Burnett To Posada

by PaulCatalano

Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Burnett To Posada
The past few days, the news around the Yankee camp has been that both A.J. Burnett and Jorge Posada feel that they should work together this season. A.J. Burnett spoke yesterday to the Daily News:

“A lot of stuff was blown out of proportion last year,” Burnett said. “We’ve talked a handful of times already, and we’re just real excited to put that behind us and move on and get better and learn from each other.”

Further, Burnett says he never questioned Jorge and since Jorge “has caught in this league for a long time, and I can do nothing but learn from him, so I’m looking forward to it.” So the plan this year to have Burnett pitch to Posada.

Why?

Really, if Posada is going to catch only around 110 games as Girardi says, why not have him just skip the days Burnett pitches?

Not everybody has chemistry with everybody. It shouldn’t be a big blown-out-of-proportion deal. Last year, with Francisco Cervelli catching, batters batted .204 off of Burnett, with Posada catching, they batted .270.

And this doesn’t only apply to Posada. Burnett has always had catchers he preferred. In 2004, when Burnett pitched to Paul LoDuca, batters hit .183, with Mike Redmond catching, they batted .255.

Just like some batters say they can’t hit certain pitchers for some reason (Don Mattingly once said he couldn’t see the ball well coming from Tom Gordon), or pound an otherwise fantastic pitcher (Mattingly said he felt comfortable facing Randy Johnson), some pitchers work well with some catchers. And it’s not an insult. It’s just the way it is.

In 1998, Jorge Posada was by then, the Yankee’s starting catcher. Except for David Cone. Cone had his personal catcher that season in Joe Girardi. He just felt more comfortable with Girardi. And it showed. In the 30 games Cone pitched, batters hit just .235 off of him. The one game with Posada? They hit .300 off Cone and got 6 runs in 7 innings. The Yankees lost.

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70 Responses to “Burnett To Posada”

  1. Raul Says:

    They’re showing Ron Guidry’s 17 strikeout game on the YES Network.

    I wonder what the highest number of strikeouts Posada has caught in a game

  2. Richard Says:

    Greg Maddux loved Eddie Perez over Javy Lopez…just one of those things. I think Posada (if healthy) will catch somewhere closer to 125, with Tex and Nick Johnson plugging up the 1b/Dh for the majority of the time. Cervelli is not ready to contribute 52 games (1/3 of the season!) behind the plate on a title contender. The Yankees are already punting offense in LF, and Swisher in RF is not what you would call an ideal corner OF.

  3. PatB Says:

    The comparison is the 2 games, and 56 hitters faced when Cervelli caught Burnett (.204 avg) vs. th 16 games and 434 hitters faced when Posada caught? Seems like a bit of stretch to automatically assume that Cervelli should be Burnett’s personal catcher.

  4. Patrick Says:

    Raul, Guidry at his best, was about the best I’ve ever seen.

    I think it’s good that Burnett and Posada are getting together. Jorge catches a good game. His deficiency is his shoulder and arm strength. I think if you look deeper into the stats, you will find that a lot of pitchers do better with Jorge, so it evens out.

    Last year, they got to know one another and this year, AJ and Jorge can use that to form a better tandem. Plus, Cervelli needs to catch everyone, not just one guy.

  5. Chuck Says:

    I saw somewhere that Paul LoDuca is in camp on a non-roster. Maybe the Yanks should have given him the invite.

    Guidry in 1978 was as unhittable as any pitcher I’ve ever seen, and I spent four years in AZ watching Randy Johnson win Cy Youngs.

    I was at that strikeout game, it was against the Angels.

  6. Raul Says:

    That’s awesome.
    Sorry for the typo, it was 18 strikeouts

  7. Lefty33 Says:

    “I think if you look deeper into the stats, you will find that a lot of pitchers do better with Jorge, so it evens out.”

    Actually Patrick, I posted a stat a few weeks ago that showed the last two years when Molina caught the opposition hit something like 30-40+ points less than when Posada caught games.

    And that the Yankee pitchers in those games had a decently lower ERA than when Posada caught.

    Personally I don’t think Posada catches nearly as many games as people think he will this year, particularly if Cervelli actually proves he can hit enough to play a few games a week unlike the Panda.

    To me Posada is a defensive liability. And while I want his bat in the lineup, I would want just about anyone else actually behind the plate.

  8. Matt Says:

    I think it’s a really good idea to have Cervelli catch Burnett, though I don’t base that on the statistics from a tiny sample size of games where they have worked together.

    I base it on the fact that Burnett features a nasty curve, which is tough on catchers. Letting Posada sit out the Burnett games could preserve his knees for later in the season and since Cervelli is probably superior defensively anyway, it just makes sense.

