds true for Jeter.
2008-04-09 04:51:27
10.   Bagel Boy
6 I don't disagree that it may take him some time to get in shape. But we have no way of knowing if he's been staying in shape for exactly a situation like this. He certainly was never going to report to AAA. I say give him a shot. He could get hot for two weeks. That 96 OPS+ was the first time he's been that low in his career. He may be that - he may not.
2008-04-09 04:54:14
11.   williamnyy23
8 The only problem with that thinking is you would expand the bench, while also limiting the number of moves you could make. The advantage of adding Moeller is you could then pinch hit once for Molina. Otherwise, you'd be stuck with Molina.

Ensberg is truly an emergency catcher. If you put him in a close game, it could easily lead to a loss. I don't think you can play that fast and loose.

2008-04-09 04:57:45
12.   williamnyy23
10 But has you mentioned, he has only been more than just above average in 1 of his last 4 seasons. Even with a full ST, Piazza has struggled out of the gate over the past three seaons (OPS of .684, .689 and .705). I don't see any reason to think Piazza can suit up and immediately get hot. Molina adds significant value on defense, and I don't think the slight chance of Piazza getting hot mitigates against that.
2008-04-09 05:03:57
13.   monkeypants
9 I don't usually try to diagnose injuries either; but I do use historical evidence. And there is a not infrequent pattern with the Yankees trying keep players off the DL and having it come back to bite them. When I hear things like "quad is a little sore" and "he'll be on the shelf for a while", I get a little bit suspicious that this is more than a tweak.

11 I see what you['re saying, but it is almost like saving the closer for extra innings in case you get the lead. How many times in the course of two weeks should the team expect to PH for Molina? If it's no more than one or two, then I'm not sure carrying another BUC is worth the roster spot.

Yes, playing Ensberg in a close game is not smart. but, how many close games will there be? How often would he play? He is the emergency C, and to some degree I see this as an emergency situation: that is, he might see some playing time in one or two games depending on the circumstances, but it is not at all likely. Is that situation worth carrying Moeller for?

It is better, I think, to call up an extra BP arm for a number of days, since the BP has been heavily worked. Otherwise, just about anybody can be added who hits better than Moeller--perhaps a middle IF for late inning D?

2008-04-09 05:09:26
14.   monkeypants
9 As a follow up, regarding Posada. This I really don't get: Posada says he's had 'dead arm' before and only lasts 4 or 5 days. Ok, let's take this at face value. But now a week plus into the season he needs an MRI. This is a $200 million payroll team worth $one billion building a $1.3 billion dollar stadium. Why not give him an MRI two weeks ago, when we first heard about the 'dead arm'?
2008-04-09 05:17:42
15.   Yu-Hsing Chen
hey, it's not like we're off to a 0-7 start and basically eliminated ourself in the first wekk of the season or anything ;)

As for Piazza thing, let's see how badly Po actually is hurt befor we rush to judgement. if he's out for more than a couple of weeks then yes. we need to think about something.

2008-04-09 05:22:13
16.   williamnyy23
13 In all honesty, I can't think of one significant case in which the Yankees slow played an injury and had it come back to really haunt them.

As for Molina, I'd imagine there is a good chance that you'd want to pinch hit for him in every close game. Also, in many way, it's exactly the opposite of saving your closer. Who knows when Molina will come up in a key spot. It could be the 5th, 7th or 9th. Having Moeller would allow Girardi to PH for Molina at the most opportune time. If the Yankees do not carry a BUC, it would pretty much limit PHing for Molina to very late game situations when an out means game over anyway.

Of course, no one can predict close games, but the Yankees have already playing a number of them. Three of the Yankees 4 wins have been close games, so I don't think that's a gamble I want to take.

2008-04-09 05:24:12
17.   monkeypants
16 Sheffield, Gary. Giambi, Jason.

Both were day-to-dayed, then played a liitle, stunk, missed games, day-to-dayed. And finally on the DL. Meanwhile, the team played essentially short-handed for numerous games before the players finally landed on the DL.

2008-04-09 05:30:03
18.   monkeypants
16 We might add the walking dead version of Damon at the start of last year, who was certainly nursing a host of injuries but never went on the DL.
2008-04-09 05:35:38
19.   Sliced Bread
14 Being a bit claustrophobic myself, I wouldn't be in any rush to subject myself to the dreaded MRI tube to check what I suspect is a pain that will go away in a few days.

Sure, Jorge's a mega-millionaire playing for a billion dollar corporation, but he's also a guy whose son has had very serious health problems which may make his aches, or "dead" arm seem insignificant.

Every father's health is extremely important to him, and his family, but who among us rushes to the MRI tube when our shoulder barks? I imagine professional athletes who are used to playing banged up are even less likely to worry about their aches and pains.

The Yanks aren't playing shorthanded. They have players, and they'll make a more concrete plan when they know the extent of the injury. No sense worrying now as I see it.

2008-04-09 05:38:09
20.   williamnyy23
17 Yes...but those injuries lasted so long that back dating wouldn't have mattered. I think losing the player additional healthy days because of a failure to back date is the real risk. Playing short handed without a guy like Terence Long or Andy Phillips isn't really a risk, in my opinion.
2008-04-09 05:41:52
21.   rbj
Glad I missed the game. I don't know anything about the current injuries, but it seems to me that Girardi won't hesitate to ask for a DL/call-up if needed. He's here to win and not coddle his veterans.
2008-04-09 05:42:07
22.   monkeypants
20 I'm not sure I follow. They kept dead wood on the bench for days or weeks before putting them on the DL. The fact it ended up being the 60 day DL does not matter; they still lost those initial player-games because they refused to stick them on the 15 day DL to start.

