Buddy Can You Spare a Lefty

Courtesy Pete Abe, the Yankee lineup for tomorrow and remaining active roster:

Johnny Damon LF
Derek Jeter SS
Bobby Abreu RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jorge Posada C
Hideki Matsui DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Melky Cabrera CF
Doug Mientkiewicz 1B
Chien-Ming Wang RHP

Position Players:
INF Wilson Betemit
1B Jason Giambi
OF-1B Shelley Duncan
C Jose Molina
OF-3B Bronson Sardinha

Starting Pitchers:
LHP Andy Pettitte
RHP Roger Clemens
RHP Mike Mussina
RHP Phil Hughes

Relief Pitchers:
RHP Mariano Rivera
RHP Joba Chamberlain
RHP Luis Vizcaino
RHP Kyle Farnsworth
RHP Ross Ohlendorf
RHP Jose Veras

You’ll notice that, saving Andy Pettitte, there is nary a lefty in this bunch. Also, no Edwar Ramirez, whose nice strikeout line has been offset by a propensity for dinger shots. It’s nice to see Ohlendorf on the roster, along with the Viz: Cash’s Johnson deal paying dividends. The Yanks have terrific bench power. Much to discuss, here….

22 comments… add one
  • A move I like right off the bat, and that I was hoping for: Jorge is now right behind Alex. That’s awesome. Walk Alex, and you face a switch-hitter with power from both sides who gets on base at a .400 clip. Tough!

    YF October 3, 2007, 4:24 pm
  • Who would usually hit behind Arod? Matsui?

    Tyrel SF October 3, 2007, 4:26 pm
  • Yah, Matsui usually batted 5th. I have no problems with the roster or the lineup, though I would’ve liked to see Shelley in there. I doubt Villone will be missed much – better a good righty than a crappy lefty! Love that Ohlie made it.

    yankeemonkey October 3, 2007, 4:29 pm
  • Yeah, Normally its Abreu-A-Rod-Matsui-Posada, but considering that Matsui hasn’t been himself in a way and Posada is having a career year, this seems to be appropiate.
    The Ramirez bit surprised me, but then I realized something: Edwar’s changeup stunk the first part of the year because he wasn’t being used regularly. A pitch like that is dependent on feel which isn’t gained by irregular appearance. He’s one of those relievers that has to work nearly every day in order to keep that changeup fluttering.
    Enter the new playoffs schedule, with games mostly every other day with big gaps. Its very conceivable that Ramirez would have 3-4 days in between appearances. The Yanks might have considered that possibility and decided to not choose a player who would be made ineffective by the schedule.
    I guess Joba can get lefties out just as well as Righties, and Mariano’s cutter tends to work better on lefties as it cuts in on their hands naturally. I worry though. Baseball history has taught me that a lefty specialist can be invaluable.

    Carlos October 3, 2007, 4:33 pm
  • With Matsui behind Alex, though, you don’t have back to back lefties until the 9-1 spots. I’m not so crazy about this, but with Matsui’s bad Sept., I guess it’s the smarter move…
    IMO, Ramirez just doesn’t have good enough command of his fastball to keep hitters from sitting on the change – I think Olie was the smarter choice, as was Veras over Villone.

    Andrews October 3, 2007, 4:50 pm
  • ” Baseball history has taught me that a lefty specialist can be invaluable”
    Agreed, Carlos, but Villone is just not that guy.

    Andrews October 3, 2007, 4:51 pm
  • “He’s one of those relievers that has to work nearly every day”. In other words, the ideal Joe Torre reliever.
    I am a bit surprised about no-Ramirez if only because he brings the biggest change of style from all other relievers. But where I understand it is in his make-up. I don’t think he is anywhere near mentally tough. He broke down crying after his first shelling (OK, others have done this) and just seems young, as in maturity, not age.
    I am not sure why you bring Shelley for the ride if not to play in a game like tomorrow night. The Yankees will face no other pitcher with as much lefty-dominance as Santana and Shelley has hit lefties well. I’m not saying he should play tomorrow (though I would have liked to see it) but I think his not playing makes it seem likely to me that he rides the pine for the entire series so why not bring Villone or even baby Urkel along?

    IronHorse (yf) October 3, 2007, 4:54 pm
  • I read, in the Times I think, that Matsui had fluid drained from his knee this past weekend.

    SF October 3, 2007, 4:57 pm
  • Yeah, no kidding, a lefty specialist needs to, you know, get lefties out… The Red Sox are in a similar situation and our guy is actually a lefty.