  9. Jon, Rural Wisconsin Says:

    If he feels more comfortable with a different catcher then there should be no problem and I assume the media built more into it than was really needed.

  10. dennis Says:

    I m going to leave the Posada part of ther thread alone (for obvious reasons!!!)

    I also remember Guidry in 1978 and we went to every game we could when he pitched. If I recall, he started 14-0 and the crowds just got bigger and bigger as Billy departed, Bob Lemon let the boys play…. and the Yankees made their run and caught the Red Sox. Guidry was simply magnificent.

    In addition to Guidry, the best ve ever seen personlly in a ballpark was Koufax at Shea, I also saw Gibson pitch two games against the Mets in 68, and I saw Seaver pitch 5 or 6 times in 69, he won his last 10 straight.

    In 86 I lived in SF and I saw Gooden pitch a couple of times against the Giants at Candlestick. Gary Carter said that Doc could and should have been 27-3, instead of 24-4!

  11. Hossrex Says:

    Posada is making an awful lot of money to play 110 games this season.

    That means in 08, 09, and 10… the Yankees will have paid him 39.3 million dollars to play in 272 games.

    Which gets him up to 23 million dollars per 162 games.

    A healthy Posada would be better off playing 150 games as Designated Hitter next year.

  12. Chuck Says:

    Let’s not assume Cervelli will make the team.

  13. Joseph DelGrippo Says:

    Chuck,

    Mike Rivera is not making the Yankee opening day roster.

  14. Lefty33 Says:

    “Chuck,

    Mike Rivera is not making the Yankee opening day roster.”

    I don’t think Chuck meant that.
    But the Yanks could opt to get an end of spring veteran roster cut from another team as opposed to Cervelli.

    Personally, I think Cervelli makes the team and the Yanks give him a try.
    Sort of like Gardner.

  15. Lefty33 Says:

    “That means in 08, 09, and 10… the Yankees will have paid him 39.3 million dollars to play in 272 games.”

    That looks great for his sure-fire HOF candidacy. LOL

  16. Hossrex Says:

    I’d be curious how many hall of famers spent their mid thirties averaging less than 91 games per season.

  17. Chuck Says:

    I said Cervelli may not make the team, didn’t say anything about who would.

  18. Tommy in CT Says:

    Hossez: “I’d be curious how many hall of famers spent their mid thirties averaging less than 91 games per season.”

    Johnny Bench averaged zero games per seasons between the ages of 36 and 38 (i.e., Posada’s ages in the 2008-2010 seasons). Dimaggio retired after age 36. Koufax had long been retired by that age. Christy Mathewson’s last season was when he was 35.

    Berra averaged less than 91 games per season between ages 36 and 38. Bill Dickey averaged fewer than that. Gary Carter averaged 94.

    Posada has been a very durable catcher, and remained very productive into his late thirties, a feat very unusual for catchers. You have identified a strength of Posada’s – why are you criticizing him?

  19. Patrick Says:

    I think Girardi sees himself in Cervelli. It’s not a slam dunk, but I think he makes the team and gets 200+ PA.

    If Posada starts DHing more, than the Yanks probably will carry a 3rd catcher, maybe a veteran castoff. The possibility of Jorge getting time at DH makes the Nick Johnson signing redundant. It’s going to interesting to see how they decide to use Johnson’s high OBP in conjunction with his square wheels and lack of power. A .400 OBP in that lineup should yield high runs but I don’t think Nick will be among the leaders in anything except OBP and BB’s per PA. I hope I’m wrong.

    Granderson and Vasquez are good additions but signing Johnson and Winn didn’t make much sense to me. Still, the Yanks can win with this team.

  20. PatB Says:

    Barring injury, I would guess that Posada will play more than 110 games. He should catch about that many and then DH for another 20 or 25.

  21. Hossrex Says:

    Regarding Tommy:

    I only admit surprise at seeing that Johnny Bench retired at 35, and that Yogi was basically done at 36 (Koufax is a huge bag of worms on this site, so we’ll just say IN MY OPINION, he probably shouldn’t be in the hall of fame).

    AND…

    I also fully admit surprise at seeing how well Posada stacks up, rate stat wise, against Berra and Bench. The three players are so similar, that if you took their rate stats, mixed them up, and played pin the stat on the donkey with them, I’d doubt any of us would get any of them correct.

    BUT…

    Bench was a full time catcher by 20, Berra by 23… and Posada didn’t catch anywhere near a full season until he was 26 (and didn’t catch more than 112 games until he was 28).

    In the end, I think Posada WILL make the hall after spending a decade on the ballot, but it’ll be because of his part in the Yankee dynasty (although he didn’t catch much during the world series years), not because of any rational reason.

