• Russell Martin (And Brian Cashman) Will Be Reason Why The Yankees Don’t Win The Pennant In 2012

    Posted by on June 24th, 2012 · Comments (47)

    Did you know that the Yankees never had a pennant winning team where they had a catcher (with a minimum of 300 PA) bat less than .245 on the season?  Yes, it’s true.

    Via the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia, here’s the batting averages for every catcher on a Yankees pennant winner (min. 300 PA):

    AVERAGE                       YEAR     AVG      PA        G     
    1    Elston Howard            1960     .245      361      107   
    2    Jorge Posada             1999     .245      437      112   
    3    Yogi Berra               1957     .251      545      134   
    4    Jim Leyritz              1996     .264      309       88   
    5    Yogi Berra               1958     .266      476      122   
    6    Jorge Posada             1998     .268      409      111   
    7    Yogi Berra               1955     .272      615      147   
    8    Yogi Berra               1952     .273      605      142   
    9    Pat Collins              1927     .275      311       92   
    10   Wally Schang             1923     .276      315       84   
    11   Yogi Berra               1960     .276      404      120   
    12   Jorge Posada             2001     .277      557      138   
    13   Yogi Berra               1949     .277      443      116   
    14   Elston Howard            1962     .279      538      136   
    15   Yogi Berra               1947     .280      306       83   
    16   Jorge Posada             2003     .281      588      142   
    17   Bill Dickey              1941     .284      397      109   
    18   Jorge Posada             2009     .285      438      111   
    19   Pat Collins              1926     .286      373      102   
    20   Jorge Posada             2000     .287      624      151   
    21   Elston Howard            1963     .287      531      135   
    22   Joe Girardi              1996     .294      471      124   
    23   Yogi Berra               1951     .294      594      141   
    24   Yogi Berra               1953     .296      557      137   
    25   Thurman Munson           1978     .297      666      154   
    26   Yogi Berra               1956     .298      597      140   
    27   Thurman Munson           1976     .302      665      152   
    28   Bill Dickey              1939     .302      565      128   
    29   Thurman Munson           1977     .308      638      149   
    30   Bill Dickey              1932     .310      459      108   
    31   Elston Howard            1964     .313      607      150   
    32   Bill Dickey              1938     .313      532      132   
    33   Elston Howard            1958     .314      406      103   
    34   Wally Schang             1921     .316      513      134   
    35   Wally Schang             1922     .319      490      124   
    36   Yogi Berra               1950     .322      653      151   
    37   Bill Dickey              1937     .332      608      140   
    38   Elston Howard            1961     .348      482      129   
    39   Bill Dickey              1936     .362      472      112

    Brian Cashman should have seen Martin’s 2012 season coming, if he paid attention to his stats:

    Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB H BA OBP SLG
    2006 23 LAD NL 121 468 415 117 .282 .355 .436
    2007 24 LAD NL 151 620 540 158 .293 .374 .469
    2008 25 LAD NL 155 650 553 155 .280 .385 .396
    2009 26 LAD NL 143 588 505 126 .250 .352 .329
    2010 27 LAD NL 97 387 331 82 .248 .347 .332
    2011 28 NYY AL 125 476 417 99 .237 .324 .408
    2012 29 NYY AL 60 217 183 36 .197 .323 .383
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 6/24/2012.

    .
    The trend in his batting average is not that hard to see.

    Comments on Russell Martin (And Brian Cashman) Will Be Reason Why The Yankees Don’t Win The Pennant In 2012

    1. EHawk
      June 24th, 2012 | 11:48 am

      Well if you look at his OBP at .323 that is actually pretty decent considering his average is .197. Anytime you have an OBP of over 100 pts higher then your batting average you are doing an excellent job and in reality OBP matters in real life a lot more then batting average. Martin might not be getting hits but at least he is getting on base at a decent clip. I’d be curious if you could put that same list up but also have the OBP’s listed.

