Monday, June 15, 2009

Is Jorge Posada falling out of favor with Yankee pitchers?

The Yankees had a tremendous day at the bat, scoring 15 runs off Johan Santana and the Met bullpen. But A.J. Burnett also had one of his best outings of the year. Is it possible that Francisco Cervelli, who caught his game instead of Jorge Posada, had something to do with that?

Burnett did great in the first two innings, shutting them down on 22 pitches. But in the third, Burnett got wild, loading up the bases with nobody out. Cervelli went to the mound to talk to him, and somehow Burnett got out of the jam with no damage, and the Mets never threatened again.

What's interesting to me, aside from the fact that Cervelli seemed to work wonders on Burnett (and the fact that Cervelli got three hits, including two off his countryman Johan Santana), is why he was in the game in the first place. After all, Posada already got a day off on Thursday night, when Cervelli caught C.C. Sabathia.

YES Network reporter Kim Jones wrote about this in her informative blog, Keeping Up With the Jones:
It's no surprise Cervelli is catching A.J., who just doesn't pitch well with Posada behind the plate. (7.48 ERA in four starts with Posada. 3.81 in eight starts with Molina or Cash.)
Burnett had this to say about his first outing with Cervelli behind the plate:

"He's energetic," Burnett said. "He has a lot of fun. He has conviction in every pitch he puts down. To be on the same page like we were for the first time ever, that's impressive on his part."

Posada has had his rifts with pitchers in the past - Randy Johnson didn't like to throw to him, and Orlando Hernandez fought with Jorge. But is Jorge Posada falling out of favor with currentYankee pitchers?

Consider these items:
  • Joba Chamberlain and Posada openly argued on the mound during Friday night's game
  • Relief pitcher Alfredo Aceves shook off Posada three times during Saturday's game
  • Posada has only caught C.C. Sabathia one of three times since the catcher came off the DL
  • Burnett's Red Sox start with Posada catching him was his worst of the year; his start with Cervelli was one of his best
  • The Yankees' two best-pitched games this week had Cervelli behind the plate
  • Posada's CERA (Catcher's Earned Run Average) for 2009 is 6.31, while Cervelli's is 4.11, Kevin Cash's is 4.86, and Jose Molina's is 3.98
  • Cervelli managed to coach the best start (which isn't saying much!) out of Chien-Ming Wang this year, where the pitcher "only" gave up 5 runs in 4.2 innings
It's going to be very interesting to see what happens in the near future, if Cervelli - or the soon-to-return Jose Molina - ends up catching more, and Posada less. Especially if Cervelli continues to hit well.

Of course, the Yanks need to get both Posada and Matsui in the lineup. But I wouldn't be surprised to see Posada spending more time at DH this year and the next.

What do you think? Leave us a comment!


Anonymous said...


You make some very interesting points! I'm beginning to think our starters preformance has alot to do with Posada's game calling. Great article.

brxbomber said...

Posada's inability to call games is nothing new. He predictably calls for fastballs in so-called fastball counts the overwhelming majority of the time. If I can call his pitches(high school & Am Legion coach) major league hitters sure can (and do). Ex- 3-2 to Drew, fastball,triple. 2-0 to Youklis, fastball, HR. Just one of COUNTLESS examples. He gives in to the count and becomes predictable!

J-Boogie said...

I actually wrote about the very same thing today. i took a deep dive into their stats this year. I have to say I'm backing Cervelli. The numbers bear it out. Suprisingly, the Yanks runs/game is higher when Cervelli starts too. Here's the link:

Anonymous said...

Wow! Totally on the same page. My friends and I were discussing this on Sunday at the Stadium. When did the team change? When Jorge came back. He made the first error to end the streak and the whole tenor seemed to change. His ugly display with Veras and the less than stellar outings by starting pitchers. It seems with Jorge, starters can't get past (or into) the 5th inning.
I love and adore the old-timers, the 96' core, the Torre holdouts, but they have to allow room for new people, new personalities, and new approaches to winning.


fsunoles11 said...

i understand where you are coming from and trust me i know cervelli is better defensively, but u cannot substitute a bat. sure cervelli is hitting just under .300 but cmon posada is a switch hitter who by the way is having the best year of his career so far batting wise... and when nady comes back ur gonan have to alternate between nady, matsui, swisher and posada at DH to make room for cervelli?!?! cmon people

Anonymous said...

Posada would have to hit two more RBI's per game in addition to his current number just to stay even with Cervelli. Basically, that means Jorge has to hit about 100 RBI's for every 40 games he starts. Not in a million years can that happen. If Cervelli was batting .050 with no walks he'd still be a better cather than Jorge. Hopefully, Girardi understands math. He does have an engineering degree so he maybe he gets it.

Anonymous said...

You might want to check Pete Abe's blog. New information that seems to back what you're saying.
see links at 11:38 p.m.and 11:48 p.m. Make sure you visit in the morning. I bet you'll have lots of company but don't count on the big mouths backing down. They'll still say black even though it's proven white. Total lack of integrity. BMOC syndrome.

Lisa Swan said...

As one of our readers noted, there are several stories today about Posada's relationship with pitchers. Very interesting.

The Emperor said...

Anyone remember the cold relationship between Posada and Kyle Farnsworth?

I was listening to the Brandon tierney show this morning and he was talking with John Flaherty about this issue, and he feels that some people are making more out of this than what's actually going on.

More important, he suggested that perhaps Jorgie tries to guess what's in the batter's mind as opposed to going by the scouting reports on the hitters, so that's why he may call for what some may perceive as "predictable" pitches.

But the stats don't lie. Evidentally there is a significant short-term lists of things that show that Cervelli has more positive results with the pitchers than Posada. He may have some pretty good instincts, but also keep in mind that he's very young and he has a lot to prove in this league. Posada is an old veteran now and has nothing left to prove except to himself that he can be prodictive behind the plate.

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