I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this issue. I probably tend to err to the side of caution with an aging team, so I would invoke the DL sooner rather than later. I also tend to like a full bench, rather than use the bench for convalescence. But my way would no doubt hurt the team at times when a two or three day rest was turned into a 15 day DL every time a player had a booboo.

2008-04-09 05:46:42
23.   Bagel Boy
12 "But has you mentioned, he has only been more than just above average in 1 of his last 4 seasons."

Sorry, but that's a ridiculous statement, especially when the comparison is with Jose Molina and his 65 OPS+. A 100 OPS+ in that case is two standard deviations better.

16 "It could be the 5th, 7th or 9th."

This is another ridiculous statement. You're seriously in favor of carrying Moeller so you can pinch hit for Molina in the 5th inning? So of the four AB's in a game, one goes to Molina, one to Duncan or Ensberg, and two to Moeller.

Sorry, but I'd much rather roll the dice with Piazza than with that insane scenario. Give him two or three ABs a game then bring in Molina for defense if it's close.

2008-04-09 05:46:55
24.   williamnyy23
22 My point is Giambi's and Sheffield's likely replacements were also deadwood. So, I'd rather hold out hope of either recovering quickly then immediately placing them on the DL and risk having a healthy player out of action.

Now, if the Yankees have capable replacements at the ready, that's another question. With Jeter and Posada, however, I don't think that's the case.

2008-04-09 05:51:20
25.   williamnyy23
23 What is ridiculous is your decision to completely ignore defense as well as your assumption that Piazza can sign a contract, suit up and hit. The game is played on the field in 2008, not on paper in 1998.
2008-04-09 05:54:08
26.   williamnyy23
23 I guess defense behind the plate doesn't count for the first 7 innings or so. I am sure AL baserunners will dutifully wait to run wild until after Molina has entered the game for defense. Girardi is an ex-catcher, so thankfully he isn't going to "roll the dice" behind the plate.
2008-04-09 05:56:58
27.   Bagel Boy
25 It's two weeks. If it turns out his defense is awful, even playing 3/4 of games, then they're right back where they started with Molina and Moeller. As for the suiting up, he was never going to AAA (nor should be expected to as a HOFer) - so it's the only way to see what he's still got. Think of it like a ten-day NBA contract.
2008-04-09 05:59:42
28.   ny2ca2dc
26 I suppose it's also irrelevant the rotation has 2 rookies, 1 crank, and 1 very unique pitcher.
2008-04-09 06:01:27
29.   Bagel Boy
26 I admit that the Piazza suggestion is from left field. But pinch hitting Molina in the 5th, only to insert Moeller, is from the Major Deegan.
2008-04-09 06:08:12
30.   tommyl
14 You have to realize that over a 162 game a season every single player has bumps, bruises and strains. A-Rod had that sore shoulder for a bit last year, Jeter had a gimpy knee etc. If players were rushed off for an MRI every time they have a sore muscle there'd never be anyone on the field. Could Posada's injury be serious? Yes, but it could also just be a slight muscle strain that is being aggravated by the cold weather. He's had this before and thought he could play through it, I can't fault the team for not rushing off to the MRI room. He's had no catastrophic muscle or ligament failure.

Now, Jeter, I don't know. You have a better argument there. It depends on the severity of the strain. If its not a grade 1, I don't know what he's doing still on the roster, as a grade 2 or above will take at least a few weeks to heal.

However, I think you have an overall point, and its one Will Carroll has touched on. The Yankees in their training and medical approach are not as aggressive and modern as they could be. Certainly Sheffield should have been diagnosed and treated earlier than he was, ditto Jason.

2008-04-09 06:13:18
31.   Bagel Boy
28 Give Piazza his first start with Pettitte on the mound. He'll mostly control the running game. And see how it goes from there. Piazza has had a lot of time off. That could be really good or really bad. But it's worth shot, even if it's just 10 games over two weeks.
2008-04-09 06:21:06
32.   buffalocharlie

Interesting point with Pettitte. Piazza is not all that bad of a DEF catcher. He blocks the plate well, wears his mitt on the proper hand, etc...he just has a very poor throw to 2b.

The Molinas must have a cousin somewhere, or a sister for that matter, sign em up, its in their Levis...

2008-04-09 06:48:48
33.   williamnyy23
27 If "it's only two weeks" then I guess you can just as easily live without the offense at catcher.

Also, you are assuming Piazza would sign a 10-day contract. Do you really think he'd be ok with that set-up. Regardless, I don't see how a 40 year old catcher will be able to jump right into games without tuning up. Piazza did a tune-up in the minors last year with Oakland, so why would this time be different?

28 I have no idea what that means.

29 You wouldn't pinch hit for Molina if the Yankees were done a few runs and the bases were loaded in the 5th? Casey Stengel used to do things like that all time. Of course, he also came by way of the Deegan and happened to win every year. Something tells me Girardi has a little Stengel in him.

32 That may have been true a few years ago, but at age 39 and a season removed from being a catcher, I don't Piazza is ready to jump right behind the plate.