    2. Evan3457
      June 24th, 2012 | 1:20 pm

      A ridiculous proposition, based on a premise that might not happen anyway. The first of several different lines of attack:

      1) Baseball is a team game. One player cannot sink a team all by himself. If you have 9-14 guys playing well, one player having an awful season won’t sink them. To wit:

      The 2009 Yankees won the pennant despite the fact that their #5 starters had a collective ERA of 6.92 for the season.
      The 2003 Yankees won the penned with Jeff Weaver and his 5.99 ERA as their #5 starter.
      The 2000 Yankees won the pennant despite Brosius hitting .230 and having an OBP of .299.
      The 1964 Yankees won the pennant despite Tony Kubek hitting .229, and Clete Boyer hitting .218
      The 1961 Yankees won the pennant despite Clete Boyer hitting .224
      The shortstops on the 1976 Yankees combined to hit .208
      The 1939 Yankees won the pennant despite Babe Dahlgren hitting .235 and Frankie Crosetti hitting .233.
      And they did it again in 1937 when Crosetti hit .234

      And this leaves out bad players on other pennant winning teams, such as:
      The Texas Rangers’ catchers hitting a collective .212 in 2010.
      Carlos Ruiz hitting .219 for the 2008 Phillies.
      Yadier Molina hitting .216 for the 2006 Cardinals.
      The 1997 Cleveland Indians had 7 different starters combine for a 6.08 ERA over 41 starts.
      Jeff Blauser hit .211 for the 1995 Braves.
      In 1993, the Toronto Blue Jays rightfielders combined to hit .222
      For the 1992 Braves, Mark Lemke hit .227, and Rafael Belliard hit .211
      For the 1989 Giants, Jose Uribe hit .221 and Candy Maldonado hit .217
      For the 1988 Dodgers, Alfredo Griffin hit .199 and all their shortstops combined to hit .222
      For the 1987 Twins, Tim Laudner hit .191 and all their catchers hit a combined .203
      Tony Pena hit .214 for the 1987 Cards
      Onix Conceptcion hit .204 for the 1985 Royals, and all their shortstops combined to hit .204. In addition, Darryl Motley hit .222 and all their rightfielders combined to hit .220.
      Also in 1985, all the Cards’ catchers combined to hit .216
      In 1983, all the Orioles third basemen combined to hit .210
      In 1981, the Yankees’ catchers combined to hit .223, their DH’s combined to hit .299 and their 1st basemen hit a combined .206
      I’m avoiding mentioning the A’s Mustache Gang Teams, they had multiple positions that hit for a bad BAVG, but BAVG were lower in the early 70′s, and the A’s hitters had the disadvantage of hitting in the Oakland/Almeada County Coliseum to boot.
      Mark Belanger hit .218 for the 1970 Orioles.
      In 1969, the Mets’ third basemen hit .213

      And I won’t go back into the dead-ball 60′s, that’s not fair. But I think that’s enough for this part of my various points.

      (To be continued)

    3. Evan3457
      June 24th, 2012 | 1:57 pm

      The second reason why this proposition is ridiculous is…

      Martin may well end up the year with a substantially better BAVG than he has right now? Why?

      Firstly, because his BABIP is a preposterously low .209. It this due to the fact that he’s hitting too many popups, that he’s striking out more than ever?

      Well, let’s see:
      1) His popup rate is the 2nd lowest of his career.
      2) His line drive rate is tied for the highest of his career.
      3) His K rate is the highest of his career 2% higher than last year, and 4.5% higher than his career average.

      Baseball HQ (fantasy website) has a stat called XBA (expected batting average) where it ties together the various rates, and give the “expected” batting for a player with the particular FB%, GB%, LD% and K rate. Most hitters are within 30 points, either way, of their XBA.

      Some examples:
      Miguel Cabrera: .302 and .297
      Elvis Andrus: .296 and .288
      Billy Butler: .296 and .286
      Nelson Cruz: .264 and .248
      Chris Davis: .273 and .260
      Yunel Escobal: .248 and .273
      Chone Figgins: .197 and .209
      Adrian Gonzalez: .259 and .259
      Josh Hamilton: .320 and .313
      Adam Jones: .300 and .311
      Howie Kendrick: .269 and .255
      Brett Lawrie: .289 and .268
      Jesus Montero: .259 and .255
      Carlos Pena: .202 and .210

      Well, you get the idea. There are some clunkers, of course:

      Jose Bautista: .236 and .287
      Robbie Cano: .295 and .327
      Adam Dunn: .219 and .272
      Eric Hosmer: .213 and .282
      Austin Jackson: .309 and .275
      Paul Konerko: .346 and .308
      Nick Markakis: .256 and .297
      Will Middlebrooks: .331 and .293
      Daniel Nava: .336 and .286
      Trevor Plouffe: .246 and .281

      Again: you get the idea.