    Bench and Berra both caught more than 500 innings more than Posada has so far. If someone gave me the over/under on Posada catching even 300 more games, I’d very quickly put my twenty bucks on the under.

  22. Hossrex Says:

    I only admit surprise

    should be:

    I OPENLY admit surprise

    Edit feature?

  23. Joseph DelGrippo Says:

    Cervelli makes the team and plays more behind the plate than most people realize. While his hitting is not going to be tremendous, his defensive skills will keep him playing.

    Cervelli also is good enough to be a backup and saves the Yankees money.

    He is also from the system and isn’t that what development in the minors are for?

  24. Richard Says:

    The Yankees will find out soon enough that an outfield of Gardner/Winn, Granderson, and Swisher will not be enough to support a weak-hitting catcher for 40% of the games. Add the lack of power from DH and SS, and you have two, maybe three power spots in the lineup without Posada. I know Swisher and Granderson can be streaky with their power, but a daily HR threat will be only found in the 3-4 hole. Last year with Matsui and Damon it seemed as if there were no breaks 1-8, and by May 15th we should hear about Manny or another power LF coming to the Bronx. Barring that, Posada should catch a minimum of 125-130 as long as he stays healthy, or else we get 50 games of this:

    1. Jeter
    2. Johnson
    3. Teixeira
    4. Rodriguez
    5. Granderson
    6. Cano
    7. Swisher
    8. Cervelli
    9. Gardner

    Not exactly murderer’s row.

  25. Lefty33 Says:

    “Barring that, Posada should catch a minimum of 125-130″

    And then he’ll have a caught stealing percentage around 20.
    Opposing teams will run wild on him.

    He’ll hit .240 with little power and probably spend the other 30+ games on the DL with various maladies.

  26. brautigan Says:

    If the Yankees were a “normal” team, they would be giving Jesus Montero 300 at bats and OTJ training at the major league level. But instead, the argument focuses on who is going to back up a 38 year old catcher. A 38 year old catcher who in the past 3 seasons has averaged 102 games (averaging 79 games behind the plate) and 358 at bats in that span.

  27. Raul Says:

    That Yankees lineup is fine. The real concern is making sure the pitching stays as healthy as possible.

  28. Chuck Says:

    Montero’s not ready, Braut. As advanced as he may be offensively, his defense is lacking, not to mention he’s just not very good.

    He makes Mike Piazza look like Pudge Rodriguez.

  29. brautigan Says:

    Where did I read that Piazza wasn’t that bad defensively, other than he couldn’t stop the running game?

    I think I knew that Montero was a butcher behind the plate, but do you pull an Elston Howard and stick him in LF? I don’t know, it just seems to be such a waste to give him 400 at bats in AAA when he appears to be ready to mash at the big league level.

    Chuck, have you been out to any of the parks? If I was coming to Spring Training, I would have left yesterday. We usually arrive on the Thursday before the spring training games start. I have always found that is the best time to shoot the breeze with the players and pick up a broken bat or two along the way. One time I complemented Jim Edmonds and he gave me an unbroken stick, what a real nice gesture! Sigh, I miss Arizona in February. What’s the weather? (It’s 48 and raining here)

  30. Hossrex Says:

    Richard: “by May 15th we should hear about Manny or another power LF coming to the Bronx”

    If the Dodgers are buried (not out of the question), and the Yankees pick up the full remainder of the 20mil (prorated of course), I’d give him to you.

    I think the Dodgers have a kid at Triple-A who’s supposed to be good, and plays the outfield. Can’t think of the name though (and I might be thinking of our 31 year old “rookie”… so if I am… I apologize, since there’s no way he’ll work out).

    Braut: “Where did I read that Piazza wasn’t that bad defensively, other than he couldn’t stop the running game?”

    Mike Piazza’s personal blog?

    We didn’t get Dodger games every day back when he was in LA, but the guy was a complete load.

    His arrogant refusal to move out from the plate cost the Dodgers some years.

  31. dennis Says:

    I don t tink that the Yankees have a better lineup then they did last year. whether Matsui or Damon would be productive in 2010 will be interesting to see, but team chemistry is always a concern.

    But to even consider bringing manny ramirez to New York would be a disaster for team chemistry, to have Jeter, Rodriguez and Ramirez in the same clubhouse…WOW! I think everyone else will have to carry portable oxygen cannisters….

    I think about the 1998 Yankees which had a lot of very good players, and excpetionally deep pitching. A team that was greater then the sum of its parts, and a rookie third baseman that cmae up for a few games and was traded for 3 no names after the season…..Mike Lowell.