2008-04-09 06:56:25
34.   JL25and3
I don't think there's any such thing as a two-week contract. I don't know if the commissioner's office would approve it, but I feel certain the players' union wouldn't.
2008-04-09 06:57:08
35.   Shaun P
I know that the NBA has 10-day contracts, but I've never heard of MLB having such a thing. Is this something new?

It sucks that Posada might go on the DL for the first time in his career, but, as long as its only 15 days, I'm not too worried about a Molina-Moeller combo. Think of it as a 2-week slump for Jorge when he had Nieves as his backup. =) The Yanks have won games in those situations before.

2008-04-09 06:58:24
36.   JL25and3
33 "Casey Stengel used to do things like that all time."

So did Earl Weaver, with both Rick Dempsey and Mark Belanger.

2008-04-09 07:15:57
37.   ny2ca2dc
33 I'm agreeing with you & adding another point in favor of your argument.
2008-04-09 07:19:52
38.   williamnyy23
37 Thanks for the clarification...I wasn't sure whether you were agreeing or disagreeing with my comment.
2008-04-09 07:32:44
39.   dianagramr
In the Posada/Girardi era ...

Record in games in which player appeared (not necessarily started)

Player Wins Losses WPCT
Joe Girardi 230 149 .607
Jorge Posada 836 600 .582
John Flaherty 77 56 .579
Sal Fasano 16 12 .571
Todd Greene 18 16 .529
Chris Widger 11 10 .524
Kelly Stinnett 17 17 .500
Jose Molina 17 17 .500
Al Castillo 7 8 .467
Wil Nieves 15 20 .429
Dioner Navarro 2 3 .400

2008-04-09 07:34:21
40.   Bagel Boy
35 No, there isn't a two-week contract. It would be a one year contract with the understanding that if it didn't work out, they'd cut him and quick. Call it Piazza's last chance to show something. He'd know that going in, but his hope would be showing enough to stick.

33 No, I wouldn't pinch hit for Molina in the fifth only to have Moeller get two ABs in the same game.

2008-04-09 07:36:11
41.   Bagel Boy
39 Well, obviously, someone call Sal Fasano!
2008-04-09 07:47:45
42.   Shaun P
40 I'm just trying to work through this . . . even if Piazza initially signed a minor league deal, as soon as he's promoted to the bigs, he has a guaranteed major league contract. They've got to pay him at the least the MLB minimum, right? IIRC, that's $390K.

Let's say he has nothing. I suspect that's likely, because he last faced MLB pitching seven months ago. And, best I can tell, he only caught a couple of games last year, so he hasn't caught regularly since 2006.

Even if the Yanks release him, they still owe him all $390K. Even for the Yanks, that seems like a waste of money.

And, that assumes Piazza would sign for the minimum. I doubt he would, so let's make it an even million. Then it really becomes silly.

2008-04-09 07:51:01
43.   Shaun P
42 And, the Yanks would have to drop someone from the 40-man roster too, to fit Piazza in. Now maybe exposing, say, Steven White or Chase Wright isn't such a big deal. They are probably the last two options on the depth chart should the Yanks need another starter.

But given the huge risk Piazza is, exposing even the 40th guy on the 40 man seems like a waste. Especially for just two weeks.

2008-04-09 07:54:14
44.   Bagel Boy
42 Who says he wouldn't do it for the minimum and performance bonuses (plate appearances, games, etc.)? Right now, he's got no options to play. This is one. The choice is between nothing and something.

Suppose Jorge is out for a month...

2008-04-09 07:54:46
45.   JL25and3
43 I think they can clear a spot on the 40-man by putting Cervelli on the 60-day DL.
2008-04-09 07:57:34
46.   Bagel Boy
43 And if Posada is out for a month?

Besides, Piazza hasn't had Tony Pena to work with....

2008-04-09 08:01:01
47.   ny2ca2dc
45 Not to add salt to our wounds, but if Po were to go on the DL and Frankie had never been injured, it might have been a nice time to get Frankie a cup of coffee in the bigs. Stupid Rays.
2008-04-09 08:02:44
48.   tommyl
I'm confused by all this Piazza stuff. Lets say Posada is out for 2-3 weeks. If you signed Piazza today and sent him to extended spring training or A-ball to start getting in shape it would take a minimum of 10 days or so to get even close to ML ready. 2-3 weeks sounds like a much more realistic estimate for a 39 year old catcher who hasn't caught in 2 years. So, he makes it to the majors just in time for Posada to come off the DL?

Now, if Posada goes down for much longer than that, then its a whole different ballgame. If that happens, I feel fair in saying the Yanks are screwed at catcher for that time. There is no spare part available that can come close to replacing Posada. I don't think Mauer will be easily available via trade.

2008-04-09 08:05:51
49.   ny2ca2dc
46 If Po was to be out for, say 60 days or something like that, and/or if Giambi and Jeter were both also going to be out, I would probably support getting creative. But if Jeter comes back soon and Giambi can keep on the field and productive, I don't think upsetting the apple cart is necessary. Also thankfully, Melky has been hitting well, as has Molina, to offset the loss of Po.

So; losing Po, Jeter, and Giambi would be scary, but just losing one of them medium term, or multiple of them for short terms, ain't the end of the world.

2008-04-09 08:09:39
50.   Andre
All this talk about Piazza is making me ill. Shows the lack of foresight the Yanks have had over the past few years in failing to cultivate good catchers. I would argue that a top catcher is almost as valuable as a #2 or 3 starter.

