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A Sox by any other name…

After a four game sweep of the Chicago White Sox, the Yankees headed to Boston to end a road trip with three games against the Red Sox – to determine the fate of the division!

Well, we all know how it turned out – Boston took two of three and reclaimed their hold on 1st place in the American League East. After the previous road trip and the beating the Yankees gave the White Sox, you might have had high expectations with the Yankees going into Fenway, and that would be fair – the Yankees are certainly playing better ball of late, even without A-Rod.

It just didn’t happen for the Yankees this weekend, and, as usual, the prime suspect was starting pitching. If the Yankees have had a theme over the last decade (minus a year or two), it’s been the starting pitching putting too much pressure on the bullpen, and this series was no different. On Friday, Bartolo Colon just didn’t have his best stuff (as has been the case through most of his starts since returning from the DL), CC Sabathia was just bad from the first inning (any time you see Fransisco Cervelli doing that half split catcher’s stance in the first inning, you know you’re in trouble) and Freddy Garcia through a zillion pitches in such a short while (98 pitches in 5 IP) that I’m shocked Sweaty Freddy didn’t dehydrate.

But whatever; the Yankees are one game back in the east now, and seven games up in the wild card – they’re going to the playoffs.

The Red Sox are inside CC’s head?
I heard people saying the Red Sox are inside CC Sabathia’s head before and after Saturday’s game… I don’t buy it. I know he hasn’t beaten them in four tries this year, but that’s they way it goes sometimes. He’s certainly had success against them before, and since coming to the Yankees, even if his lifetime numbers aren’t dominant against the Red Sox. And, it’s not like he had his best stuff on Saturday and the Red Sox beat him – he was bad right from the start. You can say that’s some sort of Red Sox hangover, but I don’t buy it.

Posada to ride the pine
Jorge Posada is going to be a pinch hitter for the rest of the year instead of part of a DH rotation with Andruw Jones as Eric Chavez takes over for him. It’s just another phase out of Posada’s Yankee career, which will be even more pronounced when Jesus Montero makes his appearance as part of September call ups Frankly, I’d rather see Montero in the roll full time, but I guess we’re stuck for a few more weeks.

Mo is human
It would have been nice for Mo to nail down the save last night and win a series at Fenway against the Red Sox, but it didn’t happen – a near home run that turns into a lead off double is pretty hard to pitch around, even for my savior. Oh well.

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Winning and Injuries

The Yankees are 8-2 over their last ten games and 13 games over .500, a 2011 season high, and I’m excited about that – but this team needs help. Don’t get me wrong, the Yankees deserve kudos for the winnings they’ve been doing, but this team has some glaring holes – some I understand, like the bullpen, but then, when they only score 1 run in Chicago against one of the worst pitchers in the game and let him hang around for 8 innings… it’s hard to know what to think. This and other Yankees issues are probably due to age, injury, regression or all three issues.

So who’s hurt these days? Its so numerous that it’s getting tough to keep track of. Fortunately, it looks like we’re going to get Jeter, Colon and Hughes back – 2009 Jeter is probably never going to show up again, but, he’s probably the lesser of alternative evils. Colon is a must and Brian Cashman is practically married to Phil Hughes, so if you don’t like Hughes… you’re out of luck.

Derek Jeter
El Calfstrain is just short of his 3000th hit, and while it’s kinda crazy that we get to watch the active hit leader and in the future can say, "I saw that guy play," you have to admit that he’s kinda dragging the team down with his bat and lack of range at short. On the other hand, Eduardo Nunez’s fielding can only be described as frightening, but more on that later.

Bartolo Colon
If you pray, please pray for Colon every night. We need this guy back at 100% – hopefully, right after the All Star break. Without him… I don’t know how realistic our chances are of actually going anywhere in the playoffs. He’s that important!

Phil Hughes

If you haven’t seen the reports, it sounds like his first rehab start went well, the velocity is there and he’s feeling good, so maybe we’re getting the good Phil Hughes back, but this guy is as unpredictable as they get – I know he won a zillion games last year, but I have trouble trusting this guy – he’s either going good, going bad or hurt. Consistency isn’t his strong point.

All Left Handed Relievers Except He Who Shall Hence Be Known As "The Crappy One"

Let’s see… I read somewhere that both Pedro Feliciano and Damaso Marte are starting to throw off flat ground, but who knows what that means in terms of a return time table. If neither of them can get David Ortiz out, then it doesn’t really matter anyway.

