Considering Jose Molina’s superb defense, I figured the Yankee braintrust was just fine with his mediocre (at best) hitting and fully expected him to remain as the starting catcher down the stretch following the the news that Posada’s season is officially finished. Chad Moeller would continue serving ably as Molina’s backup.
Apparently I was mistaken. In 302 at bats, Rodriguez (I won’t call him Pudge – as terrific as he’s been for a long time now, Carlton Fisk is the only “Pudge” as far as I’m concerned) is hitting .295 with a modest .417 slugging percentage. That gives the Yanks two of the best defensive catchers in the game, one who can hit in the middle of the lineup, to boot.
Presumably the Yankees will pay whatever is left of Rodriguez’ $13m 2008 salary. He becomes a free agent after this season, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts.
I guess that eliminates the need to keep Moeller around, which is really too bad. He’s a blue collar guy who already survived being placed on waivers once and served admirably through what could have been a much more tumultuous period, helping keep the backstop position stable through the first significant injury of Posada’s career. I’m sorry to see him go and it’s a little sad to think that most new-age Yankee fans (people who wear Mattingly jerseys and t-shirts despite having no memory of those lean years, either because they are too young or are just fair weather fans) won’t remember his name a few months from now. Thanks for helping to hold it down, Chad.
Farnsworth was having his
best first decent season since coming to the Bronx and I don’t know any Yankee fans who trusted him to remain dependable through the stretch run and the playoffs. Girardi has been nothing short of superb in his management of the Yankees’ bulpen and the result has been that several options have emerged to set up mariano Rivera in the 8th inning. The controversy over whether to move Joba to the rotation seems like it was years ago now. Further marginalizing Farnsworth among the Yankee relief corps was last week’s addition of Demaso Marte.
The fantasy baseball impact here is also significant. Farnsworth becomes the Tigers’ closer two days after Todd Jones was demoted in favor of Fernendo Rodney. Presumably, Rodney moves back into the setup role.