    LocklandSF October 3, 2007, 4:58 pm
  • I saw that too SF, but he claims it’s fine now.

    LocklandSF October 3, 2007, 4:58 pm
  • Oh, and Sardinha must be walking on clouds right now. I know he is fast, particularly relative to the rest of the bench (which is astonishingly slow but massive on power) but he is not a speed demon. He stole 10 bases and caught 3 times in the minors and stole 0 in 10 games in the majors. I would liked to have had a speedster off our bench, but we don’t have any to choose from. At least our starting line-up is faster up and down than it has been for years.
    I can’t wait for them to get it on.

    IronHorse (yf) October 3, 2007, 5:02 pm
  • Haha, Flash Gordon is in the game for the Phils. I’m having flashbacks….at least this time there’s no lead for him to blow.

    yankeemonkey October 3, 2007, 5:03 pm
  • I think the roster is exactly as I thought it would be. I am glad to see Sardinha, it allows for some flexibility as far as pinch running goes. I am also glad not see Bruney and Ramirez, this bullpen is the best the Yankees have to offer, I suggested this last week and am really glad this is the way it turned out.

    John - YF (Trisk) October 3, 2007, 5:07 pm
  • Sardinha = Dave Roberts ’04?
    Shelley = ?

    yankeemonkey October 3, 2007, 5:10 pm
  • Yes, Villone never seem to command the appearances he is in. This is not the time for relievers to “figure it out.” This is the time for defined roles and a deep level of trust in players succeeding in the role set out. So Joba takes care of the 8th and Mariano has the 9th. I have nothing but faith in Mo, even though i know he isn’t as untouchable as he has been. I believe he’ll succeed in that role.
    Joba is going to be so much fun. I know he’s been nigh-unhittable, but he’s still really young and this is going to be one of those pressure-filled situations of his life. Whatever he does, its going to be a wild-ride. If he gets in a jam and finds his way out, if he comes in with a slim lead and closes the door, etc etc. Hell, I get excited when he has a 1-2-3 inning, what if its actually a tense situation? The Stadium is going to rock like that time in 1995 when Donnie hit that HR in the 7th or 8th; you could see the foundation shake that night.
    Its been a while since i’ve been this excited. I’ve watched every playoff since 1995, and I’ve enjoyed the all, but the youth on this team adds something extra. Its going to get a little emotional up in here.

    Carlos October 3, 2007, 5:20 pm
  • “Energy, Energy, Energy”
    This team does certainly have a lot of fun. Let’s see what that translates into.

    John - YF (Trisk) October 3, 2007, 5:25 pm
  • Ric October 3, 2007, 6:03 pm
  • Meanwhile in Philly, Rox win Game 1. Nice.
    But, does TBS not possess a single overhead camera over the plate? Some of the camera angles they showed were atrocious…

    yankeemonkey October 3, 2007, 6:03 pm
  • I was thinking that same thing on Monday. Boy that overhead cam would have been useful for that sort-of important, game-ending play there.

    FenSheaParkway October 3, 2007, 6:07 pm
  • On the flip side, it’s not like Myers did anything for us the last few years..
    Ya, I saw the lap dance story. I’m ignoring it.. ;)

    Lar October 3, 2007, 6:16 pm
  • I pumped my fist when I saw both Ollie AND Veras on the roster, instead of Villone and Britton/Edwar/whatever. Ollie, being a converted starter, can eat some innings pretty effectively I think without putting the Yankees in too big of a hole if they are down by like 4 in the 4th inning. Like on AL executive said – with the Yankees, your lead is never safe.
    Now I’m pumped. But first, Red Sox vs. Angels.
    This postseason, I think, will be a hell of a lot more fun than last year’s. Even if the Yankees don’t make it (god forbid), every single team is a legitimate, exciting contender, even in the NL. Also, all completely new fresh faces, except for the Yankees. Sure, it sucks for the rest of baseball that the Yankees are perennial postseason contenders, but I’d say the parity right now is pretty rockin’.
    Exciting times.

    AndrewYF October 3, 2007, 6:28 pm
  • Posada has hit 5th several times this year. I believe all of those instances have been against lefties. While I like the move, and would probably leave him there tomorrow, I bet we see Matusi back in the 5-hole against Carmona. Joe loves the lefty-righty stuff.

    Brian October 4, 2007, 12:30 pm

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