Joba Chamberlain

See you next year, Joba. Anybody got a spare setup man lying around that they’re not using?

Rafael Soriano

Oh right, you were supposed to be the setup man. I forgot. Joba was going to the 7th inning guy… anyway, Soriano is still supposed to be resting and maybe will come back in the middle of July, but I’m not holding my breath.

So we definitely need more pitching, but that’s not a surprise – although I thought it was going to be starting pitching, not bullpen help. So let’s take a look at who stinks.

Eduardo Nunez (fielding)
So, now that you’ve seen Eduardo Nunez for a while at short, what do you think? Obviously, he can’t field worth a damn – every time he picks up the ball, I say a silent prayer and everybody sitting behind 1st base braces for impact. Nunez can hit, but I’m starting to wonder whether or not this guy belongs in the infield.

Boone Logan aka "The Crappy One"
If Boone Logan was a Sioux, his name would be "Only On Team Because He’s Left Handed," or something more clever than that. Since he can’t get anybody out, he decided to try a different strategy against the Reds – just hit the guy, it’s faster. He’s given up 16 hits in 16 innings while walking 8 and striking out 11. That is NOT getting it done.

The Bullpen
We’ve got David Robertson, Mariano Rivera and a collection of stiffs. Seriously… the Yankees are, as of this writing, carrying 12 pitchers on there roster – and I’m sure it would be 13 if they could find another lefty. It’s that bad. I know Hector Noesi has looked good and Corey Wade has looked good so far, but we need more help, and we can’t count on any of the DL relief corps to come back. It’s time to go to the scrap pile (again) or make a trade.

Francisco Cervelli

I don’t expect backup catchers to hit, but this guy has got to field better. In fact, he’s got to field great – because if a backup catcher can’t catch, then what’s the damn point? It’s not like he’s a regular position player who you expect to contribute with the bat – Cervelli is a catcher and the guy just isn’t getting it done behind the plate. Cervelli and Nunez need to do serious work this winter.

Other Stuff

I guess Nick Swisher is finding his swing, but splits are still frightening. Jorge Posada is also looking better at the plate, but… who knows. The Brett Gardner Crisis of April has been officially over as he’s gotten his average almost up to .300 now – too bad he completely forgot how to run or steal bases. Kudos are due to Ivan Nova, who has really done well in his last several starts, especially last night. A-Rod is apparently playing hurt, but it doesn’t seem to be effecting him much; but, if he is truly hurt, the Yankees would be wise to DL him now rather than waiting – Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira can supply the power in the interim.

Now what?
The bench needs help and the Yankees desperately need relief pitching, and they need the two hardest things to get: a lefty and a setup guy. Can these holes be filled? I’m sure we can find guys to fix the bench, but the bullpen is going to be tricky. I hate to tie my hopes to Rafael Soriano coming back to the team healthy and effective, but I’m betting there aren’t many other choices.

Feast Or Famine Again?

 

In recent past seasons, I’ve expressed concern that the Yankees have continually put together offenses that either produce a zillion runs or none to almost no runs at all; or, as it is often called, a feast or famine offense. When I scroll through the results of the 2011 season, I do feel that this team can easily lapse into that tendency.

Last night, the Yankees scored 13 runs on 14 hits, which is great – except that the night before, they were held down to one run over 14 innings until picking up 3 more in the 15th. Now I understand that different line ups, and even particular players on specific days are going to produce different results on separate games, but the Yankees weren’t exactly facing Pedro Martinez in his prime on Wednesday night, and they left a ton of guys on base. So what gives?

It’s still a bit too early to draw conclusions about the 2011 Yankees. For example, I don’t think Derek Jeter is going to meander around the .255 mark all season – I think he’s probably a .275-.285 guy this year. It’s also impossible to predict Brett Gardner; he simply doesn’t have enough MLB time to know if what he did last year and what he’s done in the month of May is who he really is or not. I have no idea what’s going on with Nick Swisher (although he’s starting to show signs of life, too), and Jorge Posada doesn’t have a single hit off a left handed pitcher yet this season – and he’s NEVER had bad splits before in his entire career.

So while it’s too soon to call the 2011 Yankee offense a feast or famine club, it’s definitely something to keep an eye on.

The Streak Is Over

So many inspirational phrases come to be mind; before the game, it was something to the tune of, "The line must be drawn here! This far, no farther! And I will make them pay for what they’ve done!"

