Montero to start in 2011?

"Yankees fan may get used to seeing this man behind the plate." Photo Credit: Stevens of the New York Daily News

This morning we learned via Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News that Jesús Montero will get a serious chance to leave spring training as the Yankees everyday catcher. According to Feinsand, the Yankees brass discussed Montero over the past two days during meeting at Yankee Stadium. Feinsand cites a source who claimed the plan is for Montero to catch approximately 100 games during the upcoming season, with Jorge Posada serving as a designated hitter and a backup catcher, along with Francisco Cervelli. Here’s the most interesting line from the Daily News’ article:

The front office believes that Montero is already a better defensive catcher than the 39-year-old Posada, who has struggled behind the plate – and to stay healthy.

The question is, do the Yankees really feel this way, or is this some kind of ploy to raise Montero’s value for possible trades? I think it’s both. I really do believe that the Yankees believe Montero, whose defense has been a huge question mark, is a more capable defensive catcher than Jorge Posada. Now mind you, that really isn’t a compliment. Still, even if the Yankees feel this way, there is no reason they wouldn’t want to make Montero appear more valuable to potential bidders, especially since the Yankees are in the market for pitching. I’m not saying that the Yankees will definitely trade Montero, but I wouldn’t rule it out.

Overall, I would expect to see Jesús Montero take over the everyday catching duties at some point during the 2011 season, if not right out of spring training. I am truly excited to see him play in the Bronx.

Pondering the future of Posada

Tonight, Jorge Posada will be returning to the lineup after coming off a hairline fracture in his foot. For now he will start as the DH, and it appears that he may be the DH for the foreseeable future. According to Chad Jennings, Posada has been cleared to play, but has not been cleared to partake in catching drills. If he has not  even been cleared to begin catching drills, he certainly won’t be catching in a game soon. Before I say more, here are some quotes from Posada from today…

“I know that I can catch and I know that I can be out there,but a lot of circumstances have come. I’m going to have to be smart about it. If I’m in the lineup, I’m happy. I would like to catch here and there sometimes, but I understand what the future holds.”

“Knowing that the American League has a DH, yeah, it was on my mind. When you’re talking about guys that catch every day, you don’t see too many 38-year-olds catching every day. I understand what’s going on.”

“I’m not a DH yet.”

“Two or three weeks from now, I’m probably going to be 100 percent.”

"Pensive Jorge." Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports.

It is hard to predict the future, but it is hard to see Posada catching too many games down the line. Sure, he’ll probably catch his share of games in what remains of the 2010 season. However, we should probably expect to see less and less of Jorge Posada behind the plate.

While the Yankees may be able to patch up the situation in 2010 with a mix or Cervelli and Posada catching, what will be in 2011? Will the Yankees go into next season with Posada slated as the everyday catcher? Will Francisco Cervelli shift into the role? Will Jesus Montero get a shot at it? Who knows?

In my opinion, we’ve probably seen the last of Posada’s days as an everyday catcher. I’m not saying he’ll never catch again. I think he might share the dish 50-50 with Francisco Cervelli in the rest of 2010. But, for now, the DH spot is pretty much vacant because of Nick Johnson’s absence so Jorge can fit right into it. However, down the line, I can’t say I know what will happen.

Game 84: Yankees at Twins

Last night the Yankees took game 1 of this three game series against the Twins by the score of 10-2, if you think about it the score could have been 13-2 if it wasn’t for an amazing play by center fielder Carlos Gomez to rob A-Rod of a grand slam. It was just a fascinating play that is worth a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th look, so here it is. Anyway, tonight the Yankees look to clinch a series win by of course winning, and to do that they send out the following lineup via PeteAbe to face Anthony Swarzak (rookie who the Yankees have never faced):

SS Derek Jeter

LF Johnny Damon

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

DH Hideki Matsui

C Jorge Posada

2B Robinson Cano

RF Nick Swisher

CF Brett Gardner - who gets yet another start while Melky sits on the bench, seems a bit weird to me

And on the hill, Allan James Burnett

The guy in the front is pitching for the Yankees tonight, the guy in the back (Halladay) is not and will not be pitching for the Yankees. Hey, but that gives me an idea...Burnett for Halladay, straight up. I'd do it, get JP on the phone *sarcasm*

The guy in the front is pitching for the Yankees tonight, the guy in the back (Halladay) is not and will not be pitching for the Yankees. Hey, but that gives me an idea...Burnett for Halladay, straight up. I'd do it, get JP on the phone *sarcasm*

Forget about Halladay

In case you needed more re-enforcements of the idea that Roy Halladay will not be wearing Yankee pinstripes, Joel Sherman “tweets” that Yankee officials told him there is zero chance. The price is just to high on him, there’s no way the Yankees would give so much up for a 32 year old pitcher no matter how good he is. In case you’re wondering, my guess is that he goes to the Phillies, and if he isn’t traded JP Ricciardi should be fired for putting Halladay out there like this and then not doing anything.