      Anyway Russell Martin has the largest “miss” of any AL player I’ve looked at, with -.073, because his current XBA is .270.

      (Digressing for a moment, the Yankees lineup is currently loaded with big minus misses: Tex is -.033, Grandy is -.028, Cano is listed above, Ibanez is -.068, and Martin. There is some vicious regression to the mean due here. When that happens, it’s likely the team’s horrendous BAVG RISP will make a vicious regression to the mean as well. BTW, both Jeter and A-Rod are about +.015.)

      Am I saying that Russell is going to hit .270? No. It’s more likely he’ll wind up the year at something like .237 or so, just like last year.

      If he does, are the Yanks going to lose the pennant because of .008 in BAVG at one position, or roughly 4 singles over 120 games?

      (to be continued)

      Don’t think so.

    4. Evan3457
      June 24th, 2012 | 2:25 pm

      The 3rd reason why this is ridiculous is that if Martin continues to hit .195, he’ll likely lose playing time, first to Stewart, then possibly to Cervelli when Romine is finally activated, and possibly to a replacement picked up on waivers or in a trade.

      The 4th and last reason why this is ridiculous is that there are a host of reasons why the Yanks might not win the pennant that have little or nothing to do with Martin:

      1. The starting pitching might regress to what it was in April.
      2. The RISP thing as a team might do them in if it doesn’t regress to the norm.
      3. The O’s, Rays, and Red Sox might all play better, even if the Yanks play decently.
      4. They could lose a short series in the ALDS or ALCS to an inferior team.
      5. They could lose a short series to the Rangers, who are better than the Yanks are, and not just because Napoli is a better hitter than Martin.

      The 5th reason is that bad as his BAVG is, he’s still in the middle of the pack in the majors among regular catchers in WAR. Right now, he’s 9th of 16 among regular catchers, 10th among 18 catchers with 200 PA. Even just considering it offensively, in wRC+, he’s close to average at 96, and in OPS+, he’s at 89, which is bad, but not horrendous.

      ===========================================
      Lookit, sometimes, if you miss the playoffs by a single game, and you have an open running sore on the team, then yes, it might be fair to say that the player in question cost you the pennant. But every time that loses out by a small margins usually has several weak spots, small and large, any of which could be said to be the deciding factor.

      For example: In 2008, the Yanks missed the playoffs by 6 games, the only time they missed the post-season since 1995.

      Jorge Posada Injured his throwing shoulder early in the season, played more DH than catcher, went on the DL for a month, came back, played more DH than catcher again, and finally gave up the ghost and had surgery in late July and was out for the season.

      The offensive cost of losing Jorge was enormous, slightly offset by Jose Molina’s vastly better defensive work. Posada had been worth an average of 4 WAR for the previous 8 seasons. Together his replacements were worth -0.6 WAR, a loss of nearly 5 wins, and 3/4 of the gap between the Yanks and the wild card Red Sox.

      But also in 2008:
      Melky Cabrera had a terrible season, costing the Yanks 1 WAR.
      Robinson Cano had an astoundingly bad season, costing the Yanks about 6 WAR from his usual level.
      Hideki Matsui got hurt, which cost the Yanks 2 WAR.
      Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy both pitched horribly, forcing the Yanks to employ Sidney Ponson as their #5 starter. An average ML starter is worth about 2-3 WAR, so this cost the Yanks something like 5 WAR.

      ============================================
      Don’t you see how absurd it is to blame one player’s lousy season for a team’s failure to win a pennant? Even if everyone is playing well, or at least decently, they can still lose a short series in the playoffs, or get beaten out for a playoff spot by red-hot team charging hard from the rear.

      Did Lackey cost the Red Sox the playoffs last year? Well, yes, you could say that. But you could say the same about Crawford, Matsuzaka’s injury, Buchholz’ injury, the bullpen collapse, the failure to find a decent 5th starter, J.D. Drew, and the collapse of the team’s hitting in the clutch down the stretch.

