"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Chink in the Armor?

Wallace Mathews on Jorge Posada’s latest injury:

…Girardi dropped the bomb after the game.

“He told me the throw he made [Monday] irritated his shoulder a little bit,” the manager said. “I don’t think it’s anything serious, but I gotta be careful. When Jorgie tells you something’s irritated, it’s usually irritated.”

Jorgie told the media nothing, because he bolted for the first team bus out of Rangers Ballpark before any reporters got into the locker room.

So until about 4:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, we’ll have to make do with Girardi’s assessment of Posada’s fitness. “I could have used him in an emergency,” said Girardi, a description for which the eighth-inning situation presumably did not qualify.

But considering how injury-riddled Posada’s 2010 season has been so far, the real emergency may be going on in his shoulder. Already, he has spent time on the DL with a broken foot, had hamstring problems and missed several games with recurring soreness caused by a cyst behind his left knee.

Plus, he missed nearly the entire 2008 season after having surgery on the very same shoulder. So when Girardi says Posada’s shoulder is “a little cranky,” you naturally start to wonder exactly how cranky, and for how many games.

Will the Yankees hold it together? Can they stay healthy enough to defend their title come October?

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1 RagingTartabull   ~  Aug 11, 2010 10:48 am

why you gotta freak me out like this before lunch?

2 bp1   ~  Aug 11, 2010 10:49 am


fingers and toes crossed

3 Jon DeRosa   ~  Aug 11, 2010 10:53 am

last night i was prone to some pessimism about the rest of this season. a mo loss in the middle of a bad stretch reminded me a lot of 2008 when mariano was brilliant, but seemed to lose at the most heartbreaking times, in those tie game situations.

outside of CC, i don't know what to expect of the rotation. and the offense outside of swisher, cano and teix is looking broken down or lost or both.

i think if jeter and/or arod improves for the pennant drive and andy comes back to his early season form, the team will do quite well in aug and sept and hold onto a playoff spot and contend for the division. but if andy doesn't click off the DL, and arod and jeter continue to produce little, i think the yanks desecnd into a dogfight w/ boston for the wild card.

very pessimistic post-mo-loss assessment, i'm sure it will look brighter when they string some runs together one of these days.

PS - can detroit win once vs tampa? they've dropped 6 in a row over the last two weeks.

4 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 11, 2010 10:58 am

I know the Tigers are killing me!

5 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 11, 2010 11:23 am

I hope (not really) that Posada does have an injury, because if not, the only thing cranky about Posada is going to be his attitude toward Girardi. Joe keeps chirping to the media about he isn't going to DH Jorge, then he isn't going to use him to catch Javy and AJ, and now he blames an injury for not using him in a game winning situation. One thing we know about Jorge is he is very prideful, so it wouldn't surprise me if he consider's last night's decision to be a slight, assuming of course he really was able to hit.

Finally, if the shoulder is tender, how the hell do you not promote a third catcher. The whole injury excuse strikes me as just that. For Girardi's sake, he'd better hope Posada is on board because losing Posada might be the fastest way to lose the team.

6 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 11, 2010 11:25 am

[3] There is good cause for concern, but Mo's performance is not one of them. The single by Young should have been an out, but Jeter was too slow to set and throw him out. Then, Hamilton sneaks a ball through because they had to hold Young on first. Mo's only trangression was falling behind Murphy 3-0. I just wish he would have thrown his best pitch 3-2 instead of worrying about the walk.

7 Shaun P.   ~  Aug 11, 2010 11:33 am

If Posada is truly hurt, then I see only 1 tenable solution - promote Montero and let him catch once or twice a week against teams that aren't likely to steal a lot, and have him be the primary DH the rest of the time. The only way to offset Cervelli's bat is with a bat as big, or bigger, than Posada's.

And Montero has been on fire lately:

.283/.324/.505 in June
.342/.441/.632 in July
.423/.500/.731 in August

BP's regular minor league translations say he'd hit .274/.341/.463 in the majors right now based on his total minor league numbers for 2010. Posada on the year is hitting a very similar .258/.361/.458.

If Montero keeps hitting, I'll be very surprised to not see him called up before August 31.

8 Shaun P.   ~  Aug 11, 2010 11:35 am

[3] I haven't been to the RLYW in a long time, but I seem to recall they have a regular feature along the lines of "its August and time for Mo to have a slight bad stretch like he always does" or something similar. Take heart!

9 Sliced Bread   ~  Aug 11, 2010 11:42 am

[6] I credit Young more than I blame Jeter on that play. He made a nice backhanded pick and good throw across his body. It was a close play, and probably 50% or more runners are out. Jeter didn't make the play, and Mo didn't get the job done. End of story. Shouldn't have come down to that inning anyway. Fug it.

Be good, be good, be good-be good-be good, be good Jaaaavy. (Men at Work anybody?)