Make who pay, you ask? Uhm, Joe Girardi for calling all of those bunts; the Yankees offense for not knowing how to bunt; A.J. Burnett for coughing up a lead; Freddy Garcia for coughing up a lead; Joba Chamberlain for giving up that homer; the Yankees offense for their continual RISP failures; Jorge Posada for throwing a hissy fit when Girardi moved him down to 9th in the batting order… you know, those things.

During the bottom of the 9th, with a runner on second and one run in, Mariano Rivera came running out to the mound, shouting to his teammates: "Infielders, outfielders – my brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come, when the ability of our team to win a game fails, when we forsake our friends and refuse to play [cough] Jorge [cough] But it is not this day! This day we play! For all that you hold dear, for your pride and vanity, we stand together, Yankees of New York!"

But after the game, it went more like this:

"Win at last, win at last; thank god all mighty, the Yankees have won at last!"

"Ask not what the Yankees can do for you, but what you can do for the Yankees!"

"It depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is…" OK, maybe it’s not like that one at all.

It’s kind of like that part at the end of The Two Towers: "Victory! We have victory!" Yeah, it felt that way, except instead of facing an insurmountable army (300 style), it was just a matter of the Yankees getting out of their own way. All teams slump, but its tough when a team slumps for so long – but the first big hurtle has been jumped – a win has been secured. It’s time to march into Baltimore and kick ASS!

Yankees Take Rained Shortened Series Against Orioles

I read a Yankees blog that jokingly heralded this series as a battle for first place – it was true, but in April, it’s not to be taken seriously. Nevertheless, the Yankees find themselves at the top of the AL East while the Red Sox are 2-9, so for now, life is good. Sure, the Baltimore orioles look like a better team with an improved roster, but they still have problems and their pitching is still suspect – and that’s coming from a Yankee fan. I think the Os will be pesky this year, but nothing more.

There’s lots to smile about so far this season:

  • AJ Burnett looks like he’s finding his way through his 2010 troubles (which I still maintain weren’t that bad – drop a comment if you disagree and we’ll battle it out!) with some decent starts
  • CC Sabathia looks good even when he’s not happy with the way he’s throwing
  • The offense is showing plenty of signs of life, particularly when it comes to power. Jorge Posada has only 7 hits on the early season, but 5 of them are home runs… figure that out!
  • Joba Chamberlain has regained his vintage form, and suddenly, the bullpen is a force to be reckoned with. If a starter can go 6 innings and limit the opposition to to 3 or 4 runs, the Yankees have a decent chance of winning that game.
  • Batolo Colon has pitched great as the Yankees long reliever – without him, last night’s come from behind win would have not happened.

There’s lots to frown about, too.

  • Pedro Feliciano is done for the year and Damaso Marte might be available by September. Maybe. Perhaps once Manny Banuelos has pitched a significant number of innings as a starter in the minors, he can join the major league pen to finish off his 2011 innings limit. Otherwise, Boone Logan will be the go to guy all year long when it comes to lefties out of the pen – not that its a bad thing, Logan can certainly throw, but he makes me nervous sometimes. He’s certainly better than Phil Coke.
  • Phil Hughes is making Burnett’s 2010 season look like Aaron Small‘s 2005 season. If Hughes is truly healthy, I assume he’ll come around at some point; again, I’d take 6 innings of 4 run ball from him and call it a day, but right now, he can’t get out of the fifth inning.
  • It’s pretty wild that we still haven’t seen Freddy Garcia on the mound this season (except that one relief appearance) – If I were a betting man, I’d go all in on Garcia getting shelled his first time out.
  • Brett Gardner has yet to find his swing yet and I’m not liking his at bats at all. I was surprised Girardi didn’t go to the bench and bring in Andruw Jones in the 9th inning
  • I wish I could say I was shocked when Derek Jeter hit a ground ball to short stop last night in the 9th inning, but that’s his new favorite spot to ground out to dating back to last year. Before 2010, I think the negative broadcaster quote everyone loved to say was ‘Passed a diving Jeter!’ in reference to his limited range at short stop, but this year it’s definetly, “Jeter hits a ground ball to short.” You know, like last year.

The Yankees have the Texas Rangers coming in this weekend, minus Josh Hamilton. The Rangers have a ton of young starters this year, and if they aren’t left handed, I’m hoping the Yankees tee off on them… if they are left handed starting pitchers, be prepared for our beloved bombers to take a beating at the plate.

Yankees pitching and or bats falter against Red Sox

Ah the stench from the first series lost of the year. Can you smell it? You can smell it.

