• Count On Jose Molina Catching A.J. Burnett In Post-Season

    Posted by on September 29th, 2009 · Comments (17)

    As recent as August 23rd, we heard that A.J. Burnett and Jorge Posada were not working well together. So, what’s happened since then? Here it is:

    August 27, 2009: With Jose Molina catching him, Burnett goes 6 IP and allows 3 ER.

    September 1, 2009: With Jorge Posada catching him, Burnett goes 5.3 IP and allows 6 ER.

    September 7, 2009: With Jose Molina catching him, Burnett goes 6 IP and allows 1 ER.

    September 12, 2009: With Jose Molina catching him, Burnett goes 7 IP and allows 6 ER. A second inning grand slam by Brian Roberts did Burnett in - but, A.J. finished his outing by retiring 17 of the final 19 batters he faced, including eight straight after Roberts’ big fly.

    September 18, 2009: With Jose Molina catching him, Burnett goes 7 IP and allows 1 ER.

    September 23, 2009: With Jose Molina catching him, Burnett goes 5.6 IP and allows 2 ER.

    September 29, 2009: With Jose Molina catching him, Burnett goes 6.3 IP and allows 1 ER.

    O.K., so, check it out…

    …since the reports of Posada and Burnett having issues, Jose Molina has caught Burnett six times (compared to just once for Posada). And, the one time that Posada caught Burnett since the reports, A.J. got ripped. Further, in the games that Molina has caught Burnett, since that August report, A.J. has done very well.

    Looks like Jose Molina will be catching A.J. Burnett in the post-season this year for the Yankees, no?

    Comments on Count On Jose Molina Catching A.J. Burnett In Post-Season

    1. Janks-n-Jints
      September 30th, 2009 | 4:35 am

      The fairytale:
      If A.J. pitches good, the catcher gets the credit.
      If A.J. pitches bad, the catcher gets the blame.

      The harsh reality:
      If A.J. pitches like shit, it’s A.J.’s fault.

      The catcher is being equated too much of the pitcher’s responsibilities.

      3 starts ago, A.J. admitted to Kim Jones that he had recently started watching videotape of himself from last year and began specifically working closer with Eiland to iron out some wrinkles in his mechanics.

      This isn’t a catcher problem.

      Trapezius muscle willing, Posada’s bat is not sitting idle in the post-season for anybody and they’re not benching Matsui’s bat to DH Posada in a “best of both worlds” approach just to placate silliness.

      Jose Molina is the backup catcher for a reason.
      He’s here to give the older starting catcher rest during the regular season.
      This is especially illustrated in 2009 by the older starting catcher recovering from major shoulder surgery.
      He’s here because he’s not bad defensively and he came cheap from the Angels.
      He does not make offensive contributions.
      He’s not here because he can magically bring the best out of pitchers.

      Molina != Good Pitching
      Good Pitching = Good Pitching
      Bad Pitching = Bad Pitching

      Put Molina on the Orioles. Guthrie doesn’t suddenly become Cy Halladay Clemens.
      Put Molina on the Phillies only to catch Lidge.
      Lidge ’09 doesn’t become Lidge ’08.

      My hair is a bird. Your argument is invalid. http://i37.tinypic.com/29zcx04.jpg

      /rant

    2. Corey
      September 30th, 2009 | 9:11 am

      I dunno, isn’t Posada still hurt from the fight supposedly? I’d still be very surprised to see Molina start a playoff game.

    3. MJ
      September 30th, 2009 | 9:20 am

      I don’t think the Yanks will start Molina in a playoff game simply because runs are so hard to come by and Molina doesn’t create enough runs to justify even three plate appearances.

      Having said that, whether it is real or imagined, I do think that some pitchers simply work better with other catchers. RJ didn’t work well with Posada but worked better with Flash. I don’t think there has to be any rhyme or reason to it and I have no problem with AJ preferring to work with Molina over Posada.

      I don’t think AJ’s preference will necessarily translate into a start for Molina but I do think that Posada never should’ve been catching Burnett in the first place if the pitcher had stated his preference.

    4. September 30th, 2009 | 9:31 am

      [...] As Steve Lombardi concisely puts it in a color-coded post, Burnett’s success has come with Jose Molina behind the plate. Throughout September, Molina has been A.J.’s caddy. In August, during A.J.’s bad [...]