I'll admit that I'm not sure the Yanks could have done anything about this so I'm really just whining here, (and it's hard to argue that they shouldn't have been recruiting all of the pitchers that they have) but weren't there ANY good catchers they could have drafted?

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-04-09 08:15:14
51.   tommyl
50 Well its not that they didn't cultivate them, its that they traded them away for cranky old pitchers.

There are a few down in Tampa right now, and Cervelli was close had he not been hurt. None are Posada, but then Posada is a possible HoF caliber player. You can't just cultivate that. There's a lot of luck involved.

If Posada's shoulder is really messed up, it might be worth teaching him to play 1B a bit. Giambi isn't going to last, and it could keep him in the lineup, and as our emergency catcher. Then you could send down one of the DH/1B types and call up a backup catcher. I'm sure Girardi and Cash have thought of this as well.

2008-04-09 08:16:31
52.   Bagel Boy
50 Well they weren't exactly drafting catchers. Look at all the decent ones that have gone when they could have snagged them (Suzuki, Martin, McCann, Salty). If anything, they've been extremely lucky Jorge has been hurt before.
2008-04-09 08:20:39
53.   williamnyy23
40 So, you'd rather have three Molina bats over 2 Moeller ABs and one AB from a Shelley Duncan/lefty Betemit type? Really?

42 Exactly. The Yankees would basically be throwing money away on the hopes that Piazza would (A) be able to cacth after not having done since 2006 and (b) beginning hitting without any tune-up. I think both assumptions are foolish.

46 Now you are talking about a long-term concern, not the short-term "10-day" solution you mentioned earlier. I can live with signing Piazza to a minor league contract, having him catch for 2 weeks in AAA and evaluating his condition from that point. Simply thrusting him onto the major league roster, however, makes no sense at all.

50 They have started drafting catchers (e.g., Montero and Cervelli). As 47 mentioned, you can't blame the Yankees for not forecasting Cervelli's injury. On Opening Day, the Yankees had a quality major league, back-up, minor league and deep prospect catcher. How many more can they have?

2008-04-09 08:20:47
54.   JL25and3
49 Losing Posada for a couple of months is a pretty scary prospect, regardless of Jeter and Giambi. Molina's had a nice week, but a guy with a career 64 OPS+ isn't going to keep that up. That spot in the lineup is likely to be a black hole, and an improvement from Melky won't really offset that.
2008-04-09 08:29:27
55.   tommyl
52 They are now to some extent. The problem is that its hard to draft a nearly MLB ready catcher. Montero and the rest will hopefully pan out. If Montero does, he could be a monster at the position.
2008-04-09 08:29:57
56.   Bagel Boy
53 What part of "A HOFer ain't going to AAA" don't you get?

The fact is, we have no idea how long Jorge is out. And a bum shoulder is a bad sign from a catcher - as Jorge pointed out, they throw as much, if not more, than any pitcher. The point on Piazza is: It could be 10 days or thirty. It's a low-cost, potentially decent benefit move. Bring him in and see what he can do in limited playing time.

Yes, I'd much prefer three ABs from Molina than those same three from Moeller and Duncan, especially since Molina would continue to play defense. Unless you're going for offense, he's the catcher. And if you're going for offense, you might as well really go for it with Piazza.

Neither Cervelli nor Montero were drafted.

2008-04-09 08:37:05
57.   JL25and3
56 If Piazza's not willing to have some evaluation/training period before starting in the majors, then I'd forget it.
2008-04-09 08:37:13
58.   williamnyy23
56 What part of the fact that the Hall of Famer spent time in both A and AAA last season don't you get? Please check the facts. The Yankees would be foolish to simply pluck Piazza into a game without any preparation. I am pretty sure Piazza would prefer a tune-up as well. Your suggestion defies all reason.

Moeller is also a solid defensive catcher...the drop off from Molina is not great. If you'd prefer to not take advantage of a high leverage offensive situation, that up to you.

2008-04-09 08:39:18
59.   tommyl
54 Fortunately, Molina is a very good defensive backstop, and not a total black hole. As I said above, you can't "replace" Posada, the guy's a borderline HoF candidate and had a shot at the MVP last year. There aren't any backup catchers around who fit that description. What you can do is replace him with a very good defensive player who can hit a bit (Molina) and try to hang on. The same arguments can be made about SS, though the team has tried to draft SS, they just haven't panned out (ahem, CJ Henry).

As we suspected, this will all come down to the pitching. So far the pen has been good. If the starters can hold down the fort, we can survive April, get Jeter and Po back to healthy and then start to click. If the kids crumble, Moose gets shelled and Andy has problems, well then, its all a moot point.

2008-04-09 08:41:19
60.   tommyl
56 Seriously, you want to get into the technical points that Montero was an international free agent signing as opposed to an American drafted? Anyone they get, be it in the draft or IFA I consider "drafted". The point is they are trying to find catching prospects, who cares if they come from Japan, Cuba, DR or Kansas?
2008-04-09 08:41:36
61.   Bagel Boy
57 Sure, do it in Tampa but he sure as heck ain't doing it in AAA, to prove himself, as 53 suggests.

58 And I'm supposed to be excited by his 3 OPS+ in 2007 or his 29 OPS+ in 2006? Yeah, exchange three ABs at 65 OPS+ for one at 100 OPS+ and 2 at 20 OPS+. That makes a ton of sense.