SATURDAY
What can you say about pitching like this? Ivan Nova had a bad outing, but Clay Buchholz had a TERRIBLE trip to the mound. That’s all there is to it. Kudos to David Robertson for getting the job done in relief. Nobody puts a fire out like D-Rob!

To anybody who didn’t want Russell Martin – now would be a good time to admit you were wrong. The guy is obviously a fine catcher, and he can actually frame a pitch (take that, Jorge Posada!), but also has a variety of offensive tools, including power and base stealing. Assuming he stays healthy, we’re pretty lucky to have Martin.

Luis Ayala pitched two scoreless innings in relief – who knew he had it in him? Given Ayala’s many-stopped history, I’m sure he was the last person to know, but good for him!

SUNDAY
Sunday night’s top of the 9th strike outs to Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira… wow. Those last called looking strikes were not strikes. I appreciate that it was getting late and it was raining and it’s only April, but come on – don’t give Jonathan Paplebon any help, Blue.

That being said, Mark Teixeira looked awful at the plate during this series, going 0-15 with 7 Ks and 2 BB. Of course, Derek Jeter looked infinitely worse swinging wildly at those fastballs against Josh Beckett. Beckett looked, for the most part, like he’s returned to prime form after a few off seasons – the velocity was especially impressive, but can he stay healthy? That’s the question.

Dustin Pedroia was a beast the entire series: 9-13 in the series, 4 XBH, 4 R, 5 RBI. Not saying I’d trade Robinson Cano for him, but still, a good performance. Is it just me, or does he play back on the ball or is never in the right position to field a play, because he is always running all over the place out there. Granted, he always makes it, which is a testament to he is speed, but maybe if he was positioned better, he wouldn’t have to wear himself out every game. I feel like he has to sprint 5 yards to every routine ground ball, and it just looks weird.

CC Sabathia has an 0-1 record. What the shiz is that? He battled all night long last night and got zero run support. It’s ridiculous! Why can’t the Yankees score any runs for him?

Going into Friday afternoon’s game, I caught myself pitying the Red Sox fans. Their team was coming home with an 0-6 record, facing a Yankee team that was finding ways to win (mostly via the home run and pitching) on a 40 degree opening day. That sucks for anybody. Of course, the Red Sox fans made me regret any compassion I felt for them over and over throughout the weekend. Do you really need to let Fenway Park ring with chants of “Yankees suck!” when you’re winning a game 1-0? In April? I’m not saying Yankees fans don’t chant ‘Boston sucks!’ because we totally do, but the whole stadium doesn’t vibrate from the hollering of drunk morons – at a Yankee game, it’s just a few hundred people, not every single person in the building. I know this sounds crazy, but the behavior of Red Sox fans is so far outside the norm of what I see during other games (granted, the Yankees almost never head into Philadelphia) that I’m always shocked by it, no matter how many times I see it. Stay classy, Boston fans. (Keep in mind that I love the city of Boston and in my experience, people have always been very kind to me in and around the city. But I have been to a game at Fenway and yeah, it was scary. That building does something to those folks. Yankee fans might be hardcore, but Red Sox fans are in a cult or something.)

Monday is an off day before the Baltimore Orioles come to town with their AL East leading record, which I assure you, will not last. Brian Roberts is apparently not ill anymore and is cleared to play. We’ll have to wait and see what the Os truly have to offer on Tuesday.

Yankees Pitching Takes Down Twins

You can’t draw it up much better.

Sure, it’d be nice if your starter went nine innings every time out – seven or even eight would also be great.  But when you’ve got a bullpen like the Yankees, 6 IP of 3 run ball will do.

That’s just what Ivan Nova gave the Yankees tonight, and one of those runs that came around to score was probably a tough one to swallow, but if  that’s how you have to take the win, I’m sure Nova will take it.  The Twins have some good bats, but I thought Nova looked pretty good out there, and if this is the start of something he can maintain, Nova is going to win ten games this year.

Nova hands the ball over to what might end up being one of the best three headed monster bullpens that baseball has seen in the last few seasons.  Joba Chamberlain looks like he’s found his old rhythm, Rafael Soriano is too good, and Mariano Rivera – well, we all know about Mo, and Micheal Kay is so enamored with his greatness that it’s more interesting to him to analyze his uniform than his performance, because the higher socks look that Mo is sporting this year is less consistent throughout his career than his performance, which is always GREAT.

