• General Joe: RF Up For Grabs

    Posted by on February 22nd, 2009 · Comments (9)

    Via Mark Feinsand -

    Not so fast, said Joe Girardi, who declared on the first day of camp that [Nick] Swisher would be given an opportunity to challenge [Xavier] Nady for the right-field job. The only problem was no one ever told Nady that his position was up for grabs.

    “I haven’t met with anybody,” Nady said Saturday. “This is the first I’ve heard of it. I’m planning on helping this team win and being a part of the lineup.”

    Girardi reiterated Saturday that the job is there for the taking, a competition that he feels is an integral part of any spring camp.

    “It’s something that I have to balance and juggle, and possibly make some tough decisions when spring training ends – or the decisions might be made for us,” Girardi said. “To me, when you come to spring training, you’re all competing. You have to prove yourself in this game over and over and over. We expect all our players to do that.”

    “You know that they want to play, and that’s how you want it,” Girardi said. “X had a great year for us and showed us a lot. For us to know what’s going to happen April 6 right now, you’d like to be able to predict but we can’t. Players get ready and we’ll make the decisions. The more great players we have on the team, the better team we’re going to be.”

    “It’s important that, as players, you understand that you’re doing what’s best for the team,” Girardi said. “When I played here, that’s the way the team was. You had veteran guys that didn’t necessarily play every day, but we thrived as a team. That’s why the team concept is so important. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for the good of the team and it’s important that players buy into that.”

    “I’ll just play the game like I always do,” Nady said. “Whether it’s a competition or not, there’s always someone out there that’s behind you, coming up that can take your job. If you don’t produce at this level, you’re going to find yourself somewhere else.”

    Actually, I think the true spring battle will be between the loser of Swisher/Nady and Hideki Matsui’s knees. And, if Godzilla was 100% sound now, either Swisher or Nady would be on the Atlanta Braves right about this time.

    Comments on General Joe: RF Up For Grabs

    1. Raf
      February 22nd, 2009 | 10:06 am

      And, if Godzilla was 100% sound now, either Swisher or Nady would be on the Atlanta Braves right about this time.
      ————–
      I doubt it. Even if Matsui’s knees were 100%, you want to keep him out of the field.

      FWIW, Swisher should be the starting RF, I am unsure why Girardi would think different.

    2. February 22nd, 2009 | 10:07 am

      If they did trade Nady or Swisher, would there be any team in baseball with a worse bench than the Yankees? That would leave them, Gardner, Ransom, Molina, and maybe Kevin Cash, and ??

      Pretty poor.

    3. YankCrank
      February 22nd, 2009 | 10:23 am

      FWIW, Swisher should be the starting RF, I am unsure why Girardi would think different.
      ——-

      Absolutely agree, and I think over time Joe will see having Swish in that lineup every day will be important. However, for some reason I see Swisher playing all over the place this year. He’ll get some LF, some RF, basically no 1B but for some reason, I feel if Gardner or Melky don’t do much he’ll get more time in CF than we’d like to see. He can also be put in CF whenever Joe wants to put out his best offensive lineup. Basically, he’s so versatile that he’ll be very valuable for us.

    4. yagottagotomo1
      February 22nd, 2009 | 11:09 am

      FWIW, Swisher should be the starting RF, I am unsure why Girardi would think different.
      _______

      This has been the basic point made by most knowledgeable Yankees fans, but I think it is a much more difficult call than people make it out to be. Their career OPS+ numbers are pretty similar, and Nady is coming off a significantly better year. The assumption that Swisher will turn it around is just that, an assumption that we really cant make until we see some signs of turning it around. It’s a tough call.

    5. Bulldog
      February 22nd, 2009 | 11:21 am

      “if Godzilla was 100% sound now, either Swisher or Nady would be on the Atlanta Braves right about this time.”

      I don’t believe that, because I don’t think the Braves ever offered much. Plus, it will be nice to have a decent bench with Matsui/Swish for the first time in YEARS. Might come in handy in the late innings.

    6. Raf
      February 22nd, 2009 | 12:10 pm

      The assumption that Swisher will turn it around is just that, an assumption
      ———-
      The assumption that Nady will maintain what he did last year with the Pirates is an assumption as well.

      Some analysis
      http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/position-battles-yankees-rf-job

    7. thenewguy
      February 22nd, 2009 | 12:23 pm

      The assumption that Swisher will turn it around is just that, an assumption
      ————-

      It’s also based on an abnormally low BABIP. In theory, he could do as well as last year and put up better numbers simply because more of his contacted balls sneak past the infielders.

    8. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      February 22nd, 2009 | 5:16 pm

      I can’t help but note that in Fort Myers, Tito and Theo sat down with every player and talked to them about what’s expected and where each of them stand. They told Jed Lowrie and Julio Lugo that they will compete for the starting SS job. Both players knew before they took the field for the first time what was going on.

      But in Tampa, no one bothers to tell Nady that he and Swisher are competing for a starting job, he had to find out from a writer.

      Is that good management? I don’t think so.

    9. Raf
      February 23rd, 2009 | 10:41 am

      But in Tampa, no one bothers to tell Nady that he and Swisher are competing for a starting job, he had to find out from a writer.
      ————
      Mainly because there’s no competition. Swisher’s the better player, AND he’s signed past this year :)

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