The New York Post’s Joel Sherman informs us that Jorge Posada’s benching last night, for the nationally televised game against the Boston Red Sox, wasn’t a one time affair. New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi has decided to hand the designated hitter reins to Eric Chavez for the time being, with the caveat that Alex Rodriguez will be returning from injury in a short time and could require some DH at bats rather than starting at third base.
Even if that plan doesn’t work out, several sources are reporting that Girardi is more likely to call Jesus Montero from Triple A than give Posada another chance at being the designated hitter.
So, where does that leave Jorge Posada? While there was little chance the Yankees would ever consider resigning him after his four year $52.4 million contract expires at the end of this season, Sherman goes a step further suggesting that the former every day catcher would have been released with any other name on any other team by now.
In reality, if he were not Jorge Posada he would be treated like Jack Cust and Lyle Overbay, two veterans with somewhat similar numbers to Posada who were released recently by the Mariners and Pirates, respectively. Instead, the Yankees will keep Posada on the 25-man roster in a nebulous role that could include pinch-hitting or an occasional DH start or maybe a game at first.
Mainly, though, Posada has been reduced to legend without a role. The Yankees will play with less bench diversity until rosters can expand Sept. 1, essentially going 24 days with 24 men so as not to have to outright release a dynastic player. They have chosen to go shorthanded rather than deliver that backhand to Posada.
Of course, Posada is a prideful, emotional man, and so we will see if he can sit on the bench near exclusively without imploding. For him, now, DH stands for Done Here. He is about to become Javier Vazquez, not even making the postseason roster, a high-priced bystander.
Whoa, horsey. Let’s not get too crazy here. While Posada clearly isn’t the hitter he once was, he’s not as useless an option as he’s being made out to be. And a far more likely scenario that ends up playing out in New York is a rotation of designated hitters, which would even include the suddenly “nebulous” Posada.
The Yankees legend is still an above average hitter against right handed pitching, even in this horrid year. In 253 plate appearances against righties this season, Posada has amassed a .341 wOBA, .777 OPS and a better slugging percentage than Nick Swisher, Eric Chavez, Russell Martin, Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter and Andruw Jones. Furthermore, coming into the series against the Red Sox, Posada had hit safely in all ten of the last games he started.
While those numbers aren’t staggering, it’s still contribution. And as long as Posada remains a better option than most players against right handed pitching, even on the Yankees, it seems to me that he’d be a great option to have come playoff time, certainly not a bystander.
And The Rest
Sticking with the Yankees, former bat boy and author of “Clubhouse Confidential,” Luis Castillo dishes the gossip on New York players past and present, like: Derek Jeter used to refer to the batboys as “biatches.” Riveting stuff.
Dave Cameron of FanGraphs explains one of the more confusing aspects of wins above replacement: positional adjustment.
A White Sox fan writes about Hawk Harrelson.
The Boston Red Sox are hurting David Ortiz’s widdle feewings.
Jose Reyes and Daniel Murphy are both expected to miss time after leg injuries on Sunday.
It looks as though the Pittsburgh Pirates pitching staff has caught a bad case of the regressions.
I’d be much more inclined to believe “the pressure theory” for the Chicago Cubs if anyone thought that they’d be competing at any point in the season whatsoever.
Colorado Rockies pitcher Juan Nicasio had successful surgery on his neck after getting hit in the head with a baseball.
An uncivilized Philadelphia sports radio host? Well, I never . . .
Atlanta Braves pitcher Jair Jurrjens will visit the Disabled List again with knee problems.
I think Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price’s own players have it in for him far more than umpires.
J.A. Happ was demoted to Triple A Oklahoma City by the Houston Astros. The Philadelphia Phillies are going to miss Astros GM Ed Wade once he’s fired.
It’s just your typical garbage fight over a foul ball between two grown men.
Baseball’s Man of the Year: