Results tagged ‘ Jorge Posada ’

Posada hopes homer swing vs. O’s opens the door

Early season results are a funny thing, as Joe Girardi was saying before the game last night. For example, he has a shortstop with over 2,900 career hits, but there are still daily questions to field from reporters asking if Derek Jeter is washed up and will end the season hitting in the .230s, as he is now (fearless prediction: he won’t).

So consider the case of Jorge Posada, who slugged the game-tying home run in the ninth inning last night off the Orioles’ Kevin Gregg. Continuing to adjust to the new designated hitter role the Yankees have slapped on him, Posada has five home runs in 10 games — and, thanks to that pesky 0-for-19 skid he just went through, just two other hits that are not home runs.

Posada is hitting just .189, but his OPS is a healthy .825 – better than Curtis Granderson, Jeter, Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner in the Yankees’ lineup. For the moment, Posada is the all-or-nothing guy.

“I have no idea, but I’m not complaining,” Posada said. “They’re hits, so I’m happy with the way it’s going. Obviously I want to get going a little bit. I went through a funk, a little bit, went through a little slump, and hopefully we can get it going for the whole year.”

The results may not consistently be there, but Posada believes he’s getting close. He said he cracked some balls at people in the series at Fenway Park that could have been hits with better placement.

“I hit some balls right at people,” Posada said. “I hit a line drive to centerfield that I hit real well, and I hit a line drive to first that I thought it hit real well. Sunday was one of those days. (Josh) Beckett was on, so you forget about that one and keep going. It’s just a matter of understanding your job, and doing what you’re supposed to do.”

Posada gets his swings as Yanks’ new DH

The biggest concern the Yankees had with moving Jorge Posada to the designated hitter role was having him find a rhythm that worked for him, doing something to occupy his mind between at-bats instead of stewing and focusing on the last plate appearance.

All spring, Posada said that preparation process would be easier for him once the Yankees got home to New York, with a bevy of tools at his disposal just up the clubhouse runway. Thus far, the experiment is working fine. Posada slugged a couple of homers off the Tigers’ Max Scherzer on Sunday and has, by all accounts, embraced his new role.

“At the end of the day, it’s just about four at-bats and being prepared for those four at-bats,” Posada said. “No matter what, it’s putting the at-bat behind you and looking forward to the next one. … It’s staying positive, staying within yourself, and looking forward to that next at-bat. You stay loose for it.”

The Yankees have no plans to move Posada back behind the plate this season – if anything, he is the third catcher, to be used only in an extreme emergency. Joe Girardi acknowledged that he is concerned about the number of concussions Posada has suffered in his career and the potential long-term impact they may have.

A telling moment came late in Spring Training, when Girardi grudgingly acknowledged he’d probably use Posada behind the plate before putting utilityman Eduardo Nunez back there. Clearly, the likes of Gustavo Molina, Jesus Montero and Austin Romine were light years ahead on the depth chart. You got the sense that Girardi would rather strap the shin guards on himself and catch a few innings than run the risk of hurting Posada.

Posada said he has grown to accept his situation and complimented the work of new catcher Russell Martin, who said that Posada has helped speed his knowledge of the pitching staff.

“I’m watching the game, talking to Russell and stuff,” Posada said. “Obviously I’m in his corner. I’m going to try to help him out. He’s got a pretty good idea of what to do back there. He’s done a good job with the bat and he looks pretty good behind the plate.”

Bernie: It’s tough to know when it’s time

Bernie Williams technically still hasn’t retired from baseball, although he spends much more time strumming a guitar than picking up a bat these days. It’s clear Williams isn’t going to be stepping up to the plate in the Bronx anytime soon. 

Perhaps this will be the year he finally makes it official, opening the door for the Yankees to celebrate his career by retiring No. 51 in Monument Park. No Yankee has worn Williams’ digits since his last at-bat in 2006, and the 42-year-old will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this year.
But as Williams watches his remaining Yankees teammates as an interested observer, he acknowledged Saturday that it can be difficult for an aging veteran to accept it when the organization scales back your workload – as they are doing this year by moving Jorge Posada to the designated hitter role. 
 
“You still have this attitude that, ‘I can still do it, I can still do it. I know I can still do it,’” Williams said. “But now they’re sort of putting the brakes on you. It’s like, ‘You know what? Maybe not,’ and it is certainly hard. It’s certainly difficult. I think that the way that I dealt with it was the way that I dealt with everything in my career, which was to shut up and play.”
Williams said that it was tougher being a part-time player at the end of his career because he did not know when the next opportunities were going to come if he did not succeed. 
“At the same time, you’re a professional player,” Williams said. “And it is your responsibility to be at the best of your game whenever the team needs you. That’s what you sign your contract for, so that’s the way you’ve got to approach it. And at the end of the day, if the team wins, it’s great. You’re part of a winning team. You have a part of a situation in which you can contribute to that success, that’s all that matters.”
As arguably the strongest first-time candidate on the 2012 ballot for Cooperstown, Williams said that he can’t put much thought into his Hall of Fame candidacy. The voting is out of his hands, but he said it will be “great” to be considered. More immediately, Williams may drop by the Yankees’ Spring Training camp in early March for a few days and said that he could see himself becoming more involved with baseball somewhere down the line.
“I think when I get older,” Williams said. “Right now I’m having too much fun sort of reinventing myself in doing this [music]. 20 to 30 years from now, if I’m lucky enough, they probably will recognize me as this guitar player that used to play for the Yankees, as opposed to this Yankee that plays guitar. You never know.”

Posada available only in emergency

Jorge Posada (right knee) is available only in emergency situations for Thursday’s game at Camden Yards. He spent most of the afternoon receiving treatment with assistant athletic trainer Steve Donohue but sent the following words along via Jason Zillo.

“No question there’s been improvement since last night,” Posada said. “There’s still some swelling that we need to get out, but if need be, in a pinch I can play tonight.”
Girardi still would use Posada ahead of Ramiro Pena if something happened to Francisco Cervelli. 

A.J. and Posada ready for their new beginning

I actually went back and listened to the audio of A.J. Burnett and Jorge Posada breaking down that August 22 start against the Red Sox, which still happened to be on my laptop as in MP3 form. That tells me two things — one, I need to do a better job of backing up my data, and two, the tone of both players is now markedly different.

Having a whole spring to work together doesn’t necessarily mean that Burnett and Posada will work as a lights-out battery tonight against the Red Sox, nor does it mean that Burnett will have a wonderful season against the Red Sox – shades of his ’08. But it is certainly possible that Burnett just got a little too amped up to be part of the rivalry, and as Posada says in this story, it is crucial that the Yankees keep his emotions in check.

Those poor extended spring kids never had a chance. Hughes actually had to keep pitching more than the six innings the Yankees allotted, because he’d thrown too many strikes – 70 of 100 pitches, in fact. Then he dashed to Tampa International Airport and jetted up to Boston, where he’ll get a hotel room to watch two whole games in the bullpen. Then, it’s back to (guess where?) — Tampa, Florida. Yes, it seems like some cosmic joke.

Spin that wild setup bullpen wheel! My take on the picture is that the Yankees would love, adore, relish nothing more, than to have Joba Chamberlain stand tall and morph back into 2007 Joba — right up until the game where he had the midges in his mouth. I’m just not sure where that guy is right now; he seemed to be back in the ’09 playoffs, but is he there in ’10? But as Joe Girardi said in our season-opening Q&A (and I’m sure in other places as well), Chamberlain has a “good chance” to be that eighth-inning guy. Now he’s just got to prove it.  

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