  32. brautigan Says:

    Hossrex: Are you thinking of Andrew Lambo? He kind of stalled a bit in AA last year, but my guess is he will skip AAA and be on the Dodgers roster when the season opens. I saw him play over a year ago and the guy is going to be very good.

    I wish I could remember the article about Piazza. I mean, I saw Piazza play, and I always thought he was at the bottom of the echelon of major league catchers, but again, this article had some pretty compelling arguments. So…..who are you going to believe, a convincing article or one’s own eyes? (LOL)

  33. Chuck Says:

    Braut,

    Yes, I’ve been over to Surprise Stadium a few times, easy to get to, I practically live next door.

    Last Saturday I went over to watch, it was raining and ten minutes I saw Derek Holland get hurt. Then last week, same thing, ten minutes after I got there Josh Hamilton got hurt. I think the Rangers cancelled my pass.

    I’ll be there tomorrow for the MLB Alumni event, my first spring training game will be Saturday at the new Goodyear facility to watch the Reds and Indians.

    I really like Andrew Lambo. He’s hit over .300 two years running in the AFL, which is pretty impressive. He struggled a bit last year in AA but still made the All-Star team and led the league in doubles.

    He’s actually a first baseman by trade and a solid player, I’ve heard the Dodgers have considered moving Loney to make room for him, but if not, he’ll come up when Manny leaves.

    I believe Rex is thinking about Xavier Paul, or maybe is having a Jason Repko flashback.

  34. brautigan Says:

    Is Holland ok, or just a minor injury? I like his stuff, even though his ERA was just ugly last year.

  35. Chuck Says:

    It was pretty scary when he first got hurt, but it’s a sprain and is day to day. Matter of fact, I believe he was scheduled to throw today.

  36. Hossrex Says:

    Lambo was the player I was thinking of.

    Mitch Jones was the 31 year old rookie.

  37. Richard Says:

    I never said bringing Manny to the Bronx was a good idea…in fact, I’d rather have Randy Winn hitting fifth, but the fact remains, if the Yanks struggle with the bats for 40 games, and find themselves creeping further behind Tampa or Boston, then we’ll see a clamor for a big bat to play Left. It was tongue-in-cheek, since I believe Hal is sticking to his budget and Cash is sticking to his plan to hold LF for next year, when Crawford is available.

  38. Chuck Says:

    If the Yankees do somehow manage to find themselves in third place come June, which is about as likely as finding Sasquatch, it won’t have anything to do with Randy Winn being their leftfielder.

  39. Patrick Says:

    When you consider the Yanks OF, you could make the case that none of them deserves to be in the lineup every day.

    Granderson hits .200 against lefties, Gardner lacks pop (so far), Swisher hits .180 for a six week span once a year, Thames, well I don’t know what would happen to him if he played every day but probably .235/.300/.470 and Winn has an OPS under .700 and is a corner OF. Maybe Hoffman? Doubt it. Not this year anyway.

    Granderson and Swisher will get the majority of the PT though, just saying that Girardi will mix and match. The Yankee OF gets approx. 2,200 PA. I think Girardi will give Granderson and Swisher 600 each, 500 to Gardner, 300 and 20 HR for Thames and 200 for Winn.

    Really, it’s a good thing they have great hitters in the IF.

  40. Raul Says:

    I could any case on just about anything. What’s the point?

  41. Raul Says:

    *make

  42. Chuck Says:

    Patrick,

    Winn is the opening day starter in LF, barring anything significant injury he should remain in that role for most of the year.

    I see no scenario, again, barring anything significant, in which Marcus Thames makes the team.

    You guys can call me old and ancient and whatever else, but the only way Brett Gardner is making this team out of spring training is if the Yanks carry five outfielders, or if someone else gets hurt.

  43. Patrick Says:

    Raul My only point is all 5 Yankee outfielders have weak spots, some glaring. When their best OFer is a .250 hitter(Granderson), that’s not very Yankee like. Not anything earth shaking, I’ll admit.

    Chuck, we could have that as one of our 12-pack bets. Who has more PA, Gardner or Winn? I’ll take Gardner if you’re in. Also, Thames is going to be the RH power off of the bench, IMO. The guy has one of the top HR rates in the league and that’s why they got him.

  44. Chuck Says:

    I’m in..

  45. Richard Says:

    The reason we brought up the lineup in the first place is because Girardi will want Posada’s bat for more than 110 games as a Catcher, because of the OF’s shortcomings. Having any combination of Mike Rivera, Francisco Cervelli, or Scrap Heap Pick-up in the lineup for 52 games will make the lineup weak. A back-up Catcher is best when used once a week. If Posada can’t handle that, maybe we will see Montero by July. Maybe Granderson will be the 2007 version, maybe Swisher will hit more consistently, maybe Brett Gardner can be Scott Podsednik, maybe Cano will repeat his 2009, and maybe Burnett, Pettitte, and Vazquez will stay healthy (mentally and physically), and Posada can catch 110 and the Yankees win 100. Odds are against it.