Molina is in the house

Jose Molina has rejoined the Yankees. While, I have not heard anything on who was sent down, the Yankees said they won’t carry three catchers, so I guess Cervelli was/or will be sent down. We’re going to miss you Francisco Cervelli, but we’ll probably see you again in September, and you can further develop down in the minors in the meanwhile.

Montero added to the Eastern League All Star team

Jesus Montero who has been hitting very well since being promoted to the Trenton Thunder, has been added to the EL All Star team. While he has only been with Trenton for 26 games, he is hitting .299 with 5 home runs and 15 RBI’s. And he is doing all this is a ballpark known to be a pitcher’s ballpark, and in a league known as a pitcher’s league. He can flat out hit.

Game 79: Blue Jays at Yankees

Today at 1:05 pm the Yankees kick off 4 game wraparound series against the Jays. All 4 games have a start time of 1:05 pm, I like it. Last night the Mariners snapped the Yankees winning streak defeating the Bombers 8-4. CC was not too sharp, he had the stuff but his location was off. Even the best struggle sometimes. However, as I have said many times in the past, the great thing about baseball is that teams play almost every single day. So, one loss is not that big of a deal if the team can come out and win the next day, less than 24 hours later. The Yankees look to do to just that as they send out the following lineup via PeteAbe to face Brian Tallett, the strange looking southpaw:

SS Derek Sanderson Jeter

LF Johnny David Damon

1B Mark Charles Teixeira

3B Alex Emmanuel Rodriguez

2B Robinson Jose Cano

RF Nick Thompson Swisher

DH Hideki Matsui (松井 秀喜)

C Francisco Cervelli

CF Brett M. Gardner

And on the mound, Allan James Burnett

Burnett Cervelli

In need off a day off

In my opinion, both Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira are in need of a day off. Rodriguez isn’t really showing any signs of fatigue, but we all know what those 2 days of did to him in Florida, and we all know how much he struggled when he didn’t get any days off. The Yankees need to play it safe with Alex Rodriguez, that means giving him days off. Mark Teixeira, on the other hand, seems to be showing signs of fatigue. He hasn’t hit a home run in 65 AB’s, has seemingly cooled down with the bat, and last night was far from stellar in the field (making his first error of the season). Obviously, you can’t rest Teixeira and Rodriguez both on the same day because that would severely weaken the lineup, but I think it’s time for one of them to rest. Why can’t Hinske take one of their spots for today?

Posada still on the bench

Jorge Posada is still out of the lineup with a bruised left thumb. Francisco Cervelli has been taking his spot on the field, and these appear to be Cervelli’s few last starts before going down to the minors…but that’s not a given.

Happy Birthday Brian!

Brian Cashman turns 42 today. Happy Birthday!

Game 71: Yankees 8, Braves 4

Tonight the Yankees defeated the Braves by the score of 8 to 4. While it may look like an ordinary win, it was not quite. Through 5 innings the Yankees did not have a single base runner, and it looked like another night of losing to Cy Young. However, the story changed in the 6th inning. Brett Gardner led off the inning with a walk (the Yankees first base runner), then he got called out on a pick off on first. Joe Girardi immediately came out to argue. Gardner was clearly safe as seen on the replays, but from Girardi’s view he probably couldn’t really tell. Still, Girardi gave the first base umpire his money’s worth and was ejected. Seeing the manager ejected always seems to get a team fired up. Anyway, the next batter was Francisco Cervelli who hit a solo home run to tie the game at one (his first career home run). From there on almost everything went the Yankee’s way. They went on to score two more runs in the 6th, one in the 7th, two in the 8th, and then 2 in the 9th.

Girardi Argue

On the pitching side things also went well for the Yanks. Joba Chamberlain went 6.1 innings allowing 3 runs, 2 earned. Phil Coke came in to finish the 7th after Joba got in a bit of trouble. Then Bruney came into the 8th inning and right from the get go he didn’t look right, to me his fastball wasn’t there. Bruney allowed a run and could not finish the 8th after getting 2 outs. Enter sandman who stroke out the first batter he faced to end the 8th. Mo actually batted in the top of the ninth, he came up with the bases loaded and two outs and he actually hit a hard liner to center. In the bottom of the 9th Mo was smoking. He faced three batters, and struck out all three. So for the night Mo faced a total of 4 batters and stuck them all out. Vintage Mariano. So the Yankees won the game 8 to 4.

Side Notes

  • The Yankees held a closed door meeting after last night’s game. Supposedly it was basically a pep talk. Jeter and Teixeira were the two guys to step up and talk during the meeting.
  • Brian Cashman unexpectedly was in Atlanta tonight. He also had a little closed door meeting in Girardi’s office with Nick Swisher and Girardi himself. The original lineup posted tonight had Swisher on the bench and Melky in right field. After that little meeting with Cashman, Swisher was in the lineup and Melky was on the bench. The Yankees did not really comment on the situation, so we’re just left to speculate. All I could think off would be that Cashman and Girardi wanted to let Swisher know what the situation would be once Xavier Nady returns (which should be soon, he actually played right field tonight for Scranton). Maybe they told Swisher that he would become a bench player once Nady comes back. I really don’t know, but I would think there was more to Brian Cashman being with the Yankees on the road than just to tell Swisher something. But you know the Yankees, they are quite secretive.
  • Cody Ransom is back with the team, Angel Berroa was DFA’d.
  • Jose Veras was traded to the Indians for “cash considerations.”

