Wait, Run That By Me Again?

Jorge Posada’s surgery-requiring injury, a procedure from which the recovery period is approximately six months will be delayed to “contribute” as DH and first baseman. Posada, on hitting: “It doesn’t hurt when I hit, but it is restrictive, especially left-handed..”

If there’s no chance of Jorge catching ever again until he has surgery, does delaying that surgery until as far out as November — which pushes return to action to May of 2009 — make sense to keep his “restricted” (and, this season, just slightly above average) bat occasionally in the lineup with limited field time at first? I don’t get it.

33 comments… add one
  • Look, I like Jorge and everything but he needs to GO GET HIS SURGERY!!! He is a liability behind the plate and let’s face it, last year was the exception not the rule when it comes to his bat…
    I hope he doesn’t become a distraction, we have enough DH’s.

    krueg July 24, 2008, 3:26 pm
  • i am clinging to the hope that this is some weak and lame attempt at subterfuge; a desperate act meant to trick GMs into thinking that the need for another bat isn’t as pressing as it obviously is.
    hopefully they already have a surgery scheduled for directly after the trade deadline and are doing this little song and dance routine for the media and other teams.
    it is pretty obvious what would be best for jorge and the team. if i can see that, the yankees had damn well better.

    Yankee Fan In Boston July 24, 2008, 3:35 pm
  • “”It doesn’t hurt when I hit, but it is restrictive, especially left-handed..””
    “I don’t get it.”
    He can help – batting *right-handed* – especially against LHP. Would you rather Sexson/Betemit in the lineup or Jorge?
    In a sense, Jorge is the replacement DH for Matsui.
    So when everyone’s healthy the lineup will look like:
    Damon LF
    Jeter SS
    Abreu RF
    A-Rod 3B
    Giambi 1B
    Jorge DH
    Cano 2B
    Molina C
    Melky CF

    A YF July 24, 2008, 3:35 pm
  • > he needs to GO GET HIS SURGERY
    Agreed Krueg, I’d rather see him full strength behind the plate next season than hobbled this season, hitting right handed-against lefties occasionally and situationally for twenty or thirty batting points over the alternative options (and with no power). Even Giambi has a .400 OBP, to go with a much better slugging average against lefties this year compared to Jorge.

    attackgerbil July 24, 2008, 3:50 pm
  • Agreed with everyone who says he should get surgery now. I’m not sure if this is a matter of Jorge’s pride or something else, but he’d serve the Yanks better by being able to start the year with them in 2009.

    Nick-YF July 24, 2008, 3:53 pm
  • There’s also this DH possibility:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3503613

    A YF July 24, 2008, 3:54 pm
  • On some level, I agree with the surgery sentiment. But it is his decision. And it’s Girardi’s on whether and how to play him.
    I’m not so sure his power won’t come back. Bernie had a bum throwing shoulder (right like Jorge) as his career wound down, and he OPSed .950 against LHP in 2006.
    Also just because he wants to give it a shot doesn’t mean he’s on the team for the rest of the year. And with a six month rehab time line, he could shut it down in October and still be ready for April.

    A YF July 24, 2008, 4:01 pm
  • I appreciate it when guys like Jorge and Jeter are willing to play hurt to contribute anyway they can, but really sometimes they need to shelve the ego and take a look take the bigger picture.

    Mark (YF) July 24, 2008, 4:16 pm
  • “take a look take the bigger picture.”
    What, Sexson and Betemit taking those ABs?
    Hard to fault Jorge there.