    By the way, I think Brett Gardner plays more – Girardi loves him.

  46. Hossrex Says:

    I’m putting THIS Yankee team (if they don’t make any pick-ups now, or before the deadline) on 93 wins next season.

    PROBABLY good for the AL wild card.

    A weak hitting left, center, and right fielder… with a weak hitting designated hitter… and one of the greatest infields ever put together.

    Ironic, considering how much more difficult it is to find quality infielders (offensively anyway).

    I’ll be surprised if the Yankes don’t pick up SOME kind of 30 home run guy to play SOMEwhere in the outfield by the start of the season. I’ve not been paying as close attention to Boston this winter. How do they look?

  47. Chuck Says:

    “I’ve not been paying as close attention to Boston this winter. How do they look?”

    If the season started tomorrow, I’d pick them….

    Fourth.

  48. Lefty33 Says:

    “I’ve not been paying as close attention to Boston this winter. How do they look?”

    Old

    Ortiz, Varitek, Lowell, Scutaro, Cameron, Drew

    If their pitching comes through to me they will be good. Their problem is that just like last year they won’t score a lick.

    IMO, it’s the Yanks and TB.

    To me The Sox are too old and without enough offense.
    The Jays will outright suck.
    The O’s will be good in ‘11 or ‘12.

    What scares me as a Yankee fan is that, assuming Cashman must live under the phony-baloney “budget” that Hal has him under; the lineup they are putting out there this year makes a big assumption that the team will stay injury-free like they did from the pitching standpoint in ‘09.

    And if they don’t, then they look like the Yanks of ‘02-’08 trying to outhit teams w/o enough firepower and playing 12-10 games every night because of the scrub pitching fill-ins.

  49. RollingWave Says:

    “A weak hitting left, center, and right fielder… with a weak hitting designated hitter… and one of the greatest infields ever put together.

    Ironic, considering how much more difficult it is to find quality infielders (offensively anyway).

    I’ll be surprised if the Yankes don’t pick up SOME kind of 30 home run guy to play SOMEwhere in the outfield by the start of the season. I’ve not been paying as close attention to Boston this winter. How do they look?”

    They’re entire OF salary (if they carry *5* Outfielders in Swisher / Granderson / Gardner / Thames / Winn) will be less than what the Red Sox is paying JD Drew this year. they’re definately budget shopping in the OF so the question is whether they can get above average players out of the budget.

    I also wonder how anyone could think that Swisher is a weak hitting RF, amoung outfielders last year that had more than 500 PA or more, he came in 14th in OPS. the guys that came ahead of him are almost all star quality players (or even bigger stiff statues than Swisher , like Adam Dunn) you could obviously complain about his lack of average and generally maddening streaks. but as an offensive player last year he was basically the same quality as Jason Werth, I don’t think anyone would say that Jason Werth’s a weak hitter. He isn’t a super star hitter. but certainly well above average.

    Also, we get too worked up over ups and downs, Swisher just make it look more absurd than it really was, you could find just about anyone who have slumps for extensive periods.

    We could look at Jason Bay, last year from 6/10-8/9 , two full month, he hit .219/.349/.350 .

    Nick Swisher ’s worst stretch last year? from 4/15 to 5/26 , 175/.331/.342. even factoring in the all-star break here, Swisher’s stink stretch wasn’t really as long, and was basically similarly bad.

    “Add the lack of power from DH and SS”

    Huh??? SS??? really??? are you actually suggesting that Derek Jeter isn’t a good offesnive player? there is a chance that he could fall off a cliff of course, but you can’t assume that until it happens.

    The yankees set a franchise record in team HR last year (yes, there have NEVER been a Yankee team that hit more bombs than the 2009 version, in fact, only 2 other teams came within 10 HR of the 09 version.) it was also the highest slugging Yankee team in the post Ruth-Gehrig era by a good margin, so you can bet your bottom dollar that they’re not going to hit that many bombs this year, but also that they have a lot of room to fall back on before you’d actually have to worry about their “power”

    If the Yankees dissapoint this year, it’ll be because of injuries, just like … ummm 2008. (the only other year in this 15+ year that they REALLY dissapoint) Posada’s obviously a risk, but is this teams’ injury risk really significantly higher than any other contender? probably not.

    As for why Posada’s catching AJ, it’s ST, your suppose to keep all your options open, it would be absurd for a manager to come out and openly say that one of your main pitcher will surely have a caddy catcher. and it’s not like Burnett is a knuckleball pitcher. in terms of season context, limiting yourself this way is generally a bad idea, Burnett’s starts aren’t going to lineup perfectly with all those day game after night game etc.

