Could Posada Lose His Postseason Roster Spot?

We don’t yet know how prepared for the postseason Jesus Montero will be. For now, the Yankees are going to try him at DH, and his initial debut has been enormously positive. However, the Yankees seem to recognize that Montero is their best bet at DH right now (and has been for some time, if not all season) over Jorge Posada, especially against left-handed pitching.

If Montero settles in  as the full-time, everyday DH (which he should), I don’t think that there is any justification for giving Jorge Posada a spot on the postseason roster. If the Yankees carry 9 regular position players, 4 starting pitchers, and their six core relief pitchers (Rivera, Soriano, Robertson, Logan, Wade, Ayala), Francisco Cervelli, Andruw Jones, and Eduardo Nunez, the roster will be left with just three open roster spots. One will undoubtedly go to Eric Chavez, leaving two roster spots open. I’d expect one to be devoted to one of the Yankees’ six starting pitchers (likely Phil Hughes) out of the bullpen.

That leaves the Yankees one spot open for a 25th man. Could Posada be that player? I honestly don’t think that there are any good arguments for him at that point. Andruw Jones and Eric Chavez are more capable pinch hitters from their chosen sides of the plate. The Yankees still lack a 5th outfielder and second pinch runner, suggesting someone like Chris Dickerson or Greg Golson. I can’t see any pitching additions that would be particularly wise choices, although the Yankees may be tempted to add another left-handed pitcher in Aaron Laffey or Raul Valdes. Dellin Betances may be a sleeper, and Hector Noesi also has a strong case.

The simple fact of the matter is that Jorge Posada is not a very useful baseball player anymore. He’s a below-average switch hitter who can’t run or field a position. The Yankees do not need his services as a pinch hitter in the playoffs, and will likely have a better option everyday at DH. I could hurt to watch Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera march off on yet another playoff hunt while leaving Posada behind, but I think we could see it. At the very least, the Yankees would have to be pretty sentimental to keep Posada on the team over more useful options.

About EJ Fagan

E.J. Fagan been blogging about Yankee baseball since 2006. He is a Ph.D. student at University of Texas at Austin.

6 thoughts on “Could Posada Lose His Postseason Roster Spot?

  1. While I dont have a problem leaving Posada off the postseason roster (at all), and I want to see Montero get as many ABs v. LHP and RHP alike over the next ~4 weeks, I don’t see the need for brightline decisions and total certitude on September 6th. Why don’t we wait and see how the next month goes before getting so declarative? That’s what I’d do, anyway.

  2. I think there are more moving parts on the playoff roster than you are considering. First, I do not see Ayala making the roster – you just do not go that deep into the bullpen. Maybe Burnett makes it as a long man and Hughes actually takes leverage spots. But either way you do not need to carry Ayala.

    If you are carrying Montero (or Posada for that matter) Cervelli is unnecessary. WIth all of the playoff off dats Martin should be scheduled to play everyday. Either Montero or Posada could be your break glass in case of an emergency catcger.

    Below is the triple slash of Posada and his two veteran challengers for DH duties vs Righthanded pitching:

    The first is Chavez, second Jones, and the 3rd Posada an .810 OPS, which is a higher OPS against righthanded pitching than Montero had in AAA.

    I say the Yankees find a way to get both of them on roster.

    I would probably leave off the Goloson, Dickerson, Pena type player. Or I would get Montero some reps behind the plate and have him ready to catch in Cervelli’s place.

  3. the Yankees carry 9 regular position players

    Umm … 8 position players and a pitcher last I counted. (guess you’re including the DH as a position). And I also am not sure Ayala would make the roster. With Hughes/AJ in the pen, what’s the need?

    • we first have to see who our 4 starters are..then see what team we first play and how our pitchers histories have been vs these players, and of coarse match ups..if we play tigers first they have any lefties to throw at us, if it is one guy then dickerson should be on,,if texas then golson..same with our pen guys a second lefty is a must vs texas..

  4. I think the Yanks should expect to need lots of relief pitchers in the post-season. I would guess that relief pitchers may pitch nearly half the innings, because their starters aren’t that great. At this point, CC looks fine, Nova looks OK, but all the other starters are question marks. IMHO Ayala, with his 1.90 ERA, absolutely should be on the post-season roster.