How Posada As DH Impacts The Yankees

The Yankees have dealt with a number of injuries in the first two months of the season, most notably to Nick Johnson and Jorge Posada.  Johnson underwent wrist surgery that will keep him out until July at the earliest, while Posada has dealt with calf and foot injuries that have limited him to just 105 plate appearances.

Johnson was signed in the offseason to give New York some depth at DH while still keeping the position semi-open so veterans like Posada and Alex Rodriguez could take a day off from the field but remain in the lineup.  While A-Rod has played in 52 of New York's 54 games, Posada's injury woes have convinced Rob Parker of that the longtime catcher should become the Bronx Bombers' full-time designated hitter.  Parker argues that Francisco Cervelli's defense and surprising bat (a .302/.379/.377 line going into today's action) makes him a solid replacement behind the plate.

There appears to be little downside to this move, at least for now.  Posada has been a dangerous hitter when he's been able to play this season so there's no sign that the 38-year-old is on an overall decline.  When (or if) Johnson is healthy, he can spell Posada at DH and perhaps allow Posada to take the occasional start behind the plate.  Cervelli's minor league numbers suggest that his hot hitting won't last, so the Yankees will have to decide if having a rare weak spot in their lineup is worth the trade-off of Cervelli's defense and ability to keep Posada fresh.  In case you're wondering about New York catching prospect Jesus Montero, he has struggled (.648 OPS) at Triple-A Scranton this season so the Yanks aren't likely to call him up to the majors anytime soon.

9 Responses to How Posada As DH Impacts The Yankees Leave a Reply

  1. jwredsox 5 years ago

    Well Cervelli has a nice and high .344 BABIP (seems even higher because he is a catcher)

  2. I think this is the right move at least for this season or until Cervelli’s bat cools off. If it doesn’t cool off, then the yankees can trade away one of Cervelli, Montero, and Romine for someone in the future.

    • Anjali J 5 years ago

      Why would you trade Cervelli away if his bat remained decent enough? That doesn’t make sense at all.

  3. East Coast Bias 5 years ago

    I don’t know which signing I disliked more, Nick Johnson or Chan Ho Park. I’m totally fine with having Cervelli in the lineup rather than Johnson.

    • Rich_in_NJ 5 years ago

      Nick Johnson has a career OPS+ of 124. He played in 133 games last season.

      Chan Ho Park, OTOH, has a career 97 ERA+.

      Consequently, it’s reasonable to have thought that signing Nick was a risk worth taking, while Park, not so much.

      btw, Nick was signed to replace Matsui whose OPS+ this season is 77, so it’s not like the Yankees would have been that better off by re-signing Matsui.

  4. We all know Cervelli will be coming back down to earth (he’s in the process of doing so).

    He doesn’t have the best arm, but it’s far better than Posada’s, and his game-calling is far better as well. I’m perfectly fine with him batting 8th if it means I don’t have to see someone with no business playing Catcher out there playing Catcher.

  5. vinnieg 5 years ago

    i remember watching yes last year and they said posadas career as a dh he bats .206. maybe the downtime he looses his focus.

    I love cervelli… but if you check the stats for this year the starting pitching has been alot better while posada was in the battery.


  6. Anjali J 5 years ago

    Jorge’s career has been trending this way for a while, though I think he has some time behind the plate in him. I think using him as the DH is a good way to keep him fresh and in the game. Cervelli seems to be better defensively – calls better games and the pitchers seem more comfortable with him behind the plate. No doubt Frankie’s bat will cool off – it has already somewhat, but so long as it doesn’t turn to ice, he’ll be okay. I think he could hold a respectable average through the season.

  7. jwredsox 5 years ago

    I know that, I was just referring to his surprising bat that the article talked about.

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