To watch any player day in and day out, it’s hard to fully appreciate their contribution to the team as the season progresses. As fans, we’re often more vocal for the player that’s not pulling their weight than we are for the players that are producing at or above expectations. For the past 16 years, Yankees’ fans have grown accustomed to and might I add spoiled, by the contributions of a certain player who wears a #2 on his back.
Last season was a dramatic downturn compared to career performance and everyone wondered what 2011 could hold. His age was getting up there. His position was very demanding and takes an obvious toll on his body. His better years were in the rear-view mirror. No, I’m not turning this into another Derek Jeter bash session because my sights are on another potential hall of famer, Jorge Posada. Naturally, as I write this, Jeter crushes two home runs, and raises his average over .275.
Seemingly lost in the shuffle of the Yankees’ relatively hot start is the lack of performance from Catcher turned DH, Jorge Posada. Posada’s contributions have been solely in the form of some early home runs, six in total, with an average sitting right around .150. Some site the switch to full time DH and his having to adjust to sitting on the bench when the team is in the field. Rarely has it been mentioned that he’s getting older
(he turns 40 this August) and might have lost some bat speed in the process.
Unlike Jeter, Posada’s current deal is up after the 2011 season and even if he finishes with some respectable numbers (say .250, 15-20HR, 65-70 RBI) it’s highly unlikely that the Yanks re-sign him. With Girardi and Tony Pena on the staff, they can mentor the young catching corps that is in the minors (Montero, Romine, Sanchez, et. al) so there’s not much need for Posada there.
Sadly, what gets lost in the need for production right here, right now, is Posada’s track record. He is a five time World Series Champion, a five time All-Star, and a 5 time Silver Slugger winner. It’s possible that Jorge will find his place in the Hall of Fame one day since his offensive production was stellar for his position – and would be in the discussion for top hitting catcher of his era along with Mike Piazza and former teammate, Ivan Rodriguez.
With the recent injury to Eric Chavez, the Yankees need Posada to start swinging a hot bat as the temperature heats up since the rest of the bench is very light, all respect to Andruw Jones but there are far too many righties for him to be playing daily.