2008-04-09 08:41:40
62.   williamnyy23
55 The Yankees also drafted Austin Romine in the second round of last year's draft. Also, back in 2000, I believe they selected David Parrish with their #1 pick. I don't the team has exactly ignored the position.
2008-04-09 08:43:20
63.   Shaun P
53 Don't forget last June's second round pick, Austin Romine.

52 As for the catchers you mentioned:

Suzuki was a 2nd round pick in 2004. Would the Yanks rather have him over Brett Smith, who they picked to start that round? Probably yes. Over Yovani Gallardo or Hunter Pence, taken after Smith but before Suzuki? No way.

Martin was drafted in the 17th round in 2002. I think its safe to say he was a find. Expecting the Yanks to have somehow known this at the time is silly.

The Yanks couldn't have taken McCann in 2002 (he was a 2nd round pick) because they didn't pick until after the Braves had taken him (no 1st round picks due to signing Giambi). (The real loss there was Curtis Granderson, who went 9 picks after the Yanks selected a pitcher named Brandon Weeden.)

Salty - yeah, that would have been nice. The Yanks could have had him instead of Eric Duncan. Or Adam Jones, or Daric Barton. I wish they had actually been paying attention in the draft back then.

2008-04-09 08:45:24
64.   williamnyy23
61 I can see you are still ignoring the inconvenient fact that Piazza spent time in the minors last season.

Also, I think you need to explore the notion of small sample size as well as come to grips with the idea of leverage. All at bats are not equal. With a PH, a manager has the ability to use a better option at the most opportune time. For some reason, you can't seem to grasp that concept.

2008-04-09 08:45:49
65.   Bagel Boy
60 Only in the the sense that draft has had plenty of decent prospects (not named Parrish) the last few years. The Yankees had only taken one route, up to last year. Navarro wasn't drafted either.
2008-04-09 08:46:21
66.   tommyl
62 Exactly my point, and before that Navarro (which was my trading for cranky old guys reference). People forget sometimes that you can't just draft Derek Jeter or Jorge Posada (who was an IF when they drafted him btw). For every guy that makes it, there are a score of them who look equally promising but don't pan out.

The Yankees have a few prospects at C and SS who could contribute when Jeter and Posada's contracts run out. I'm sure they'll keep drafting at those positions as well. You can't blame the team if Posada gets hurt, as we've all said, he's irreplaceable. If they had anyone as good waiting in the wings, then why the hell isn't he starting half the games anyways?

2008-04-09 08:46:36
67.   williamnyy23
63 Good point on Salty, but Eric Duncan was so highly regarded by so many people that it's tough to blame them for that pick.
2008-04-09 08:48:20
68.   Bagel Boy
64 Not to earn a job/contract, as you're suggesting.
2008-04-09 08:48:26
69.   JL25and3
59 I recognize Molina's defensive value. I said the lineup spot becomes a black hole, because I seriously question whether he can really "hit a bit." We have something of a distorted view of Molina, because his 80 AB as a Yankee far surpass anything else he's ever done. With much more playing time, he's sure to turn back into Jose Molina, who can't hit a lick.

Now, I agree that the Yankees aren't likely to do much better than Molina as a replacement. That's why I find losing Posada for any length of time to be such a scary prospect. (FWIW, I think the dropoff from Jeter to Betemit is considerably less than from Posada to Molina.)

2008-04-09 08:48:51
70.   williamnyy23
66 Also, highly touted prospects at C and SS are usually drafted very high. They seem to be less likely to slip on signability issues as many pitchers do.
2008-04-09 08:50:46
71.   Bagel Boy
63 The point is: they were barely trying. They wasted a pick on Parrish then acted like an abused child - irrationally fearing all catchers in the draft.
2008-04-09 08:51:36
72.   williamnyy23
68 I see. I wasn't aware that you knew what Piazza would be willing to do. I was going by what he has actually done in the past. If Iron Mike insisted on playing the next day after his contract was signed as you suggest, well, then the Yankees would be even more foolish if they considered him as an option. Heck, forget Piazza...why not just sign Yogi?
2008-04-09 08:52:07
73.   Bagel Boy
69 Excellent point on the drop-off. Jorge has been the most irreplaceable Yankee for a few seasons now.
2008-04-09 08:54:06
74.   williamnyy23
By the way, the Yankees drafted Jorge Posada in the 24th round. Heck, even the eternally young Mike Piazza was only drafted as a favor to Tommy Lasorda. To suggest that the failure to draft catchers early on is evidence of "not trying" or "irrational" is absurd.
2008-04-09 08:54:28
75.   Bagel Boy
72 Who said anything about the next day? But we have no idea the kind of shape he's in. He could be rearing to go, or he could be a fat slob. Still, if he's going to sign, it's not going to be a minor league deal or with some contingency on performance in AAA. The "facts" you cite are irrelevant exactly because he already had a contract.
2008-04-09 08:55:54
76.   monkeypants
64 I generally agree with your point about leverage/PH, but maybe you push the point too far.

1. Very few managers will PH in the third or fifth inning, even if it is a high leverage situation. we may wish they would, and we may harken back to Earl Weaver and Casey Stengel, but that doesn't change current managerial dogma.