      If the Yanks “lose the pennant”, and right now, they’re in first place in the division, and are 1 game behind the Rangers for the best record in baseball, Martin might be one of the reasons, but he won’t be the only one. He’s no more likely to be “The reason the Yanks lost the pennant” than Ruiz is likely to be “The reason the Phils won the pennant” because his BAVG is .077 above his lifetime average at the moment.
      ============================
      And finally, how dare Brian Cashman re-sign a catcher who was only 3.0 WAR last season?

    5. jerryran
      June 24th, 2012 | 2:44 pm

      Quite possibly the dumbest sports blog post I’ve ever seen.

    6. Garcia
      June 24th, 2012 | 9:43 pm

      Throw shit on a wall, at some point you’ll be right and the world will know how outsmarted Brian Cashman. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

    7. Garcia
      June 24th, 2012 | 9:44 pm

      “…world will know how YOU outsmarted…”

    8. June 24th, 2012 | 11:38 pm

      Sure guys. Let’s ignore the fact that, since 1973, there have been less than 20 teams to win the pennant with a catcher who had 300+ PA with a BA less than .245.

      And, in the AMERICAN LEAGUE, where the Yankees play, since 1973, there have been only 5 teams to win a pennant and have a catcher with 300+ PA with a BA less than .245.

      And, in the AMERICAN LEAGUE, since 1980, there’s been only one team – the 1992 Jays – to have a catcher with 300+ PA with a BA less than .245.

    9. KPOcala
      June 25th, 2012 | 12:23 am

      @ Steve L.: Come on Steve, your picking your cherries here….And I got to thinking about how many players that Cashman has traded (major/minor league) and “thrived” for more than 3 years. Jake Westbrook & Mike Lowell? I didn’t do a formal research, but off the top of the head…If that’s even close, then Cashman can’t be the total idiot that some would claim, can he?
      Those two players in 25 combined seasons had a total of 4 WAR seasons. And yes, I realize that I’m picking cherries as well. Cashman has had some bombs with his FA pitching signings, but that makes him a member of a large GM’s club. Not quite worthy of so much scorn…

    10. Evan3457
      June 25th, 2012 | 12:32 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      Sure guys. Let’s ignore the fact that, since 1973, there have been less than 20 teams to win the pennant with a catcher who had 300+ PA with a BA less than .245.
      And, in the AMERICAN LEAGUE, where the Yankees play, since 1973, there have been only 5 teams to win a pennant and have a catcher with 300+ PA with a BA less than .245.
      And, in the AMERICAN LEAGUE, since 1980, there’s been only one team – the 1992 Jays – to have a catcher with 300+ PA with a BA less than .245.

      Steve, the obvious logic error here is that you’re focusing EVERYTHING onto one CURRENT weakness of the Yankees’ team as it stands now.

      No one single weakness is EVER enough to stop a team from winning it all. We’ve seen teams win it all with:

      Lousy rotations (at least during the regular season…don’t believe me? take a good close look at the starting pitchers who won the 2006 title for the Cards…)
      Lousy closers
      Lousy 1st, 2nd 3rd baseman and shortstops
      Lousy outfielders
      Weak bullpens
      Complete lack of speed or basestealing
      Complete lack of power
      Low average batting throughout the roster
      Poor defense at multiple positions
      Hitting poorly with RISP in the post-season

      It’s crazy nonsense to point at Russell Martin’s .197 BAVG in LATE JUNE and say this, THIS is the reason they’re not going to win the pennant.

    11. MJ Recanati
      June 25th, 2012 | 10:22 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Steve, the obvious logic error here is that you’re focusing EVERYTHING onto one CURRENT weakness of the Yankees’ team as it stands now.

      Yes, because:

      jerryran wrote:

      Quite possibly the dumbest sports blog post I’ve ever seen.

      That.

    12. June 25th, 2012 | 1:06 pm

      Guys.

      Obviously, there’s a lot of reasons why a club can fail to win a pennant.

      And, sure, it seems silly to suggest that one position player’s performance can mean the reason why a team does or does not win a pennant.

      But, that said, in the case of the Yankees, they have never had a pennant winning team with a full-time catcher as offensively challenged as Martin. And, in the American League, in the last 30 years, there’s only been one team to win a pennant with a catcher as bad as Martin is with the stick.

      Are we going to ignore all that just because Martin’s a plucky guy and calls a good game? If Chris Stewart or Jose Molina was the Yankees FT catcher, you would want the GM to be held accountable for that, right? So, why should Cashman get a pass on having Martin back there?