    As for the backup C, anything’s possible I suppose, but Mike Rivera’s actually one of the better backup hitting C out there (he hit .260/.333/.423 over the last 4 seasons for the Brewers, essentially league average, there are plenty of starting catchers that can’t do that. Paul Lo Duca hit .287/.333/.385 from 05-08) . so the chances of them getting a backup C in that actually can out hit him seems slim at best. and even then the team seem to be hinting that Cervelli will get the call. obviously there’s a Small sample issue with Cervelli, but at least from watching his defense seems legitimately great, and his bat wasn’t completely overwhelmed. he seems like he can hit the ball alright (but have very little pop) and his minor league track record suggest that he probably could get on base a little more in a large sample.

  50. Hossrex Says:

    Rollingwave: “I also wonder how anyone could think that Swisher is a weak hitting RF, amoung outfielders last year that had more than 500 PA or more, he came in 14th in OPS.”

    Let me put that comment into perspective for anyone who thinks it might have any validity.

    You CHERRY PICKED the BEST of the five men who’ll be playing outfield for the Yankees next year, and he was the 14th best in all the the major leagues, in the stat you also cherry picked.

    Sure. Swisher is pretty good. Better than I thought actually. But if he’s the best the Yanks have for the outfield in 2010, they’re not necessarily looking to repeat.

    Once Big George finally passes through the pearly gates (errrr…) it’ll certainly be a long, hard, turgid drought before the Yankees again win that 11th October game.

  51. RollingWave Says:

    And you fail to note that their 3 OF is most likely their 7/8/9 hitters (or at best 6/8/9) , how do they stack up against most 7/8/9 hitters in the game? the average guy hitting 7th in the AL last year hit 257/.322/.414 . the only player on the Yankee starting lineup who you might have some question about his ability to put up an league average offense is whoever ends up LF (either Gardner or Winn probably) . and both have at least a reasonable chance of doing that.

    Also, let’s just point out that the Yankee OF have actually not been top of the line ever since Bernie Williams fell off a cliff in 2003. here’s there best hitting OF since 2003.

    2003 (lost WS) : Raul Mondesi (yes, Raul Mondesi and his .801 OPS)
    2004 (lost ALCS) : Gary Sheffield (sure, those 2 30 HR boopers did a lot of good)
    2005 (lost ALDS) : Gary Sheffield
    2006 (lost ALDS) : Bobby Abreu, or Johnny Damon if you want full season
    2007 (lost ALDS) : Hideki Matsui
    2008 (no playoff): Bobby Abreu
    2009 (WS) : Nick Swisher (Johnny Damon roughly similar too)

    The only guy that hit 30 bombs during this stretch was Gary Sheffield (and Matsui did it also in 2004). , pretty much the only legitimate middle order power threat the Yankees had during this span.

    If your judgement standard is 30 HR, why fail to note that in 2009 Nick Swisher hit 29, and Curtis Granderson hit 30 . of course neither’s offensive game is anywhere near Sheffield but then again, once factor in defense it’s really pretty close to a wash.

  52. Patrick Says:

    First off, I like Swisher. He brings a lot of enthusiasm to the team and makes up for his lack of contact by getting on base with walks and hitting some homers. Last year, I called him a lesser version of Adam Dunn, and I’m sticking to that.

    What Swisher isn’t, is a good right fielder. Rtot has him as slightly below league average, but he’s far worse than that.

    He did make 5 OF errors last year but I’m basing this on personal observation. I watched him drop 2 running attempts in Tampa last year, one that hit his forearm, just grazing the heel, and one that went off the side of the glove. Of course, they were both ruled to be doubles.

    You could tell that he was having trouble tracking the ball while running. If you bounce instead of glide while you run, the ball appears to jump in your field of vision, similar to when you focus on an object and you alternate closing your left and right eyes. That’s what it looked like to me, anyway. Plus, he only had 2 OF assists last year and only 3 in each of the 2 previous years.

    I think Winn will be his defensive replacement. That’s a pretty good late inning defensive OF, Gardner, Granderson and Winn.

    The Yanks could get close to last years HR total. ARod missed 6 weeks last year and Granderson will probably more than makeup for Matsui. Tex and ARod will each hit about 40. Cano might reach 30. Jeter will be around 15-20. A lot depends on Posada and when he stops being a consistent HR guy.

    There is no power answer to losing Damon. The more that Nick Johnson, Gardner, Winn and Cervelli play, the less homers, obviously.