2. Part of leverage is also opportunity. Based loaded two out in the eight is a much higher leverage situation than based loaded two out in the third or fifth, for the very reason that there are fewer opportunities left in the former. So, one may PH for Moline (for example) in the fifth, but doing so does in fact bear the additional cost of losing his bat later in the game.

Now, the drop off may be irrelevant (is Moeller really much worse than Molina?), and one may calculate that the run-scoring opportunity in the fifth is more valuable than the two or three subsequent ABs that you know you are getting from that spot in the line-up. But the cost must be part of the calculation.

2008-04-09 08:57:02
77.   Bagel Boy
74 Really? Besides Parrish, name one catcher they drafted.

With the tenuous state of Jorge the last few years, they should have been signing one catching prospect every damn year.

2008-04-09 08:58:29
78.   tommyl
77 Austin Romine.
2008-04-09 08:59:22
79.   Bagel Boy
77 And the reason Parrish doesn't count? Jorge was 28 years old then.
2008-04-09 09:02:51
80.   Raf
53 On Opening Day, the Yankees had a quality major league, back-up, minor league and deep prospect catcher. How many more can they have?

Ask the Pirates :)

2008-04-09 09:03:10
81.   Bagel Boy
78 "The Yankees had only taken one route, up to last year." 65

Navarro was signed in 2000, as a 16 year old.

Cervelli was signed in 2003, as a 16 year old.

They waited until 2007 to change that "strategy".

2008-04-09 09:03:20
82.   tommyl
79 This is nonsensical. You asked me to name one catcher they have drafted who wasn't Parrish, then you asked why I didn't name Parrish?
2008-04-09 09:03:25
83.   Shaun P
71 While the selection of Parrish was clearly a waste - even at the time the pick was poorly regarded - I think its a bit of a stretch to say the Yanks "irrationally feared all catchers in the draft".

Your only support for that argument is that, for many years after taking Parrish #1 in 2000, they did not draft any other catchers in the first few rounds. That is a fact. However, that action could be explained by many things other than "irrational fear" - things that are themselves supportable by evidence.

If you want to argue that the Yanks drafted poorly in those years because they didn't properly evaluate players, or didn't fund the player development side of things adequately, or because the draft was (wrongly) considered unimportant, you'll get nothing but agreement from me. There's plenty of evidence for those things. But "irrational fear" is pure speculation on your part.

2008-04-09 09:05:22
84.   JL25and3
76 There shouldn't be any offensive dropoff to speak of between Molina and his backup. Difficult as it is to find a decent starting catcher, it's no real trick to find a backup who can hit about as well as Molina.
2008-04-09 09:05:30
85.   tommyl
81 Now you are upset that they signed good catching prospects, but they were too young? What legs is your argument standing on? They have drafted catchers. They have signed IFA catchers. Some of them have been good, some of them haven't, some are hurt. With the exception of Montero and Romine, none look like Jorge Posada, but then he's arguably the best catcher in baseball right now. Those don't grow on trees. Should we fault them for not drafting anyone as good as A-Rod at 3B?
2008-04-09 09:06:45
86.   Raf
74 It should be noted that Posada was a middle infielder when drafted, not a catcher.
2008-04-09 09:07:53
87.   JL25and3
86 It's not easy to imagine Jorge Posada playing second base.
2008-04-09 09:07:58
88.   Bagel Boy
83 I was being facetious. Still, the record is the record. With a rapidly aging catcher, the Yankees signed three decent catching prospects in 8 years, and two were in 2007.
2008-04-09 09:09:08
89.   Bagel Boy
84 Really? You mean like the five years before Molina?
2008-04-09 09:10:06
90.   tommyl
88 And you have records of the entire draft? not just the first two rounds? How many catchers did they take a flier on late in the draft? As they did, with say Jorge himself, or the Dodgers did with Piazza?
2008-04-09 09:15:38
91.   Bagel Boy
90 The challenge was for you (or anyone else). I'm obviously a busy man. :)

Seriously, between Parrish in 2000 and Romine in 2007, can any one name one catcher they drafted?

2008-04-09 09:23:51
92.   monkeypants

Chad Moeller's career OPS+ is 60, infalted by a 114 and a 93 in back-to-back seasons (age 27 and 28) with the D-Backs. His last four years have been 49, 61, 29, and 3. Yes, 3.

Molina's career OPS+ is 64, but his last four years have been 76, 70, 65, and 61. He has played much more consistently than Moeller (three or four times the ABs).

At this point, Molina is a sold BUC, Moeller is not even that. And I would hazard that given ABs, Moeller would in fact hit worse at this stage of his career than Molina. Maybe not much worse, but maybe Wil Nieves worse.

So yeah, I would hesitate to PH for Molina in the fifth if it meant two or three ABs by Moeller.

2008-04-09 09:23:57
93.   Raf
87 After all these years, I'd imagine it would be a bit difficult.

From the looks of it, he split time @ 2b & C when he was @ Oneonta. Then became a full time catcher @ G'boro (with a handful of games @ 3b).

There's probably an interesting story behind the move, but from the looks of it he was a pretty bad 2b.

2008-04-09 09:27:03
94.   Shaun P
77 OK.

