Wednesday, August 10, 2011
No room for Posada on Yankees' roster
By David Schoenfield
If Jorge Posada isn't in the lineup as the Yankees' designated hitter, is there even room for him on the roster? Posada, unhappy about being benched on Sunday night, said he's moved on and will be ready when he gets another chance.
Whether that comes remains to be seen. Posada is hitting .230/.309/.372 on the season, but that was built around a .382 average in June. Since July 1, he's hit .201 with with no home runs in 78 at-bats. He hasn't played behind the plate this year, can't hit lefties (.103 this season) and doesn't exactly give you a pinch-running option. At best, he gives you a weak-hitting platoon DH. Can the Yankees afford to keep that kind of guy on the postseason roster?
Let's say the Yankees call up Jesus Montero as rumored and make him the full-time DH by the time the postseason rolls around. That gives the Yankees nine everyday starters, leaving the bench as Eduardo Nunez (backup infielder), Francisco Cervelli (backup catcher), Andruw Jones (backup outfielder, right-handed bat off the bench) plus one more player (if the Yankees carry 12 pitchers) or two (if the Yankees carry 11). The options would include Posada, Eric Chavez and a pinch-runner/defensive replacement like Chris Dickerson or Greg Golson (who was on the postseason roster last season).
Basically, it's difficult to carry a guy who can't play the field if you carry 12 pitchers. Chavez at least gives you a guy who can play third base and right now his bat is probably better than Posada's. Hey, it's entirely possible the Yankees have no intention of thrusting Montero into the spotlight this season. Maybe they can find room for two DHs on the postseason roster. But it seems unlikely to me and I see Posada being the odd man out come October.
Of course, the Yankees have to get there first. Meanwhile, they can keep Posada around until the rosters expand in September ... but how willing is Posada to become a spectator the final seven weeks?
Follow David Schoenfield on Twitter @dschoenfield.