Alex Rodriguez had a nice homer to left and Jorge Posada is starting to look like he’s enjoying the DH position with a homer of his own.  Brett Gardner just missed a hit that probably would have blown the game wide open, but that’s how it goes.  Russell Martin continues to show us his tools and I think he’s going to win a lot of Yankee fans over very quickly if he keeps this up.

Tomorrow, CC Sabathia makes his second start of the year and hopefully, it will be more Sabathia-like.

Yankees 2011 Batting Orders

Depending on whether the Yankees are facing a right-handed or left-handed pitcher, you’ll see one of two batting orders this year.  If you watched a ton of spring training, you’ll already have a good feel for what they’re planning.  As for me, I didn’t watch much, but I checked their lineups a lot and I’m pretty sure that Brett Gardner will be the lead off hitter on opening day and on most days the Yankees face right-handed starters.  This will move Derek Jeter back down to second, where he has batted most of his career, although its worth pointing out that he’s had plenty of success in the lead off spot.

Given that Gardner was the on base percentage leader last year, it makes sense to lead him off against right handers.  His speed will also hopefully keep the Yankees out of double plays if Derek Jeter goes into another grounding to short stop spree like last season.

Here is what to expect on a regular day against Right Handed Pitchers:
Brett Gardner, LF
Derek Jeter, SS
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Jorge Posada, DH
Russell Martin, C
Curtis Granderson, CF

Given that Granderson is dealing with an oblique injury but is expected to be available on opening day, you might see Andruw Jones in left field on Thursday , which would move Gardner to center.

Here is what to expect on a regular day against Left Handed Pitchers:
Derek Jeter, SS
Nick Swisher, RF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Jorge Posada, DH
Curtis Granderson, CF
Russell Martin, C
Brett Gardner, LF

I would expect Andruw Jones to get the occasional start against lefties, but I don’t think they’re going to straight up platoon Jones and Gardner – unless Jones gets super hot.  Granderson is a tough guy to place in the line up – if he is sluggish like he was for most of last year, he’ll stay down low, batting 7th, 8th or 9th – but if he gets hot like he did at the end of the year and in the playoffs, Joe Girardi is going to have a nice problem to have – expect him to trade spots with Nick Swisher – unless he’s also hitting well.  If that’s the case, then maybe it’ll be Jorge Posada who gets bumped down.  I could make up crazy scenarios all day…  so I’ll stop now.

It’s almost time for baseball!  Too bad opening day is during working hours!

2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy

The last email I got late last night was my invitation back to the Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball League I joined last year. I’ve been waiting for this moment for some time (well, the draft, actually – not getting the email) because this year, I have a drafting strategy.

That’s right, a drafting strategy. In 2010, my first fantasy baseball season, I had no drafting stategy, and this year, I’ve replaced it with a drafting strategy. That’s a pretty sweet upgrade, right? So, a full fantasy baseball season wiser than I was last year, here are my ideas on drafting for 2011.

The first thing you have to consider is how your league does scoring. For my league, the day to day starters are more important than the pitching staff (sure, the pitchers get you points, too, but I felt they were mostly just gravy – CC Sabathia would bring the points, but he’s a great pitchers on a great team, it’d be insane if he didn’t), and so after a year of trying (and kinda failing) of ringing some offense out of two key positions, I’m going to give them my first two picks this year: short stop and catcher.

Who’d I have at short stop last year? I can’t remember. The point is, if he’s available (and he should be because I should have a high pick after getting my ass handed to me for the entire second half), I’m drafting Troy Tulowitzki. I know he got hurt last year and played in less than 130 games – I don’t care. Tulowitzki is the man; he may not be the second coming of A-Rod, but he’s still pretty awesome. Now maybe it goes without saying that you should make one of the best young players in the game your first pick, but I just want to impress how difficult it is to get production out of a short stop – it’s really hard. Sure, you could pick Derek Jeter – he’s got something to prove next season, that’s for sure, but there’s no guarantee a guy his age doesn’t break – the same could be said for Jose Reyes. Bottom line: get yourself a good offensive shortstop.

Who’d I have at catcher last year? Jorge Posada, who was always hurt last year. The guy just didn’t make any plate appearances. He might be a good choice to carry this year because he’ll qualify as a catcher but probably won’t actually catch, but odds are, he isn’t going to DH every single game because he physically can’t and because other guys need time at DH. For me, I would go get Victor Martinez – the guy can flat out hit. Of course, you can’t necessarily go wrong with Joe Mauer,, who is obviously an amazing hitter and probably one of the better hitters in the game extent. But this is fantasy baseball; you’re not starting an actual team that has to play real games, so either guy will do.

