Like most games of late, last night’s game included both Jorge Posada and Francisco Cervelli. Obviously, only one of those guys can catch each night and when they’re both in the lineup, it’s obvious that Cervelli’s going to be the one to catch while Posada DHs. This is unfortunate because it means that there will always be a weak bat in the Yankee lineup.
Why? Obviously, Cervelli’s bat is not very good. At all. Not including last night’s game, Cisco is OPSing .546 in the month of June. If he was the full time backup (/oxymoron’d), that might not be so bad. However, because he’s playing every day, it’s essentially unacceptable. Even when Cervelli is given a spell and Posada is the one catching, the Yankees must put someone out in the field whose bat is essentially an auto out. However, like everyone else has to at one point or another, the Yankees just have to grin and bear it. They are 100% stuck with the current C/DH situation.
With Opening Day DH Nick Johnson out, along with the other internal DH option of Marcus Thames, the only possible player with a suitable DH bat is Posada. He’s old, a bit banged up this year, could use some time off from behind the plate, and can actually hit. All of those things mean a DH when there isn’t someone else around.
So, unless the Yankees find a suitable trade partner, we’re likely to see this C/DH situation going forward. It’s not desirable in the least, but the quality trade candidates are few and far between and if Johnson does end up coming back, there’s basically a dead roster spot. If Cervelli can somehow find a way to get his OPS up to around .700, then this will become less of a problem. Until he does, though, the Yankees are stuck.
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