    Concerning IF hitting depth; In the AL, some of the league’s best hitters are middle infielders. Jeter, Cano, Pedroia, Hill, Roberts, Zobrist, Bartlett,
    Kinsler, Asdrubal Cabrera(?), Alexi Ramirez(?) and Eric Aybar(?) to name a few.

  53. PatB Says:

    “There is no power answer to losing Damon”

    Curtis Granderson has outhomered Johnny Damon every year for the last 3 years, while playing in Detroit vs. Yankee stadium. I’m not sure how that’s not an answer in terms of power. Granted Damon will have higher Avg and OBP, but from a pure power perspective, it’s not a drop off.

  54. Lefty33 Says:

    “Rtot has him as slightly below league average, but he’s far worse than that.”

    Amen to that.

    Swisher only made five errors because he didn’t get to any balls that weren’t hit right at him.

    Last year the Yanks had one of the worst outfields in baseball with Swisher, Cabrera, and Damon. None could get to anything and if they did they sure as hell weren’t throwing anyone out trying to tag-up or take an extra base.

  55. Yu-Hsing Chen Says:

    “Last year the Yanks had one of the worst outfields in baseball with Swisher, Cabrera, and Damon. None could get to anything and if they did they sure as hell weren’t throwing anyone out trying to tag-up or take an extra base.”

    that seems hyper bole, for one thing, after seeing the 2005 trio of Williams / Matsui / Sheffield at work, it’s hard to say another Yankee OF defense can be described as really bad in comparason.

    The Yankees as a team last year turned .697 percent of their balls in play into outs, which was actually 7th in the major and 3rd in the AL, certainly the pitching (and the fact that a lot of the balls left the park so they didn’t count) helped, but the Yankee D was reasonablly solid at worst last year. that included the OF. (the worst defense most probably came from the 3rd base side. Ransom was just beyond horrible and Arod was slowed by the hip.)

  56. Chuck Says:

    Approximate date the Yankees regret trading Austin Jackson.

    I’ll guess Easter.

  57. Yu-Hsing Chen Says:

    From a # perspective, Jackson would probably downright suck this year in the bigs.

    Having said that, he’ll probably pull a Hanley Ramirez on the Yanks.

  58. jimmy vac Says:

    Posada throws well but there have been other pitchers that did not like throwing to him. Piazza had an avarage arm at best, but was good blocking balls behind the plate and seemed to call a good game. Catchers need pitchers to hold runners decently to give tham a fair shot at throwing out a runner and the Mets staff those years did not have one guy with a good move and they would’nt freeze the runners by holding the ball..
    Guidry’s 18 strikout game was against a good hitting team.he was awesome that game and year. They Yankees did not bring him up until he was about 26-27 and it cost him 200 wins.. he had three 20 game seasons that would have been 4 if he did not volunteer to go to the pen when Gossage got hurt fighting Cliff Johnson…

  59. Raul Says:

    Chuck,

    Who will be better? Austin Jackson or Andrew McCutchen?

  60. Chuck Says:

    McCutchen

  61. Hossrex Says:

    Rollingwave: “And you fail to note that their 3 OF is most likely their 7/8/9 hitters (or at best 6/8/9) , how do they stack up against most 7/8/9 hitters in the game?”

    Who cares? That isn’t what we were discussing.

    We were discussing the Yankees outfield, not the Yankee lineup.

    You can’t change the parameters of the discussion half way through when it becomes apparent you’re losing.

  62. brautigan Says:

    Oh, hell yes McCutcheon. He is going to be quite good when his career is over.

    LOL @ Hossrex: Arguing a point with you is like discussing words with Wittgenstein. Somewhere, me thinks you got a heavy dose of logical philosophy in your schooling………….

  63. Lefty33 Says:

    “that seems hyper bole, for one thing, after seeing the 2005 trio of Williams / Matsui / Sheffield at work, it’s hard to say another Yankee OF defense can be described as really bad in comparason.”

    No Hyperbole; its called fact.

    Swisher is a slow load with a below-average arm.
    Damon had some speed but my 85 year-old grandmother could tag from third on a fly ball to left with his arm.
    Cabrera is average at best. To me he’s not a major-league caliber starting CF.

    I agree that the ‘05 crew was probably worse defensively, but I would take them because their offensive production far exceeded what the three from ‘09 put up.

  64. RollingWave Says:

    Again, the problem here is that your basing this on your observation, which was primarily on one team.

    I’m not a huge believer in UZR , but for comparason sake you need some serious reference then “having watched them most of the season, the only team that I watched that much”

    There are a lot of really really bad outfielders in the league.

  65. RollingWave Says:

    Rex: because your making ludicrious statement and distorting facts? like the whole thing about the 30 HR OFers? how about the very fact that they just won last year with Nick Swisher being their best hitting OF? with a CF that’s less than ideal for a contender? with a LF that was showing some really fast declining range and coul only hit at home?

