Friday, June 17, 2011

Links of Interest: Cash on Jesus, JC Romero DFA'd

With the struggles of Francisco Cervelli and the injury woes of Russell Martin, the handling of Jesus Montero has come to the forefront of many Yankees conversations. How can a team with (arguably) the best catching prospect in Major League Baseball suffer through Cervelli's woes on both sides of the plate? Why has Martin been kept on the bench in traction when he could be DL'd and Montero called-up? Cashman addressed the topic yesterday:
The GM said he doesn’t want to rush prospects before their time.

Cashman was brutally honest as usual when it came to the backup catcher situation. Russell Martin is back in the lineup after missing seven of the last eight games. Francisco Cervelli, who has struggled offensively and defensively, had subbed for him. Cashman wants top catching prospect Jesus Montero to play. That’s why he isn’t being brought up to back up Martin and get occasional DH at-bats.

“Is Montero better than Cervelli? Yes he is,” Cashman said.
This has been the company line for quite some time - and it's perfectly reasonable. That being said ... the team could have (and should have, in my opinion) DL'd Martin and given Montero a two week audition behind the plate. If he struggles, send him back down when Martin returns. If he rakes, work out a time share between catcher and DH with Montero, Martin, and Posada - this is especially intriguing as Martin has had injury issues over the past two seasons, and his bat and glove are far too valuable to risk further injury.

The other item on the docket is left-handed specialist JC Romero, who was designated for assignment by the Phillies yesterday. He's performed admirably against LHB this season, holding them to a line of .208/.321/.208, which is right in-line with his career .215/.312/.290 mark. Romero is essentially useless against RHB (batting .297/.435/.432 against him this year) ... but Girardi understands how to leverage the bullpen, so that shouldn't be an issue.

In my mind, the only issue is the reasoning behind the Phillies making this move. The platoon splits are disconcerting should a team be looking for a set-up man or closer, but Romero's never really been utilized in such a fashion - and any team that attempted to use him as such was all but guaranteed a rude awakening. Romero did struggle with a calf injury this year, and he has had some arm issues; an underlying injury is a possibility. He was also suspended for a positive PED test in 2009, so there could be something there, as well.

That being said, the Yankees need to do their homework here. If Romero's healthy, he would bolster the bullpen quite a bit.

blog comments powered by Disqus