    13. Raf
      June 25th, 2012 | 5:49 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      And, in the American League, in the last 30 years, there’s only been one team to win a pennant with a catcher as bad as Martin is with the stick.

      Which as Evan pointed out, doesn’t mean as much as you’d like.

      Steve L. wrote:

      If Chris Stewart or Jose Molina was the Yankees FT catcher, you would want the GM to be held accountable for that, right? So, why should Cashman get a pass on having Martin back there?

      Chris Stewart and Jose Molina aren’t the Yankees FT catcher. They’re backups, and in the case of Molina, he was pressed into FT service when Posada went down. And Cashman still went out and got Ivan Rodriguez.

      And I’m curious as to why you’d build your argument around batting average, when you have more advanced and reliable tools at your disposal.

    14. LMJ229
      June 25th, 2012 | 6:48 pm

      Steve I’m just curious how many times in the last 30 years have the Yankees had a catcher with more than 300 PA bat lower than .245?

    15. June 25th, 2012 | 8:22 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Steve I’m just curious how many times in the last 30 years have the Yankees had a catcher with more than 300 PA bat lower than .245?

      For you, anything :-)

      Player Year Age Tm G
      1 Bob Geren .213 303 1990 28 NYY 110
      2 Butch Wynegar .223 375 1985 29 NYY 102
      3 Matt Nokes .224 430 1992 28 NYY 121
      4 Rick Cerone .227 329 1982 28 NYY 89
      5 Russell Martin .237 476 2011 28 NYY 125
      6 Rick Cerone .243 327 1987 33 NYY 113
      Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
      Generated 6/25/2012.
    16. June 25th, 2012 | 8:23 pm

      OK, the header was off. But, the answer is six. And, one of them was Martin last season. Before that, you have to go back to Matt Nokes in 1992.

    17. June 25th, 2012 | 8:44 pm

      Is this an actual post? First of all, correlation does not imply causation. Second, why are you hosting a Yankee blog when you clearly are not a Yankee fan? I don’t think I’ve seen one positive post all year. Don’t try to argue for something, and make such a bold statement, when you clearly don’t understand how logical reasoning and deduction works.

    18. Corey
      June 25th, 2012 | 10:00 pm

      hallofamer2000 wrote:

      I don’t think I’ve seen one positive post all year.

      New around these parts are we?

    19. June 25th, 2012 | 11:05 pm

      BTW, there have only been 4 Yankees in the history of the franchise to have 400+ PA is a season and bat less than .200.

      Something for Martin to shoot for…becoming the 5th. He’s on pace for it.

    20. June 25th, 2012 | 11:10 pm

      hallofamer2000 wrote:

      Second, why are you hosting a Yankee blog when you clearly are not a Yankee fan? I don’t think I’ve seen one positive post all year.

      Ah, YES, because only a TRUE Yankees fan would love having a starting catcher who can’t hit .200.

      Seriously. Dude.

      I am a Yankees fan. That’s why I want a catcher on my team who doesn’t suck. And, related, that’s why I am pissed at the GM – for not providing a starting catcher that doesn’t suck.

      I’m not asking for Dickey, Berra, Howard, Munson or Posada here.

      Just someone who can hit better than .245…

      Yeah, I know, I am SO UNREASONABLE….

    21. Raf
      June 25th, 2012 | 11:28 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      I am a Yankees fan. That’s why I want a catcher on my team who doesn’t suck. And, related, that’s why I am pissed at the GM – for not providing a starting catcher that doesn’t suck.

      Pissed at the 1st place Yankees GM?

      Looking at you, Texas, a game behind for the best record in MLB…

      FWIW, Martin

      YANKEES FRAA
      Robinson Cano 8
      Russell Martin 6
      Nick Swisher 4
      Mark Teixeira 4
      Eduardo Nunez 4
      Dewayne Wise 3
      Chris Stewart 2
      Eric Chavez 2
      Andruw Jones 1
      Raul Ibanez 1
      Brett Gardner -1
      Derek Jeter -6
      Jayson Nix -6
      Curtis Granderson -6
      Alex Rodriguez -8

      RSAA
      YANKEES
      Robinson Cano 16
      Curtis Granderson 11
      Nick Swisher 6
      Derek Jeter 4
      Alex Rodriguez 4
      Mark Teixeira 4
      Brett Gardner 2
      Eduardo Nunez 1
      Andruw Jones 1
      Jayson Nix -1
      Eric Chavez -1
      Raul Ibanez -3
      Chris Stewart -3
      Russell Martin -4
      Dewayne Wise -4

      TRAA, 2.