    5. September 30th, 2009 | 9:42 am

      @ Janks-n-Jints: FWIW, in the Bill James Goldmine last year, Bill James made a case that, if Posada had been catching Mussina last year, and not Molina, then Moose would not have won 20 games. Sometimes the catcher does matter…

    6. G.I. Joey
      September 30th, 2009 | 10:40 am

      @ Corey:
      It’s being reported that Jorge sat last night due to a sore neck that he is trying to get rid of. Not sure if it’s from the fight though.

    7. Janks-n-Jints
      September 30th, 2009 | 10:57 am

      @ Steve Lombardi:

      Alternate time-lines with make-believe outcomes do not qualify for the post-season either.

    8. Raf
      September 30th, 2009 | 11:08 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      @ Janks-n-Jints: FWIW, in the Bill James Goldmine last year, Bill James made a case that, if Posada had been catching Mussina last year, and not Molina, then Moose would not have won 20 games. Sometimes the catcher does matter…

      Maybe, maybe not, but given Mussina’s body of work during his time in the majors, I’d say that a catcher doesn’t make much of a difference.

    9. Raf
      September 30th, 2009 | 11:09 am

      Having said that, if a pitcher expresses a preference, and it doesn’t hurt the team, sure go for it, let them have a personal catcher; after all, the starter isn’t going to catch all 162 games.

    10. MJ
      September 30th, 2009 | 11:11 am

      Raf wrote:

      I’d say that a catcher doesn’t make much of a difference.

      Statisticall and empirically, that may be true. But if we accept that a part of sports performance relies on psychology and a positive attitude (meaning expecting a positive outcome if all environmental factors are favorable) then it only matters if the pitcher believes that it makes a difference. Otherwise, why would Greg Maddux insist on pitching to Eddie Perez all those years instead of Javy Lopez? All I’m saying is that even if the catcher doesn’t matter, as long as the pitcher thinks it matters then that’s all we need to know.

    11. MJ
      September 30th, 2009 | 11:12 am

      Raf wrote:

      Having said that, if a pitcher expresses a preference, and it doesn’t hurt the team, sure go for it, let them have a personal catcher; after all, the starter isn’t going to catch all 162 games.

      Crap, you beat me to the punch. That’s exactly what I’m saying.

    12. Corey
      September 30th, 2009 | 11:13 am

      G.I. Joey wrote:

      Not sure if it’s from the fight though.

      Ya, that’s from the fight. They’ve been talking about it for a while now.

    13. MJ
      September 30th, 2009 | 11:17 am

      Corey wrote:

      Ya, that’s from the fight. They’ve been talking about it for a while now.

      I love Jorge but I hope that teaches him a lesson not to be a jerkoff. Plus, if you’re gonna fight, then fight. Don’t throw some lame-ass chicken-wing elbow in passing. Either clock the guy or go back and sit down. He’s lucky the Yanks took care of business and the team doesn’t 100% need him right now.

    14. Raf
      September 30th, 2009 | 11:21 am

      @ MJ:
      At the very least he should’ve kept running into the dugout and up the clubhouse; by that point he was already ejected.

    15. October 1st, 2009 | 3:06 am

      [...] Steve Lombardi (WW) and Ben K. (RAB) have already demarcated the issue. Jose Molina has been there for each of A.J.’s 31 effective innings (and he was there for one very ineffective inning). With A.J. pitching well, it seems as though Joe Girardi will have a tough decision to make once the postseason arrives. Do you start A.J. Burnett with Jose Molina behind the plate or do you throw away the sample and pair up A.J. with Jorge Posada’s bigger bat? Obviously, Molina couldn’t hit a parked car if his life depended on it, however, he and A.J. have been a solid duo and disrupting that could hurt his pitching performance once Detroit rolls into town (yes, I’m calling it). Then again, can you afford to sit Jorge Posada’s bat against in the postseason? [...]

    16. October 1st, 2009 | 2:03 pm

      [...] Steve Lombardi (WW) and Ben K. (RAB) have already demarcated the issue. Jose Molina has been there for each of A.J.’s 31 effective innings (and he was there for one very ineffective inning). With A.J. pitching well, it seems as though Joe Girardi will have a tough decision to make once the postseason arrives. Do you start A.J. Burnett with Jose Molina behind the plate or do you throw away the sample and pair up A.J. with Jorge Posada’s bigger bat? Obviously, Molina couldn’t hit a parked car if his life depended on it, however, he and A.J. have been a solid duo and disrupting that could hurt his pitching performance once Detroit rolls into town (yes, I’m calling it). Then again, can you afford to sit Jorge Posada’s bat in the postseason? [...]

    17. October 6th, 2009 | 2:09 pm

      [...] I called this one a week ago. [...]

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