Not sure if this was reported as a standalone item anywhere, but Erik Boland of Newsday informs us that manager, Joe Girardi, has announced that Jorge Posada will catch A.J. Burnett this season. A serious amount of ink was devoted to the Burnett-Posada duo a season ago, after the two seemed to have “problems” working with one another, which led Girardi to install Jose Molina as Burnett’s everyday catcher (and which Posada did not like very much).
Result-wise, while there may be some substance to the notion that the two did not gel well as a unit – over 16 games with Posada behind the plate, Burnett held hitters to a .270/.353/.421 line and posted a rather poor K/BB of 1.72 (79/46), and with Molina, Burnett held hitters to .221/.307/.352 line over 11 games while posting a much improved 2.66 K/BB (77/29) – in reality, as stated by a number of articles, much of Burnett’s struggles last season were not actually Posada-related, rather, they were brought on by mechanical problems with the now 33-year old’s delivery. Unfortunately for Posada, he became a newspaper causality of these struggles, as it is much more interesting to discuss a pitcher and a catcher’s seemingly ineffectual relationship instead of mechanical flaws in one’s motion.
Anyway, to Burnett’s credit, he is excited to begin working with Posada this season and wants to disprove last season’s media-driven controversy regarding the two as batterymates. “I was looking forward to it from the first day of camp to be able to put that behind us and start working together,” Burnett said today when asked about throwing to Posada this season. “A lot of stuff was blown out of proportion last year and we’ve talked a handful of times already and we’re just real excited to put that behind us and move on, get better and learn from each other.” He also took fault for last year’s woes, saying that he was not right in the head, at times, and was often questioning himself, not Posada.
Photo by Reuters
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