      Also,
      Evan3457 wrote:

      The second reason why this proposition is ridiculous is…
      Martin may well end up the year with a substantially better BAVG than he has right now? Why?

      Firstly, because his BABIP is a preposterously low .209. It this due to the fact that he’s hitting too many popups, that he’s striking out more than ever?

      Well, let’s see:
      1) His popup rate is the 2nd lowest of his career.
      2) His line drive rate is tied for the highest of his career.
      3) His K rate is the highest of his career 2% higher than last year, and 4.5% higher than his career average.
      Baseball HQ (fantasy website) has a stat called XBA (expected batting average) where it ties together the various rates, and give the “expected” batting for a player with the particular FB%, GB%, LD% and K rate. Most hitters are within 30 points, either way, of their XBA.
      Some examples:
      Miguel Cabrera: .302 and .297
      Elvis Andrus: .296 and .288
      Billy Butler: .296 and .286
      Nelson Cruz: .264 and .248
      Chris Davis: .273 and .260
      Yunel Escobal: .248 and .273
      Chone Figgins: .197 and .209
      Adrian Gonzalez: .259 and .259
      Josh Hamilton: .320 and .313
      Adam Jones: .300 and .311
      Howie Kendrick: .269 and .255
      Brett Lawrie: .289 and .268
      Jesus Montero: .259 and .255
      Carlos Pena: .202 and .210

      Well, you get the idea. There are some clunkers, of course:
      Jose Bautista: .236 and .287
      Robbie Cano: .295 and .327
      Adam Dunn: .219 and .272
      Eric Hosmer: .213 and .282
      Austin Jackson: .309 and .275
      Paul Konerko: .346 and .308
      Nick Markakis: .256 and .297
      Will Middlebrooks: .331 and .293
      Daniel Nava: .336 and .286
      Trevor Plouffe: .246 and .281
      Again: you get the idea.

      Anyway Russell Martin has the largest “miss” of any AL player I’ve looked at, with -.073, because his current XBA is .270.
      (Digressing for a moment, the Yankees lineup is currently loaded with big minus misses: Tex is -.033, Grandy is -.028, Cano is listed above, Ibanez is -.068, and Martin. There is some vicious regression to the mean due here. When that happens, it’s likely the team’s horrendous BAVG RISP will make a vicious regression to the mean as well. BTW, both Jeter and A-Rod are about +.015.)

      Ignoring advanced metrics is what makes you unreasonable :P

    22. Evan3457
      June 26th, 2012 | 3:47 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      hallofamer2000 wrote:
      Second, why are you hosting a Yankee blog when you clearly are not a Yankee fan? I don’t think I’ve seen one positive post all year.
      Ah, YES, because only a TRUE Yankees fan would love having a starting catcher who can’t hit .200.
      Seriously. Dude.
      I am a Yankees fan. That’s why I want a catcher on my team who doesn’t suck. And, related, that’s why I am pissed at the GM – for not providing a starting catcher that doesn’t suck.
      I’m not asking for Dickey, Berra, Howard, Munson or Posada here.
      Just someone who can hit better than .245…
      Yeah, I know, I am SO UNREASONABLE….

      Again:
      1. BAVG is just one measure of effectiveness, and not necessarily the best measure.
      2. By other measures, even including the horrendous BAVG, he’s still an average MLB catcher WHILE hitting .197, because of his other contributions (walks, power, defense).
      3. There are good reasons to think Martin’s BAVG will improve measurably over the rest of the season, assuming his back ailment isn’t serious.
      4. It is unlikely that one sinkhole at one position will derail an otherwise reasonably sound team.

      That’s what I’m saying.

    23. clintfsu813
      June 26th, 2012 | 6:54 am

      Honest question. Play GM during the offseason. Who should/could the Yanks have brought in to replace Martin? Kept Montero? Not exactly lighting it up in SEA and Martin better defensively.