    I pointed out right from the start that the Yankee are basically paying their entire OF less than what they’re paying any one of their infielders (minus Cano, for now) . so it is quiet obvious that this wasn’t a top priority of resource for them to begin with.

    What your basically saying again is that if they only play Alex in the OF, move Teix to 3rd and Swish to first, problem solved! (30 HR guys in both infield and corner outfield!!)

  66. Hossrex Says:

    Rollingwave: “because your making ludicrious statement and distorting facts?”

    Quoting you directly at every step.

    Rollingwave: “like the whole thing about the 30 HR OFers?”

    “The whole thing”?

    The only time I mentioned home runs was when I mentioned that Swisher had 29 home runs, and how that was better than I expected.

    Rollingwave: “how about the very fact that they just won last year with Nick Swisher being their best hitting OF?”

    Yup. He was. Never said he wasn’t.

    The Yankees regular outfielders hit 56 home runs.

    How would you bet if I gave you the over/under on Yankee outfielder home runs at 56?

    Rollingwave: “I pointed out right from the start that the Yankee are basically paying their entire OF less than what they’re paying any one of their infielders”

    Who cares. We’re talking about the outfield.

    Besides… not that it matters… but in post 46 I already said they have “one of the greatest infields ever put together.”

    Rollingwave: “so it is quiet obvious that this wasn’t a top priority of resource for them to begin with.”

    So? We’re talking about the 2010 Yankee outfield.

    Rollingwave: “What your basically saying again is that if they only play Alex in the OF, move Teix to 3rd and Swish to first, problem solved! (30 HR guys in both infield and corner outfield!!)”

    http://www.codeodor.com/images/wtfisthisbig.png

  67. RollingWave Says:

    Rex: this is absurd, you said exactly that.

    “A weak hitting left, center, and right fielder… with a weak hitting designated hitter… and one of the greatest infields ever put together.

    Ironic, considering how much more difficult it is to find quality infielders (offensively anyway).

    I’ll be surprised if the Yankes don’t pick up SOME kind of 30 home run guy to play SOMEwhere in the outfield by the start of the season. I’ve not been paying as close attention to Boston this winter. How do they look?

    and
    “Sure. Swisher is pretty good. Better than I thought actually. But if he’s the best the Yanks have for the outfield in 2010, they’re not necessarily looking to repeat.

    Once Big George finally passes through the pearly gates (errrr…) it’ll certainly be a long, hard, turgid drought before the Yankees again win that 11th October game.

    Which means that you think
    A. the Yankee OF is a significant weakness
    B. it’s a weakness that will most likely prevent them from seriously contending.

    And now after I point out that

    A. it’s not really bad in the context of how much of their resource is put into it
    B. it’s not really close to being the achillies heel of the team.

    You go on a rampage of word twisting and logic spinning and accuisng other people of knowing the game only on paper. which is basically what basically happens in 90% of the threads on this board that you take part in.

    ——————————————————————————-

    Ok, let’s put the first thing first, I’ll bet the bottom dollar that barring catastrphoic injury to one of their main players, they will NOT pick up another seriously hitter before the season open, (or during the season for that matter)

    as for the 56 HR for the OF, I think it’s about where they’ll hit, maybe a little less but certainly (barring catapstrophic injury) they’ll hit over 50, somewhere in the 50-60 range seem likely so 56 is basically right around the over/under range.

    Swisher/ Granderson have combined for over the last 3 years…

    07: 45
    08: 48
    07: 59

    So it seems that 45 is a base barring injury, neither Gardner nor Winn will break the low single digits mark in HR, Thames can hit a lot of them but basically suck at everything else that he might not play that much.

    So again, 50-60 seems like a reasonable range, if you push it I’ll say over assuming tha both Swisher and Granderson are healthy.

  68. Hossrex Says:

    Meh.

    You know, if the first thing you’d said was “you know, Swisher finished last year with 29 home runs, and Granderson finished with 30 home runs” (both exceeding what I had thought of their 2009 seasons), I’d probably have just agreed with you.

    Oh well.

    My fault for not checking, your fault for not pointing out what should have been the only point necessary.

  69. Raul Says:

    Regarding Hossrex:

    I’ll take the Over on 56 homers by Yankees outfielders.
    I think Granderson is good for 25. Swisher can hit 25. Randy Winn, maybe 7.

    Although I admit it is cutting it close, depending on whether Randy Winn plays a full-season or splits significant time with another LF.

  70. Raul Says:

    But Hossrex’s point doesn’t go out the window simply because the Yankees Outfielders may hit 57 homers this year.

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