Game 60: Yankees at Red Sox

Tonight the Yankees look to improve their 2009 record against the Red Sox to 1-7. That just sounds really bad. Anyway, I am extra confident tonight because the Yankees have their ace pitching for them. Here is the starting lineup via PeteAbe:

SS Derek Jeter

LF Johnny Damon

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

RF Nick Swisher

DH Hideki Matsui

CF Melky Cabrera

C Francisco Cervelli

And on the hill, Charles Carsten Sabathia

Personal Catcher

It appears Cervelli has become CC’s personal catcher. I don’t particularly like personal catchers because in the playoffs the Yanks would not start Cervelli every time CC pitched. To me it just seems like trouble waiting to happen. Still, this seems to be a Posada issue. How come most experienced, good pitchers who come to New York don’t want Posada catching them? Is it just me that notices this?

Redemption…again

Chien-Ming Wang will get another start. This one will come against the Nationals on Wednesday, who despite the fact that they arent too good, they hit right handed pitchers fairly well (.265/.345/.417 to be exact). Wang understands he won’t just keep getting chances, “I’m getting one more chance,” he said. “I have to pitch good.” I found this interesting from Pete Abe:

The x-factor in this situation is that Mrs. Wang will have birth induced on Tuesday if she does not have the baby beforehand.

My friends in the Taiwanese media tell me that the birth of a baby is said to bring good luck in Chinese culture. For Wang’s sake, he better hope so.

Wouldn’t that be something?

Bruney express

Brian Bruney threw 25 pitches to Berroa and Pena. He will get a rehab assignment in Trenton on Saturday, and if all goes well he could be activated on Tuesday.

Game 48: Yanks in Cleveland

As the Yankees look to take game 1 of this 4 game series against the Tribe, they send out the following lineup, via Peter Abraham, to face the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, Cliff Lee:

SS Derek Jeter

LF Johnny Damon

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

C Jorge Posada

DH Hideki Matsui

RF Nick Swisher

CF Brett Gardner

And on the mound, Andy Pettitte

Jorge Posada

Jorge Posada, returns tonight from the DL.

What’s The Word?

There is not word, yet, on who was or will be removed from the 25-man roster to make room for Posada. I have a feeling it’s going to be Cervelli because the Yankees probably want him to play everyday and he can’t really do that up here. I will have updates, as soon as they become available.

Mixed Reports On Melky…

The other day we heard that he would be out 5-7 days, now Marc Craig of The Star Ledger is saying that Cashman said Melky will be avaible of the bench during this Cleveland series. We will have to wait and see.

Matt Wieters Debut Tonight

Matt Wieters will make his Major League debut tonight for the Orioles. He is real good, simple as that. It’s not too often you see a young catcher who can hit like he can, and I don’t think he is bad defensively. I’m going to keep on eye on him, he could really be something special in the next few years. Still, let’s not jump the gun.

A Night Out

CC Sabathia and crew went out to the Cavs-Magic game last night. I was watching part of the game, when I saw Mariano Rivera in the stands, I was just like, “Is that Mo?”

Magic Cavaliers Basketball

Roster Update

Kevin Cash was optioned to Scranton. I didn’t even know that Cash had options, but in this case it was probably a no brainer for the Yanke.. Well, I think I like it better this way.

Update 6:56 via Pete Abe

It’s raining, and the tarp is being put down. The start will be delayed…boo.

Update 8:30
First pitch…yay!

Game 26: Red Sox at Yankees

After losing last night earlier this morning, the Yankees send Joba to the hill against the Sox hitters. The Yankees will throw out the following lineup to face Josh Beckett: 

SS Derek Jeter

LF Johnny Damon

1B Mark Teixeira

DH Hideki Matsui

2B Robinson Cano

RF Nick Swisher

CF Melky Cabrera

3B Ramiro Pena

C Jose Molina

And on the mound, Joba Chamberlain

 

Bad News… Jorge Posada hit the DL today. He has a strained hamstring. According to Peter Abraham, the Yankees are saying he will be out for 2-3 weeks, but the fear is that he could actually be out for 2-5 weeks. (Sigh) Just when he was really getting hot. Francisco Cervelli was called up from Trenton to take his place. Cervelli had 11 hits in 58 AB’s down in AA. That’s a .190 batting average. Ouch. Well, he did have two home runs.

Arod Update… Alex went 3-6 today with two home runs and a single. He also made several plays. I think we can look at Friday as the return date.

 

Hopefully, Mark starts to get hot now.

Hopefully, Mark starts to get hot now.