2001, 21st round - Omir Santos
2001, 25th round - Harold M Edwards
2001, 32nd round - Aaron G Edwards
2001, 36th round - Fernando Fuentes
2002, 18th round - Luis A Robles
2002, 36th round - Doug A Boone
2003, 31st round - Joe Larman
2003, 37th round - Blakely W Murphy
2003, 49th round - David A Ferazza
2003, 50th round - Michael A Muscato
2004, 1st round - Jonathan D Poterson
2004, 7th round - Alex C Garabedian
2004, 13th round - Peter J Pilittere
2004, 40th round - Nathan Griffin
2005, 12th round - Joseph M Muich
2005, 18th round - Joseph G Burke
2005, 21st round - Hanseld Diaz
2005, 23rd round - Matthew Wallach
2005, 25th round - Bradley G Canada
2005, 50th round - Blake W Heym
2006, 24th round - Brian M Baisley
2006, 29th round - Orlando I Torres
2006, 30th round - Brock Ungricht
2006, 44th round - James Lasala
2006, 47th round - Charles C Smith

We can debate tactical considerations (better to draft a C early, or try to grab one late? Curtis Thigpen was a second round pick who failed; Russell Martin was a 17th round pick who succeeded; etc.) another time. Or whether any of these guys drafted were "prospects"; or if its possible to consistently identify catching "prospects" who actually go on to become major league catchers. But your question was:

"Besides Parrish, name one catcher they drafted."

88 Poterson, taken in the 1st round in 2004, might have been considered a prospect too.

Still, tommyl is right in 90 - its not fair to define a prospect as a guy drafted in the 1st or 2nd round. Plenty of guys develop into prospects despite being drafted later, and plenty of guys drafted at the top never pan out.

Have the Yanks dealt with the issue of finding a replacement for Posada well? Probably not, but that's what happens when you ignore the draft for years.

But, finding a replacement for Posada has not been the only need over the years, either. And I think you're over-simplifying the issue by arguing "With the tenuous state of Jorge the last few years, they should have been signing one catching prospect every damn year."

Nice idea in theory, hard to practice. Shoot, with all the creaky outfielders, and pitchers, and no relievers beyond Mo to speak of, your logic suggests the Yanks should have been signing OF, SP, and RP prospects by the boatload too. Problem is, there are only so many prospects to go around, and the org's needs have been a lot more varied than "making sure we have an adequate replacement for Posada".

2008-04-09 09:31:35
95.   williamnyy23
88 The Yankees have drafted and signed catchers...that's a fact. They have drafted and signed even more as Posada has grown older...that's also a fact, not to mention a very good idea. You really don't seem to have a point here.

90 Just for the record, here are the catchers the Yankees have drafted from 2000-2007 (prior to Round 30).

2007: Austin Romine – 2nd Round
2006: Brian Baisley -24th Round
2005: Joseph Muich - 12th Round; Joseph Burke – 18th Round; Hanseld Diaz- 21st Round; Matthew Wallach- 23rd round
2004: Jonathan Poterson – 1st Round (3rd catcher over all); Alex Garabedian – 7th Round
2003: Joe Larman – 31st Round
2002: Luis Robles – 18th Round;
2001: Omir Santos ; 21st Round
2000: David Parrish; 1st Round (2nd overall); Clinton Chauncey - 18th Round

2008-04-09 09:34:19
96.   JL25and3
89 For his first two years, Flaherty was a much better hitter than Molina (that is, than Molina is likely to be for the rest of the year). His third year, for reasons that escape me, they didn't make an effort to find someone else. They've also had guys like Chris Widger and Kelly Stinnett, who at the least aren't a big dropoff from a 64 OPS+.

To the extent that they've had any difficulty finding a 64 OPS+ backup, it reflects an organizational failure, not an inherent difficulty in finding one.

2008-04-09 09:35:44
97.   williamnyy23
95 I left off P.J. Pilittere, who was drafted in Round 13 of the 2004 draft. That year, the Yankees selected 3 catchers in the first 13 rounds.
2008-04-09 09:36:28
98.   williamnyy23
94 Beat me to it...good job!
2008-04-09 09:37:59
99.   Bagel Boy
94 Thanks! Poterson and Garabedian were the only ones in the first ten rounds, and both in the same year. What the hell happened in 2001 to 2003 and especially 2005 and 2006?

I now feel very confident in saying the position was almost completely neglected from 2001-2006.

2008-04-09 09:38:15
100.   JL25and3
92 I'm not saying Moeller is the guy. It shouldn't be any harder to get someone better than Moeller than it was to get Molina last year.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-04-09 09:40:17
101.   Bagel Boy
94 "Nice idea in theory, hard to practice. Shoot, with all the creaky outfielders, and pitchers, and no relievers beyond Mo to speak of, your logic suggests the Yanks should have been signing OF, SP, and RP prospects by the boatload too. Problem is, there are only so many prospects to go around, and the org's needs have been a lot more varied than "making sure we have an adequate replacement for Posada"."

Sorry, but that's exactly what they've done in 2006 and 2007. If only it had been happening as early as 2003.

2008-04-09 09:41:02
102.   williamnyy23
92 I don't know....they both have roughly the same career OPS+ and Moeller is actually younger. I don't think there is enough of an offensive difference between the two to justify not using a much better hitter in a higher leverage situation. It would be interesting to run some numbers to see if there is a numerical answer to the question.
2008-04-09 09:41:06
103.   Bagel Boy
100 Really? You mean like Flaherty, Stinnett, Fasano, and Nieves?
2008-04-09 09:43:07
104.   Bagel Boy
102 Yeah, the last two years from Moeller means nothing. Let's just forget they happened.
2008-04-09 09:43:29
105.   JL25and3
103 Did you even read my previous post?
2008-04-09 09:45:30
106.   Bagel Boy
105 Sure, you said:

"It shouldn't be any harder to get someone better than Moeller than it was to get Molina last year."

