Kat O’Brien talked to Jorge Posada about his return from last season’s injury:
“I have three more years, counting this year, with the contract,” said Posada, 37. “We’ll see after that. I would like to catch those three years. Obviously, I can’t play first base [with Mark Teixeira there]. I want to prepare myself every year that I can catch. I love catching. I love being behind the plate. I love being in charge……”
Posada is off to a good start at the plate, hitting .286 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 13 games. He has a .357 on-base percentage and .571 slugging percentage.
Said Posada: “My biggest thing is I have to be prepared. Every year I want to get better, I want to improve myself. So when I go in the offseason, that’s my main focus.”
Before the season began, I suggested that Jorge Posada was quite possibly the most important cog on the 2009 Yankees:
Jorge Posada is the one player that the Yankees cannot afford to lose. He is likely to bat 5th in the order, buttressing a lower half of the order that has plenty of question marks. His backup is good with the glove but so abysmal with the stick as to make him a drain on the team when he plays too frequently. Due to the Yankees added depth at outfield and first base, they are certainly more equipped to deal with the loss of their other injury concern, Hideki Matsui. Ultimately, the health of Jorge may be a major factor in deciding who wins the AL East.
Brian Cashman had similar feelings on the issue:
He’s feisty, he’s hungry and he wants to win. He doesn’t get enough credit for the leadership he has in that clubhouse. He is intense. We missed him both on that field and in that clubhouse last year.
Losing Wang and the way our pitching went last year was devastating. But our biggest loss was Jorge Posada.”
Jorge’s quick start has been, in my eyes, the most important development for the Yankees over the season’s first weeks. It allows the Yankees to tread water without A-Rod and gives the lineup excellent depth once Alex returns. Hopefully he can remain healthy and settle into the 5 spot for the duration of the year.
There was one other interesting quote from Jorge:
“Yogi Berra and Thurman Munson and Elston Howard and Bill Dickey . . . I don’t belong to that group,” Posada said. “Yes, I want to be like them and I would love to some day belong to that group. But right now, I feel like they are immortal. I’m very content that I’ve been here so many years and that I’ve been given the opportunity to be here. I feel very proud of putting on this uniform each day.”
A while ago, I quoted the following from THT:
Jorge Posada may not be the most glamorous offensive player, but his high-OBP, grind-it out game has been a key element in the Yankees’ success over his career. Posada’s prime, at eight years, is a little on the light side—without his monster 2007 season, he’d clearly be an also-ran, and it doesn’t help him that his first year as a full-time starter was the last one of the Yankees’ postseason dominance, or that Posada has not put up good numbers overall in October.
But his offensive game, for a guy who was a durable catcher for eight seasons and never has a serious off year, is solid. Posada’s success against base thieves has been less than impressive (slightly worse than league average) despite a reputation as a guy with a good arm. He’ll be a legitimate contender for the Hall even if he isn’t able to have a second act behind the plate beginning in 2009.
Jorge has been overshadowed for much of his career by flashier stars and more exciting names. However, he has quietly put together a decent Hall of Fame case. What do you think of his chances? Does he belong?