Thursday, September 29, 2011
Updated: September 30, 4:27 PM ET
Jorge Posada will be Yanks DH
By Mike Mazzeo
Special to ESPNNewYork.com
NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees have not officially released their postseason roster -- but it will include Jorge Posada.
The embattled Posada will serve as the designated hitter during the Yankees' American League Division Series against the Detroit Tigers, according to manager Joe Girardi.
"Like I said earlier, I don't look back, I really don't. I have to move forward," Posada said Thursday. "I have to look at us today, and look forward to tomorrow. I really do."
Despite rumblings that Posada may not be included on the postseason roster given the emergence of rookie Jesus Montero, the 40-year-old never thought his spot was in question.
"I thought I was going to be here," Posada said, adding that he didn't want to think about not being included because he didn't want to deal "in negatives."
"I never thought of myself being out of it."
Posada said Girardi informed him on Thursday morning that he would be starting as the team's DH in Game 1 on Friday night.
"Our intent is to use Jorgie as our DH," Girardi said. "We will go with that, and you just play it out."
Posada hit a career-low .235 in his 15th major league season with 14 home runs and 44 RBIs in 387 at-bats. He has struggled mightily against left-handed pitching this season (.092, 6-for-65), but has been decent versus righties (.269, 75-for-279). And since the Tigers will be throwing all right-handers during the series, it makes sense for Posada, who has appeared in 120 postseason games, to get the nod over Montero.
Girardi, of course, would then have the option of pinch-hitting for Posada with Montero late in games if Detroit manager Jim Leyland were to bring in a southpaw. The 21-year-old Montero batted .500 off lefties in 24 September at-bats.
Posada's 2011 campaign has not been without it's trials and tribulations. His demise began on May 14, when he and his .165 batting average were dropped to ninth in the batting order against the Boston Red Sox. He then removed himself from the lineup, prompting heavy criticism for the move.
Posada was then benched by Girardi on Aug. 9 in Boston, and voiced his displeasure over the move.
"I'm not happy about it," Posada said at the time.
Posada went 3-for-5 on Aug. 13 with a homer and six RBIs, but has hit .228 since.
"There's not much I could've controlled back then," Posada said. "Obviously I started really bad and then I felt like I was doing some things well, and things happen. But this is the season right now. You play 162 games for this and you look forward to tomorrow. I think everybody in here does."
Posada said he considers himself the team's "third-string" catcher. That would seem to indicate that Austin Romine's name will not be on the roster, given that starter Russell Martin and Montero would be in front of him on the depth chart.
Mike Mazzeo is a frequent contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.