The question is a simple one, really. How long do the New York Yankees keep Jorge Posada on the roster if he continues to hit so poorly? It is the answer to that question that is complicated.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was on the Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio 1050 in New York recently, and Kay asked him is Posada had "more of a leash" because of the long, successful career he has had with the organization. Posada, of course, has been a proud and important Yankee for 17 seasons and a key contributor to four World Series championships. Cashman admitted the Yankees will go longer with Posada than they might with someone else.
"Yes. Jorgie, I won't say earned the right to hold us back, that's not what we feel he's doing. He's earned because of positional change that we've asked him to make and because of the fact that we know for so long he has been one of the strong hitters in this championship run he's earned the right, the benefit of the doubt that this is a transition to DH rather than someone who basically lost his ability to hit. He's earned that right," Cashman said.
"I have no problem admitting with someone like him you go a little longer, or a lot longer, than you would with someone that basically doesn't have a track record."
Certainly, that leash cannot last forever. Posada is hitting .189 and is now strictly a left-handed designated hitter. He has no hits this season in 27 at-bats right-handed and pretty much no longer plays against lefty pitching. As a left-handed hitter he is hitting .211 with six home runs and 16 RBI.
It's hard to imagine Posada's leash lasting much longer than another month, or whenever left-handed hitting reserve infielder Eric Chavez is ready to return from the disabled list.
"Certainly at some point with anybody if he can't you're forced to do something that's best for the team. We're not at that point," Cashman said. ""At some point if we're convinced it's other stuff ... age, ability being lost, it's not going to work then we'll have some tough decisions to make with a great player. But, he's earned the right for us to wait and work through it."
He has not, however, earned the right to have the Yankees wait forever.
From Pinstripe Alley
|2011 - Jorge Posada