I love the Over/Under game. I tend to play it a lot on Twitter and it usually gets a decent response, so I figured why not turn it into a post? After all, an unlimited usage of characters is much better than a 140 character limit.
The first installment is going to be about, as you can surmise from the title, Jorge Posada, one of my all-time favorite players. Jorge’s tenure as Yankee catcher seems to be over, and it was certainly a hell of a run. He stayed healthy (up until the last few years) and has definitely stayed productive. I think he’s a Hall of Famer, but that’s a discussion for another time. For this installment, I’m going to take a look at Jorge’s projected offensive numbers courtesy of RLYW.net and say whether I think Jorge’ll go over or under that projection. I’ll also throw in a few non-offensive items, like games caught and games at first base.
Over/Under: 10.5 games caught. This seems low, considering Jorge has caught his whole life and the catching situation is a little tenuous right now, but I’m going to go under here. While we may not always be ready to believe Brian Cashman about positions guys will play (Bubba Crosby as CF, Nick Swisher as 1B), the last time we were told someone was going to DH and DH only (Hideki Matsui in 2009), he stuck to it. We’re in a similar situation here, so I definitely think Jorge’s not going to see much action behind the plate, if he sees any at all.
Over/Under: 5.5 games at first base. I’m going to say over on this one, though I won’t say by many. I think he’ll play there on the rare occasion that Mark Teixeira needs a half a day or a full day off, just to keep Posada’s bat in the lineup.
Now let’s get to the batting stuff. I’m using the “average” row from the linked RLYW post.
Over/Under: .254 BA: Jorge’s average has been all over the place in the last few years, so a .254 BA wouldn’t be all that surprising. Still, I think he can beat that, so I’ll take the over. Batting average may be a young player skill and Jorge is anything but young, but I think DHing will help Jorge rediscover a bit of youth.
Over/Under: .344 OBP: Posada’s OBP hasn’t been below .344 since all the way back in 1999 (.341). I’m definitely going over on this. Despite aging, Posada’s been able to keep avoiding making outs and I don’t see that changing.
Over/Under: .443 SLG: I’ll go over again here. Maybe I’m being bullish on Jorge here, but I really think this switch to DH is going to do wonders for his bat. He won’t have to deal with the every day aches, pains, and annoyances of catching and the absence of those things can only mean good for his hitting.
Over/Under: .345 wOBA: Well, I guess I’ve got to follow suit and go over here as well.
I know he’s getting older and expecting big offensive numbers from him probably isn’t fair because of that age, but I don’t see how 2011 could be a down year for Posada, unless he gets hurt. As it’s been mentioned frequently, the act of DHing rather than catching will take a big toll of of Jorge’s body. He’s always been a good, sometimes great, hitter while getting beat up as the backstop. Now without that burden, Jorge’s bat could shine even more.
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