10 monkeypants   ~  Aug 11, 2010 11:48 am

[9] The rangers radio announcers "blamed" Arod on the play, inasmuch as they said he was guarding the line so he was not in position to make the play (they claimed that it was a ball "the third baseman usually cuts off"), leaving Jeter to attempt a much more difficult play from the hole.

I didn't see the play, so I do not know if their description is accurate, or even if their analysis of the defensive alignment is correct. I just report what they said.

11 Sliced Bread   ~  Aug 11, 2010 11:48 am

[7] yeah, if Posada's hurt they have to bring up Montero.

12 Sliced Bread   ~  Aug 11, 2010 11:51 am

[10] I'd have to see it again myself, but I think the ball was more in Jeter territory. It was a fairly hard hit hopper to Jeter's backhand, but if I recall correctly, he had to wait a sec for it. William says he took too long to set and throw, but I didn't see it that way.

13 Sliced Bread   ~  Aug 11, 2010 11:51 am

[10] and yes, it was fairly deep in the hole.

14 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 11, 2010 12:00 pm

[10] Arod would have to have been well off the line to make that play. I can't kill Jeter for not making the play, but a better short stop with a stronger arm makes it. Jeter's defensive limitations are well known, so you can't dwell on them (if anything I blame him more for not turning the DP in the sixth). My only point was Mariano did not get hit hard by any stretch, so I wouldn't waste time worrying about him. The

15 Raf   ~  Aug 11, 2010 12:21 pm

I don't see the Yanks bringing up Montero, if he isn't going to catch full time. He still needs to get his work in. Chad Moeller probably gets the call next, if he's still in the organization.

16 Sliced Bread   ~  Aug 11, 2010 12:40 pm

[14] right, but a better short stop with a stronger arm doesn't necessarily have the most hits, runs, RBI, and total bases among AL shortstops, as Jeter does. This is the main reason we shouldn't dwell on his defensive limitations. He's still an asset, a fact that seems fashionably forgotten these days.

17 monkeypants   ~  Aug 11, 2010 12:58 pm

16) Bravo.

18 Jon DeRosa   ~  Aug 11, 2010 1:04 pm

[6] & [8] I concur, I'm not worried in the slightest about Mariano. Just that this tough loss came during a stretch when they can ill afford it.

Like it felt he was the lynchpin guarding against chaos and atrophy, and then after last night the floodgates would open.

Not the best reasoning, just a sore gut reaction after the swift kick there.

19 Raf   ~  Aug 11, 2010 1:12 pm

[16] Jeter has been getting beat up about his defense for quite some time, I wouldn't necessarily chalk it up to being "fashionably forgotten"

20 monkeypants   ~  Aug 11, 2010 1:18 pm

[19] I'm not so sure. Comments about Jeter seem to be more frequently negative than positive, focusing on his defensive limitations (which we all know about though sometimes are perhaps exaggerated) and also on his offensive shortcomings (yes, he IS having a down year). But lost in the latter is the fact that, while not playing up to his own standards, he continues to be among the best hitting SS in the league. He continues to be an overall plus for the team.

I think this is what Sliced is referring to as fashionably overlooked. And I tend to agree with him.

21 Sliced Bread   ~  Aug 11, 2010 1:26 pm

[19] yeah, the bad rap he gets on defense is old news -- what's being fashionably forgotten is his offensive production. Because he's not having another career year, showing off a bulky OPS+, a good amount of intelligent fans seem to be down on him, dwelling on his age, upcoming contract etc. - regardless of the fact that he's still a very productive AL shortstop.

22 Sliced Bread   ~  Aug 11, 2010 1:28 pm

[20] better than [21]
thanks, monkeypants.

23 Raf   ~  Aug 11, 2010 3:26 pm

[21] True, he's not having a career year, but he isn't even having an average year, by his standards. Jeter, like Posada has his value tied up in offense. If they can't outhit their defensive shortcomings, then what?

The worries from "intelligent fans" have some merit, looking at how some of Jeter's advanced metrics are playing out.

24 Sliced Bread   ~  Aug 11, 2010 3:52 pm

[23] I'm not saying worries are without merit, but let's keep in mind what monkeypants says in [20]

while not playing up to his own standards, he continues to be among the best hitting SS in the league. He continues to be an overall plus for the team.

Do you not think Jeter is outhitting his defensive shortcomings (which I believe are overstated)?

25 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 11, 2010 3:59 pm

[24] I absolutely agree that Jeter is still an asset, but a look inside his numbers is definitely cause for concern. There is no guarantee that Jeter's decline will plateau. Who knows, he could even bounce back. However, with the team certain to make another significant commitment to him, the possibility that Jeter is at the beginning of a rapid descent can't be ignored. I hope not, but some of the signs are there.

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