“Sorry for knocking your mask off with a wild pitch, man”. Photo courtesy of daylife.com
Earlier today I speculated that the Yankees would stack a lefty-heavy lineup against Tommy “Canada’s Country Gentleman” Hunter, using Swisher in the two-hole and featuring Posada, Berkman, Granderson and Gardner at the bottom of the lineup. That dream came to an end a few hours ago when it was announced that Cervelli would be catching Burnett tonight and batting in the nine hole. The new lineup is as follow:
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Lance Berkman DH
Brett Gardner LF
Francisco Cervelli C
There are plenty of reasons to be upset about this. It takes Posada’s bat out of the lineup until Burnett’s done pitching. Of course, if Burnett pitches fantastically then the Yankees might not need Posada’s bat, but that’s a doubtful proposition (and by the same token, if Burnett bombs they’ll get Posada back sooner than ever! Everyone wins!). Further, Cervelli’s best offensive attribute is his ability to hit left-handed pitching. He has an OPS of .846 against lefties and an OPS of .617 against righties. Hunter is a righty. He’s not a very good righty, but he is one nonetheless. More to the point though it’s generally annoying to see a bench bat get a start in the midst of a very crucial game and it’s annoying that Burnett has a personal catcher when he’s been such a very poor pitcher for the lion’s share of the year.
Mentally I had prepared a load of snarky comments about why this is a dumb move, but I don’t think that ultimately helps anyone. I think this is the wrong move, but there’s a tiny part of me that wants to be OK with it. AJ Burnett needs all the help he can get at this point. If he imagines he has chemistry with Francisco Cervelli, if it gives him confidence and enables him to pitch a great game, then more power to him.
But if he bombs I will call down the hammer of Thor upon his crown.
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TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees