Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Yankees Need to Consider Catching Change

The Boston Red Sox know when to cut the cord. Despite the spring debacle of the Nomar Garciaparra retirement party, the Red Sox are quite good at separating reality and devotion. They won a World Championship with Damon and set him free. Pedro? Gone in a heartbeat. Lowell? Thanks for the fine work. Last year, they understood that Varitek was done as a viable catcher and despite his mythical stature in Boston and despite his captaincy, they brought in Victor Martinez to take over. David Ortiz already looks bad this year. Don't expect them to let that go as far as it did last year. The Yankees are starting to learn (letting go of Damon and Matsui was the right call) but in the case of their catcher, they have a blind eye.

Look, the Fan gets it. It's Posada and Jeter and Pettitte and Rivera. The stalwarts. The legends. But when it gets to the point where it hurts the ball club, it's time to take a second look. Two games are certainly a small sample size. But we've already seen a passed ball that cost a run and possibly the game and a throwing error that cost another run in Tuesday's game. But small sample size or not, it's a pattern. His defense was staggeringly bad in the post season last year and his incessant trips to the mound are enough to drive everyone batty. The reality is that Posada is simply a liability on defense.

But he can hit and there is some intrinsic value in his leadership. But you have to prevent runs as much as you have to score them. Posada was a wash on Sunday. He homered. He missed a fastball and let a run in. That's a wash. Washes aren't good. It's time to do something creative.

The Fan will even state with understanding that it can be a gradual process. Here is what the Fan would do. Make Posada the DH against every lefty starter. He would be more effective than Nick Johnson in those situations as the DH. This way you get him out of harms way as often as a lefty starts. He still gets his hacks and hopefully his dignity stays somewhat intact. But the heck with dignity. The Red Sox don't worry about that do they? Cervelli is a better catcher. And it appears that he isn't too harmful with a bat in his hand. So a Cervelli/Posada, catcher/DH combination cannot hit any less against lefties than a Posada/Johnson combination. Plus, you get better defense behind the plate.

The future is a Montero/Cervelli catching mix. All Yankee watchers realize that. Posada's shelf life is limited and he could go all Varitek at any time. His defense already has.

1 comment:

Josh Borenstein said...

I read this about on a Red Sox forum about Posada:

" always...Posada giveth...and taketh away."

Still, it's not like V-Mart is a prize either, defensively. He made that ill-advised and inaccurate throw on the double steal. At least Cervelli is a good defensive backup. Varitek stinks defensively.

Interesting to note, though, that the AL East now has 3 of the best offensive catchers in all of baseball in Posada, V-Mart, and Wieters. Shoppach isn't too bad, either.