If I was starting an actual team, it’s be all about the starting pitching, and depending on your league, starting pitching might be important for you, too. If getting the win earns a lot of points, you have to put CC Sabathia right at the top of your draft list, because you know he’s going to win a lot of games; between the Yankees offense and his own skills, you know he’s a good bet. Besides, he’s always healthy and even when he’s not, he still pitches, and on his bad days, he’s never really that bad. Who knows, maybe the weight loss will open a whole new door for him (which is hard to believe because he’s already so great), but you have to believe Sabathia will win 18 games next year. That’s a ton of points!

Saves are also worth a ton of points in my league, so drafting closers is the only way to go when it comes to picking relief pitchers – everybody else is just a waste of a roster spot. Even if they aren’t a top closer in the league, just grab ‘em.

Pick your outfielders last, and remember, their defense probably doesn’t matter, unless your league grades errors harshly. If offense is king your league, grab anybody with a bat. Don’t waste an early pick on an outfielder. Grab a high producer at second base – of course, Robbie Cano is a great pick, but you figure he will go early in the draft. You can always grab that D-bag that Boston runs out there…

While I don’t pretend to be a fantasy baseball expert, I would say that the brief strategies I’ve outlined above are better than no strategy at all. Ultimately, I still expect to get my butt kicked this season, but hopefully, I’m come out the other side wiser.

The Jorge Posada Conundrum

If you didn’t already hear, Jorge Posada is supposed to have surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee today. I don’t have any idea what that means or how serious, but it sounds like he’ll be ready for the start of Spring Training, but not matter how you look at this, it’s not great news.

As painful as it may be for Yankees fans (and surely to the player himself), Jorge Posada is near the end of his career, if 2011 isn’t his last season. In the 2010 season, Posada was able to make only 78 starts as the catcher and batted .248 with 18 homers. I think most folks would agree that at this point in his career, Posada’s value to the Yankees is with his bat, and as the catcher, he not only hinders the team defensively, but he’s wearing himself down and reducing his offensive production.

Given that the Yankees don’t have a regular DH next year, I think the most reasonable answer is for Posada to get the majority of the starts there while also sharing time at DH with Alex Rodriguez and some of the other older players on the team. This plan isn’t perfect: while the DH is a great spot to stash big bats like Posada and A-Rod, playing Posada at the DH position means the Yankees will need to carry three catchers.

Carrying three catchers isn’t the end of the world, but it’s not the most ideal use of a roster spot. What I am proposing gives occasional starts at catcher to Posada, leaves Francisco Cervelli as the backup catcher and brings Jesus Montero up to the big leagues to do the majority of the catching. There is plenty of risk here: Montero has little experience as a catcher and Cervelli was over exposed last season and at times didn’t perform well defensively, which is something that I think we all expect as a given from a backup catcher.

I think this is the best solution for 2011. Alternatively, the Yankees may end up running Posada out there until he breaks – and he will get injured at some point, even with regular rest. But I think the 2011 season is the end of Posada’s career, no matter where he plays.

NOTES ON DEREK JETER WINNING THE GOLD GLOVE
ESPN and everybody else on the planet is balking a bit at Derek Jeter’s 2010 Gold Glove.

But modern fielding charts and rankings consistently put Jeter in the bottom half of their ratings. Two websites that study glovework — Fangraphs.com with its Ultimate Zone Rating and Fieldingbible.com — listed Chicago’s Alexei Ramirez as the top-fielding AL shortstop with Jeter nowhere close to even middle-of-the-pack status.

As soon as you use UZR in your argument against Jeter’s fielding, you lose me. UZR doesn’t use adequate sample sizes and compares the player to the other players rather than comparing the player to his past performance, meaning projected UZRs are, in a word, garbage – case in point, Mark Teixeira had a negative UZR the last time I looked, and Teix is an amazing 1st baseman.. I seriously doubt Jeter is the best SS in the American League; I would say Jeter is on the plus side of average, but there are some plays he is capable of that most short stops are not capable of, particularly putting his back to home plate and running into the outfield to catch fly balls. Bottom line, I think gold gloves are won by reputation – I dont think anybody sits down and looks at film or stats before they vote.

Anyway, congrats to Jeter, Teixeira and Robbie Cano on winning winning their Gold Gloves!

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