• Can You Bench A Bench?

    Posted by on May 27th, 2008 · Comments (10)

    How bad has the Yankees bench been this season? Check this out:

    Via the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia, Yankees batting seasons, since 1973, ranked by worst OWP – min. 60 PA – with 2008 being to-date:

    Player		YEAR	PA	OWP
    Joel Skinner	1987	154	.036
    Wil Nieves	2007	66	.042
    Dale Sveum	1998	64	.051
    Dennis Werth	1981	71	.066
    Butch Hobson	1982	60	.068
    Bucky Dent	1982	173	.075
    Johnny Callison	1973	142	.077
    Jesse Barfield	1992	105	.080
    Cla.Washington	1990	83	.083
    Jim Mason		1975	251	.089
    John Flaherty	2005	138	.091
    Brad Gulden	1979	105	.091
    Wayne Tolleson	1990	83	.092
    Andre Robertson	1984	152	.097
    Gerald Williams	1993	71	.099
    Luis Sojo		2001	84	.111
    Johnny Oates	1980	67	.114
    Morgan Ensberg	2008	80	.125
    Ed Brinkman	1975	68	.125
    Clay Bellinger	2001	88	.132
    Lou Piniella	1975	221	.138
    Mike Fischlin	1986	116	.139
    Brian Doyle	1980	81	.142
    Jose Molina	2008	102	.143
    Jim Mason		1976	236	.155
    Todd Greene	2001	100	.159
    Luis Sojo		1998	153	.159
    Paul Blair	1978	136	.162
    Enrique Wilson	2002	119	.166
    Fred Stanley	1979	110	.167
    Henry Cotto	1986	83	.168
    Shelley Duncan	2008	62	.180
    Hal Lanier	1973	90	.182
    Joe Girardi	1999	229	.182
    Omar Moreno	1985	68	.185
    Andy Fox		1996	219	.195
    Wayne Tolleson	1989	160	.201
    Jim Spencer	1981	72	.202
    Jose Cruz		1988	88	.202
    Bobby Meacham	1986	185	.204

    What offensive value have Shelley Duncan, Jose Molina, and Morgan Ensberg added, so far, this season? None. They’ve been terrible with the bat. Considering that the Yankees are carrying 12 pitchers, this is worse news – since their bench then consists of just four players: Molina (when Posada returns), Duncan, Ensberg and Wilson Betemit.

    Granted, the Yankees bench should not have to be called upon all that much. But, they still do have to play in some games. And, when Molina, Duncan and Ensberg do play, they’re killing the team offensively.

    Comments on Can You Bench A Bench?

    1. hopbitters
      May 27th, 2008 | 2:08 pm

      I think you can give Molina a pass. He’s better than many starters in every non-offensive category at a position that is hard to fill. There’s no excuse for the rest of them.

      On the other hand, Luis Sojo is on your list and he has four rings.

    2. Raf
      May 27th, 2008 | 2:20 pm

      What year was it that he tripped over his feet in the playoffs. I think it was against the A’s. A tense time, but after that, I was doubled over in laughter.

    3. hopbitters
      May 27th, 2008 | 2:45 pm

      2000, game 5, Pettitte on the mound. The look on his face was great. Have they done a Yankeeography on Luis yet? His highlight reel would play like a Buster Keaton flick. The ground ball grand slam when he was with Seattle is worth a show all to itself.

    4. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      May 27th, 2008 | 3:39 pm

      Granted, the Yankees bench should not have to be called upon all that much.
      **************************

      Really? With six regulars over 30?

      Yeah, the Sox have the same situation, but they actually have guys that don’t make you cringe when they are in the lineup:

      Sean Casey, who may not slug much but is pretty much guaranteed to get his hits, and can still pick ‘em around first base.

      Alex Cora, who excels defensively, has excellent situational hitting skills and can lash a double when you need it.

      Crisp would be a starter elsewhere if Theo wasn’t so happy to have him in the mix and weren’t demanding so much for a trade.

      Cash admittedly isn’t much with the bat but he’s done well so far and no one criticizes his performance as Wakefield’s caddy.

    5. JJay
      May 27th, 2008 | 4:10 pm

      Were the Red Sox mentioned in this entry?

    6. Raf
      May 27th, 2008 | 4:29 pm

      Really? With six regulars over 30?
      ———–
      Given their durability, yes, the Yankees bench shouldn’t see much time in the field.

    7. cooper
      May 27th, 2008 | 4:37 pm

      No, but Red Sox fans can’t help themselves. If they get asked a question, any question about baseball the response has something to do with the Red Sox. Read Gammons’ blog or hear him on the radio and you will get the picture.

      The Yankees bench has stunk in a year that it looked pretty good on paper coming in. That’s just paper, now Cashman has to make moves if possible. I would like to see more promotions like past years. Gardner would be a start, the team could use some speed and some competition for Melky and Damon. I would bet he could hit .203 like Ensberg…

    8. Raf
      May 27th, 2008 | 4:59 pm

      Durability of the starters, that is…

    9. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      May 27th, 2008 | 5:58 pm

      I talked about the Red Sox bench in anticipation of the standard Yankee response “we’re not so old – the Red Sox are just as old as us!”.

      My original point stands:
      Any team with that many old starters ought to try to put together a more impressive bench than the crap that is currently there.

      And durability of the starters?
      Damon, Matsui, Giambi have all missed time or sucked in recent years, and if you couldn’t imagine a chance that Posada at 36 might get hurt, you weren’t thinking ahead.

    10. Raf
      May 27th, 2008 | 7:46 pm

      And durability of the starters?
      Damon, Matsui, Giambi have all missed time or sucked in recent years, and if you couldn’t imagine a chance that Posada at 36 might get hurt, you weren’t thinking ahead.
      ———-
      Giambi’s always been hurt. The Yanks have several options if he goes down, as has been the case for so many years.

      Matsui & Damon have been fairly durable, it’s not unreasonable to expect them to play 140-150 games. Especially considering that those two & Cabrera can and will be rotated in and out on occasion.

      Posada may be hurt, hell, he already is. Yanks have Molina & Moeller to pick up the slack. With an offensive catcher like Posada, you’re going to have a considerable dropoff to your backups.

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