    24. June 26th, 2012 | 7:24 am

      IIRC, Ryan Doumit was a FA this past off-season.

    25. clintfsu813
      June 26th, 2012 | 7:42 am

      Ad yet he fell to the Twins. Was there not much interest in him?

    26. Raf
      June 26th, 2012 | 7:49 am

      clintfsu813 wrote:

      Honest question. Play GM during the offseason. Who should/could the Yanks have brought in to replace Martin? Kept Montero? Not exactly lighting it up in SEA and Martin better defensively.

      Carry 3 catchers, keeping Montero and a 3rd stringer (Cervelli or reacquiring Stewart). I thought they should’ve gone with 3 catchers as well, with Posada catching once in a blue moon. It appears Montero, while he may never be considered the 2nd coming of Johnny Bench, is competent behind the plate.

    27. MJ Recanati
      June 26th, 2012 | 8:52 am

      Raf wrote:

      with Posada catching once in a blue moon

      I assume this is a typo because Posada had retired and there was no way the Yankees were going to offer him a one-year deal after last season’s clear platoon split. How many DH’s do you expect the Yankees to carry?

    28. MJ Recanati
      June 26th, 2012 | 8:55 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      IIRC, Ryan Doumit was a FA this past off-season.

      Ryan Doumit is a bad cacher. If the Yankees were content to have a bad catcher behind the plate, they’d have stuck with Posada for 2011.

      You’re complaining about Martin’s offense when, clearly, his lack of offense isn’t having any measurable impact on the team whatsoever.

      You want to complain about mountains? Go ahead. Don’t complain about molehills.

    29. June 26th, 2012 | 9:52 am

      Perhaps the bigger question is: Who will catch for the Yankees in 2013 given Martin’s back to back crap seasons and Romine’s injury this year?

    30. MJ Recanati
      June 26th, 2012 | 11:08 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      Perhaps the bigger question is: Who will catch for the Yankees in 2013 given Martin’s back to back crap seasons and Romine’s injury this year?

      No sense asking that question now. We never thought Martin would be non-tendered by the Dodgers so I’m sure that whoever will be starting behind the plate next year — Martin or otherwise — will be figured out in due course during the offseason.

    31. June 26th, 2012 | 11:27 am

      I heard that Sidney Ponson was spotted in a Sports Authority buying a catcher’s mitt…

    32. MJ Recanati
      June 26th, 2012 | 11:38 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      I heard that Sidney Ponson was spotted in a Sports Authority buying a catcher’s mitt…

      I don’t get the joke.

    33. June 26th, 2012 | 12:03 pm

      The joke: Cashman always thinks he can fill a need with someone off the DNR heap.

    34. Evan3457
      June 26th, 2012 | 12:30 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      The joke: Cashman always thinks he can fill a need with someone off the DNR heap.

      Sometimes, it works; sometimes, it doesn’t.

    35. June 26th, 2012 | 12:36 pm

      Yup. That’s why Cashman is as useful as a coin flip.

    36. Raf
      June 26th, 2012 | 12:54 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      I assume this is a typo because Posada had retired…

      Yes, I was referring to the 2011 season. I’ve no problem with the Yankees carrying 3 catchers, instead of 20 pitchers. I was thinking Posada would be more DH, 1B, C his last season in the bigs. Montero the backup to Martin and primary understudy.

    37. Raf
      June 26th, 2012 | 12:56 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      The joke: Cashman always thinks he can fill a need with someone off the DNR heap.

      What GM doesn’t?

    38. MJ Recanati
      June 26th, 2012 | 1:05 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      The joke: Cashman always thinks he can fill a need with someone off the DNR heap.

      You mean like every other GM in baseball?

    39. MJ Recanati
      June 26th, 2012 | 1:11 pm

      Raf wrote:

      I’ve no problem with the Yankees carrying 3 catchers, instead of 20 pitchers.

      I definitely agree that the Yanks carry too many pitchers but I definitely don’t agree that carrying three catchers is a good use of the bench. Given how reluctant the Yankees are to use the DL — a separate problem but nevertheless the operating procedure around these parts — carrying a third catcher would put an even greater strain on the team if an actual positional player were to go down.