Except it's been exactly that hard - for five years.

2008-04-09 09:47:56
107.   williamnyy23
99 So you want the Yankees to draft catchers in the first 10 rounds every year? That might help you find a solid catcher, but it's going to leave you barren everywhere else.

As for what happened to 2003, for example, well, of all the catchers drafted that year, only four have made it to the majors: Daric Barton, Mitch Maier and Salty (all first rounders) and Ryan Garko (3rd round). Considering that Barton and Garko are no longer catchers, that leaves two.

2008-04-09 09:52:38
108.   Bagel Boy
107 Right, cause they had extremely productive drafts each of those years.

Between the first ten rounds of the draft and international signings, I'd say it's not a stretch to have one good catching prospect every year. And of course, if the system seems full (like right now), you take one year off.

It seems they're doing something similar with SS right now. And they damn well should be. They should be drafting another high ceiling SS this year too.

2008-04-09 09:54:21
109.   JL25and3
106 No, previous to that one. 96 .
2008-04-09 09:54:33
110.   Raf
BUC's are similar to RHRP in that they aren't exactly a scarce commodity. Turnover in that position should be expected.
2008-04-09 09:56:17
111.   williamnyy23
103 Uhmm...I hate to break this to you, but Stinnett, Flaherty and Fasano have been at least as good as Molina with the bat. Molina's value comes from his defense.

104 No...let's draw conclusions from sample sizes of 50 ABs. That makes a lot more sense.

2008-04-09 09:58:30
112.   Bagel Boy
I didn't see 96 , but I still disagree with your basic point. If a backup at that level was as easy to find, you'd think they would have found him. Molina is a step up from all of them exactly because he's a borderline starter.
2008-04-09 10:01:29
113.   Bagel Boy
111 Yeah, and best not to ask why a catcher has those small sample sizes. Nah, he only got 50 ABs for two years running (and cut from a major league camp) because of his personality.

Molina's value is his just barely passable offense and his fine defense. He could start - for secondtier teams. He chose to be a backup on a championship caliber team.

2008-04-09 10:04:52
114.   JL25and3
112 You grossly overestimate Molina. He's a terrible hitter who's had an uncharacteristically good couple of months.
2008-04-09 10:04:57
115.   williamnyy23
118 You are not breaking ground if your point is the Yankees didn't draft well from 2000 to about 2005. That has nothing to do with neglect of the catching position, but rather neglect of the entire draft process. Between international signings and draft picks, the Yankees are currently addressing the catching position.
2008-04-09 10:11:26
116.   JL25and3
115 Wow, responding to a future post. I like the 134 ness of that.
2008-04-09 10:11:29
117.   williamnyy23
113 I don't need to ask why he had so few at's very easy to look up. Moeller was a third stringer in Cincy who spent most of his time in the minors. In 2007, Moeller had a .878 OPS in AAA in 100 PAs. At a year younger than Molina, I think Moeller has almost as good a chance to reach an OPS+ of 60 as does Molina.
2008-04-09 10:13:34
118.   williamnyy23
112 I see...Jose Molina...the borderline starter who has never started. I wonder why?

116 Can't wait to see what 118 is, but that was meant for 108

2008-04-09 10:14:12
119.   williamnyy23
118 Ah...118 wasn't as exciting as I had hoped!
2008-04-09 10:14:43
120.   Bagel Boy
114 He's been the exact same hitter the last four years. Take a tour of the starting catchers around the league. He's at the bottom of the heap, but he could battle LoDuca and Buck at least.

115 My only point is that they weren't even trying. The evidence backs that up. Whereas you said:

"They have drafted and signed even more as Posada has grown older...that's also a fact, not to mention a very good idea. " 95

Apart from 2007, that's not remotely true.

2008-04-09 10:16:52
121.   Bagel Boy
117 Hilarious - from a guy who can't even stick in a Spring Training camp and only got his shot with the Yanks because of an injury. Meanwhile, you denigrate samples of 50 ABs but hold up a sample of 100 ABs. Thanks for the laugh.
2008-04-09 10:37:36
122.   Shaun P
FWIW, Pete Abe on XM right now - still no news on Posada. Pete speculates it'll take a little time for the docs in NY to read the

BTW - Pete just said that Torre used to say, "You take what Jeter says and add a day . . . (I'm paraphrasing now) When Jeter had minor inuries, Torre used to, against Jeter's wishes, hold him out an extra day." I don't remember this as being true at all; I remember the opposite - Jeter coming back too quickly. Anyone want to go through the game logs and see how often Jeter missed two games in a row? =)

2008-04-09 10:44:24
123.   dianagramr
Damian Miller anyone .... Humberto Cota?

2008-04-09 11:15:05
124.   JL25and3
122 First, I don't think Joe adding a day is necessarily incompatible with Jeter coming back too soon. Torre always made it clear that Jeter drove him nuts sitting on the bench, because he'd pester Torre so much to get back in the game. So Jeter's estimate + one day might still be a day too soon.

As for giving Jeter two (or more) games off in a row: he didn't do it last year, but he did it 6 times in the three preceding years.

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