    A YF July 24, 2008, 4:26 pm
  • YFIB: I think you nailed it. That’s my take on this as well. They want to keep the price for another bat in the lineup as low as they can. I’m betting he goes under the knife within 30 days or less from the trade deadline.

    nettles July 24, 2008, 4:34 pm
  • well, one view of that big picture is that the guy was given a sizable contract with the expectation that he would catch for the majority of its duration. i love posada. what he has done for this team is substantial. that said, i’d prefer he took every step possible to ensure that he was as healthy as he could be, in an effort to minimize the inevitable decline in his abilities. how many dh/1b guys does a 25 man roster have room for?
    also, the playing to october means he could be ready by april plan assumes that his recovery will be without any setbacks. for a guy who has been fortunate enough to avoid visiting the DL for as long as he has, we don’t know how his rehabilitation will go. some guys take longer than others. ask carl pavano.
    i just don’t see the benefit of him playing hurt, as it is clearly adversely affecting his performance. if he was hitting at last year’s level and felt he wanted to play on, i guess i could be convinced that it was a viable option.

    Yankee Fan In Boston July 24, 2008, 4:41 pm
  • my fingers are crossed, nettles.

    Yankee Fan In Boston July 24, 2008, 4:42 pm
  • “how many dh/1b guys does a 25 man roster have room for?”
    I agree. But at the same time, Giambi has been played a decent enough 1B. And Damon plays a decent enough LF (with no arm). Sexson is decent enough as a second 1B. Betemit backs up the rest of the infield.
    So Jorge would be the only strict DH. That was Matsui’s role any ways.
    “the playing to october means he could be ready by april plan assumes that his recovery will be without any setbacks.”
    Well, just because he plays for another two weeks doesn’t mean he plays to October. That was just an example. Or he could shut it down in September.
    Point is: I’d rather him give it a shot than give those ABs to Sexson or Betemit.

    A YF July 24, 2008, 4:53 pm
  • my point is that over the last 4 weeks (as the injury has been getting worse… due to playing through it) he’s been hitting a sexsonesque .200. he is hitting .255 against lefties this year.
    this isn’t the jorge we’re used to seeing. plugging him in there when he’s hurt isn’t likely to help. let the guy rest.
    of course, i’m no doctor or statistical genius… but that’s what i’m thinking.

    Anonymous July 24, 2008, 7:19 pm
  • t was anonymous.

    Yankee Fan In Boston July 24, 2008, 7:20 pm
  • i, not t.

    Yankee Fan In Boston July 24, 2008, 7:21 pm
  • “take a look take the bigger picture.”
    What, Sexson and Betemit taking those ABs?
    Hard to fault Jorge there.

    Jorge admits that though there’s no pain while swinging he is restricted. I think you HAVE to go get the surgery. They resigned Posada this offseason and as such they need to get him healthy as soon as possible for the next few years of his contract. Even if he gets the surgery done in October (which would mean he’s back around May) things don’t always go as planned and getting the surgery now rather than later gives the Yankees some wiggle room with regards to being ready for 2009. Right now keeping him in the lineup means getting a less-than-100% Posada, while risking more damage.
    A, you’ve mentioned yourself that this is a rebuilding year for the Yankees. With Sabathia (and likely Sheets) coming to New York next year don’t you think it’s a better idea for him to get the surgery and be ready for 100% next year? Like YFiB said he’s hitting .193 over the last month, and risking further damage in the process.

    Atheose July 24, 2008, 7:48 pm
  • I don’t put much credence in one month samples.
    It’s his decision. And he’ll have the opportunity to change his mind. Another 2 weeks to a month will give him (and Girardi and Cashman) enough evidence to help make a decision for the following month, and that one for the one after that.
    Two weeks of Sexson or Betemit or the chance that Jorge can give more? I trust Jorge to help make the right decision. But I in no way begrudge him that choice. I’d much rather that than a player taking himself out of games (and ABs).

    A YF July 25, 2008, 8:23 am
  • I don’t put much credence in one month samples.
    Well when the cause of the drop-off in offensive ability can be pinned to a shoulder injury it certainly carries more weight.
    You’re right that Jorge can change his mind at any moment; I believe he’ll do that if a few weeks if he continues to struggle at the plate.
    I think the gut feeling for most players is “I want to help my team”, especially right now with the Yankees only 3 games out of first place in a close race with the Sox and Rays. And it is definitely his decision–Posada and the doctors are the only ones that know for sure the extent of his injury, so maybe it’s not as bad as we think. But here’s a question for you: if he continues to put up a line of .171/.341/.200 how long does it take for Girardi (and Posada himself) to realize it’s not worth the risk? Posada RARELY goes through long hitting droughts–a quick glance at his gamelog history shows that this is about the worst month-long stretch of his career, up there with Aug 2006 and Aug/Sep 2001.

