It’s pretty clear that Joe Girardi is employing a platoon DH situation with Andruw Jones and Jorge Posada. As we all know, Posada’s been absolutely useless against left handed pitchers this year. He has a .109 wOBA against them and STILL hasn’t gotten a hit against a southpaw in 2011. Jones, on the other hand, has predictably crushed lefty pitching to the tune of a .393 wOBA heading into yesterday’s game. On the surface, the platoon DH obviously makes sense.
Posada, though, didn’t exactly light the world on fire in May. He had a nice OBP of .342, but his slugging percentage was only .297. Overall for the year, his wOBA vs. RHP sits at .328 (.211/.312/.422), but that includes April. In May 2011, Posada hit .250/.354/.339 against righties, which was good for a .325 wOBA. That’s okay, I guess, considering the relatively depressed offense this year, but it’s not desirable out of a designated hitter. Jorge had better be thanking his lucky stars that Eric Chavez isn’t healthy. If Chavez was healthy, I think we’d see him leeching at bats against righties from Jorge.
For now, I’m content with the platoon DH situation. I usually don’t love that sort of set up, but with Posada’s complete lack of power and Jones’ lefty mashing ability (.319 IsoP vs. LHP before Wednesday), I’m cool with it. How long they stick with it, though, is anyone’s guess. They did it last year after the Lance Berkman trade and if the Carlos Beltran rumors start to get legs (I will be the one to supply it legs if I have to!), we could see a solution: one DH with Posada as a bench player and Jones as the fourth outfielder as intended.
A Jesus Montero promotion could also complicate things. He has shown a bit of a platoon split this year (.681 OPS vs. RHP, 1.105 vs LHP). I’m sure the organization is aware of that and despite those struggles against righties this year and if he were promoted, they’d still look to get him as many PAs as possible. This platoon split is definitely the exception and not the rule for Montero, though, and if he’s with the big league club, he’s going to see the plate as much as possible. With Russell Martin playing so well, though, I think we’d see Montero as the most-of-the-time DH while catching a game or two a week (barring the acquisition of another bat to DH).
Anyway, it’s June 2nd. We’re about a third of the way done with the season and Posada has yet to come around. The clock is most definitely ticking and my patience is wearing thing with Jorge, as much as I love him. There’s a paradox, though. I want him to break out of his funk, but at this point, it’s looking less and less likely that he’ll do that. The only way he’s going to do it is if he gets playing time, but he has not earned that to this point. If he doesn’t pick up some power against right handed pitchers in the next few weeks, I’d be very glad to see him turned into a bench player while Chavez gets more PAs as the vs. RHP DH.