    40. Raf
      June 26th, 2012 | 5:56 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Given how reluctant the Yankees are to use the DL — a separate problem but nevertheless the operating procedure around these parts — carrying a third catcher would put an even greater strain on the team if an actual positional player were to go down.

      Depends on how they’re deployed. The 3rd catcher would have a little versatility, such as Posada playing 1b, or Cervelli playing 3B (to use a couple examples). One of the things I like about TB is their flexibility, ideally I would like the Yankees to have players with the same type of flexibility (or at least supersubs in the Velarde/Tony Phillips mode), but it’s the smallest of nits to pick.

    41. hallofamer2000
      June 26th, 2012 | 8:36 pm

      Russell Martin is the Yankees catcher because:
      1) Catcher offense is horrendous through MLB, but despite Martin’s poor BA, his overall offensive production is not terrible due to his ability to walk and above-average-for-a-catcher power. Of catchers with 100 at-bats he is 18 or 19th in OPS overall, not great, but not embarrassing (.705).
      2) Russell Martin is one of the best defensive catchers in baseball. In 2011 Mike Fast of BP.com developed a metric to evaluate pitch framing by catchers and determined that Martin is the second best in baseball at it (he averages 15 runs saved per 120 games). Doumit is literally the worst in baseball, costing over 20 runs per season. The difference between Martin and Doumit in terms of framing is over 30 runs. Doumit’s OPS is only .060 higher, and has a WAR of 0.0, while Martin has a WAR of 0.6, not including this! Notice where Chris Stewart is on this list as well, the reason the Yankees picked him up.(http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15093)
      3) There is nothing wrong with wanting more offensive production out of the catcher, but claiming the Yankees will likely not win the pennant because of Martin is a poor call.

    42. June 26th, 2012 | 10:36 pm

      hallofamer2000 wrote:

      Russell Martin is one of the best defensive catchers in baseball.

      I have to laugh at this.

      CC Sabathia is one of the best pitchers in the game. He’s on track to be a Hall of Famer. And, he prefers Chris Stewart over Martin. And, before Stewart, he preferred pitching to Cervelli over Martin. If Martin was as good behind the dish, calling and framing pitches, etc., then why in the world would CC Sabathia prefer to pitch to the team’s back-up over him?

    43. Evan3457
      June 26th, 2012 | 11:07 pm

      There’s no reason to laugh.
      Martin was outstanding at receiving and framing last season.
      Stewart was slightly better.

    44. Raf
      June 27th, 2012 | 12:35 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      I have to laugh at this.
      CC Sabathia is one of the best pitchers in the game. He’s on track to be a Hall of Famer. And, he prefers Chris Stewart over Martin. And, before Stewart, he preferred pitching to Cervelli over Martin. If Martin was as good behind the dish, calling and framing pitches, etc., then why in the world would CC Sabathia prefer to pitch to the team’s back-up over him?

      Martin can’t catch every game, and I find it hard to believe that Cervelli is a better defensive catcher than Martin.

    45. MJ Recanati
      June 27th, 2012 | 9:12 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      I have to laugh at this.CC Sabathia is one of the best pitchers in the game. He’s on track to be a Hall of Famer. And, he prefers Chris Stewart over Martin. And, before Stewart, he preferred pitching to Cervelli over Martin. If Martin was as good behind the dish, calling and framing pitches, etc., then why in the world would CC Sabathia prefer to pitch to the team’s back-up over him?

      Your reasoning is flawed. You’re trying to correlate Sabathia’s talent as somehow relevant to whether Martin is a good catcher. One has nothing to do with the other.

    46. clintfsu813
      June 27th, 2012 | 9:15 am

      I honestly thought that Stewart/Cervelli caught Sabathia because he’s our ace and if they were gonna give Martin a day off, Sabathia’s start would be a good time. The hope was that if you’re gonna have a near automatic out from the 9 spot, better to do it with the Ace on the hill. Anyone think this?

    47. MJ Recanati
      June 27th, 2012 | 9:21 am

      clintfsu813 wrote:

      I honestly thought that Stewart/Cervelli caught Sabathia because he’s our ace and if they were gonna give Martin a day off, Sabathia’s start would be a good time. The hope was that if you’re gonna have a near automatic out from the 9 spot, better to do it with the Ace on the hill. Anyone think this?

      That was certainly what was circulated on some blogs. Seems to make some sense to me.

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