    Atheose July 25, 2008, 9:05 am
  • Qualifier: I’m not trying to rip on Posada, it’s just that players rarely do well when playing with a nagging injury like this. Like I said maybe the injury isn’t as bad as we think, but based on the reports we’ve heard–and his peformance drop in the last month–things don’t look promising. Like you said the Sexson/Betimit combination at 1B isn’t exactly fearsome, but you could put Damon at DH, Giambi at 1B, and use Justin Christian a little more in LF. Christian is hitting .286 with an OBP of .375, which is pretty good when you consider his speed.

    Atheose July 25, 2008, 9:15 am
  • I believe he’ll do that if a few weeks if he continues to struggle at the plate.
    Your key word there is “if”.
    The man deserves a chance to prove he can help (and more than Sexson or Betemit or even Christian or Gardner). If he can’t, he’ll make the right call or his manager will help him make it.
    Otherwise, you really need to let go of your fondness for small samples. Christian and Gardner could help, but their performances, so far, are not indicative of their true abilities. If typical, Jorge would get on base more and would hit for more power. Again, he deserves the chance.

    A YF July 25, 2008, 9:21 am
  • Your key word there is “if”.
    The man deserves a chance to prove he can help

    Fair enough–in my opinion it’s not worth delaying Posada’s surgery (which is forecasted to back him up 6+ months, into the 2009 season) especially when combined with the risk of further injury. But you’re right that it’s their decision, and they know a lot more about his shoulder than I do.
    Having said that, I think it’s fair to say the Red Sox front office, managers, coaches and scouts know more about Justin Masterson than we do, and that he’s a better bullpen option than anyone else in the minor league system.

    Atheose July 25, 2008, 9:36 am
  • “in my opinion it’s not worth delaying Posada’s surgery”
    In every comment Jorge’s made it clear he’s knows time is short to prove he can help.
    6 months from July is January
    6 months from August is February.
    6 months from September is March.
    6 months from October is April.
    “Justin Masterson than we do, and that he’s a better bullpen option than anyone else in the minor league system.”
    Then why, pray tell, did they move Buchholz to the pen last year? Masterson was in the organization last year then and also in AA (where he was when they moved him to the MLB rotation this year).

    A YF July 25, 2008, 9:45 am
  • 6 months from July is January
    6 months from August is February.
    6 months from September is March.
    6 months from October is April.

    Which is why I paired that statement with “especially when combined with the risk of further injury”.
    Then why, pray tell, did they move Buchholz to the pen last year? Masterson was in the organization last year then and also in AA (where he was when they moved him to the MLB rotation this year).
    Because Buchholz was near his innings limit and they wanted to use him in the bullpen down the stretch.
    Sure Masterson has been great in 9 starts this year (small sample size!) but he’s not a better option than Buchholz in the long run. Masterson minor league stats:
    2007
    A+: 95.2 IP, 4.33 ERA, 1.31 WHIP
    AA: 58 IP, 4.34 ERA, 1.16 WHIP
    2008
    AA: 38.1 IP, 4.23 ERA, 1.38 WHIP
    AAA: 9.1 IP, 2.89 ERA, 0.75 WHIP
    In the majors Masterson is far exceeding his skill level, much in the way Kason Gabbard was last year. The Red Sox organization, which knows more than you or I ever will, decided that they’d rather have Buchholz in the rotation and use Masterson in the bullpen, where we desperately need help. Masterson himself has said that he has a “rubber-band arm” and would be better suited as a reliever.

    Atheose July 25, 2008, 10:24 am
  • Here, let’s try it this way:
    The man deserves a chance to prove he can help (and more than Sexson Zink or Betemit Bowden or even Christian Martinez or Gardner Tejera). If he can’t, the organization will make the right call or his manager will help him make it.
    Otherwise, you really need to let go of your fondness for small samples. Christian Zink and Gardner Bowden could help, but their performances, so far, are not indicative of their true abilities. If typical, Jorge Masterson would get on base more induce more groundballs and would hit for more power be our long-man in the bullpen. Again, he deserves the chance.

    Atheose July 25, 2008, 10:31 am
  • In the majors Masterson is far exceeding his skill level
    The problem is that, as a sinkerball pitcher, Masterson benefits from the much better defense in Beantown than what he would get in Pawtucket or Portland. Indeed, his hits are down significantly in the majors – about 2 a game – even as his k:bb is worse.
    Because Buchholz was near his innings limit and they wanted to use him in the bullpen down the stretch.
    Hmmm, except he should have a limit this year too. Masterson should have none.
    Far be it from me to decide Masterson’s furture. But the Sox handled Derek Lowe real well, didn’t they?
    P.s. I didn’t read your word soup. But the difference between Jorge should be more than obvious. One is a veteran who has earned the right to make this decision. The other is a rookie who had the decision completely made for him.

    A YF July 25, 2008, 10:44 am
  • Looks like someone else forget a tag besides me!

    A YF July 25, 2008, 10:45 am
  • Granted the defense will help Masterson, especially with Lowrie at SS now, but the Sox organization feel like he’s doing better than he should.
    Buchholz does have an innings limit, but he won’t reach it: He’s right at 100IP in the majors and minors this season, with his innings-limit set at 180. With only 59 games left (11 starts for Buchholz) he’d have to pitch 8 innings per start to go past his limit. Even if you include a few post-season starts he won’t pass it.
    Far be it from me to decide Masterson’s furture. But the Sox handled Derek Lowe real well, didn’t they?
    What, you mean moving him to the bullpen and then back into the rotation? Different organization.

    Atheose July 25, 2008, 11:02 am
  • And yeah, sorry about the tag. I swore I put it on the end…

    Atheose July 25, 2008, 11:02 am
  • “What, you mean moving him to the bullpen and then back into the rotation? Different organization.”
    Hmmm, actually no – but sure different management. Seattle mostly had him starting. The Sox wasted four years of his prime in the pen (ages 25 – 28) – of 278 games, he only started 13. Looking back, I would have been just as likely to harp on his mis-use. What the hell were they thinking?
    And Masterson was a fine member of the starting staff. There was no good reason to move him. Even Bowden could have been the power pen arm they were seeking.

    A YF July 25, 2008, 11:10 am
  • Italics fixed in original unclosed comment. Remember – preview is your friend.

    attackgerbil July 25, 2008, 11:13 am
  • The Sox wasted four years of his prime in the pen (ages 25 – 28) – of 278 games, he only started 13.
    Again, that’s not on Theo and company. Making a criticism of one pitching move 4 years before the current organization took over is about as reductive as you can get. If you want to criticize Theo and company about a pitching decision pick one that they actually made.
    There was no good reason to move him. Even Bowden could have been the power pen arm they were seeking.
    Again, you’re ignoring all the reasons because you disagree. Sorry, but I’ll trust the front office, coaches and scouts decisions because they’re making a LOT of money to make the right ones.

    Atheose July 25, 2008, 11:26 am
  • “Making a criticism of one pitching move 4 years before the current organization took over is about as reductive as you can get.”
    Sorry, but it’s a symptom of the same disease. Same with all the folks who thought Joba should have stayed in the pen.
    “Again, you’re ignoring all the reasons because you disagree.”
    Masterson had shown himself to be a decent starter and until proven otherwise. It’s a HUGE mistake to devalue that because you need a bullpen arm. Furthermore, groundballs are good. But strike outs are significantly better. Buchholz and Bowden offer more of the latter.
    We’ll see! Go baseball!

    A YF July 25, 2008, 11:39 am

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