Yankees Finally Pull The Plug On Posada's Regular Work

Three months ago, Jorge Posada declined to play in a game, because he'd been dropped to ninth in the lineup.

That didn't go over very well with anyone, but Posada's performance merited the demotion and eventually he became the Yankees' DH against right-handed pitchers, with Andruw Jones usually playing against lefties.

Well, no more. As Joel Sherman reports in the Post, the Yankees are going with Eric Chavez as their primary DH against righties. Which leaves Posada as a catcher who's not allowed to catch and a hitter who's rarely allowed to hit.

So why even keep him around at all? Mostly because the Yankees are good enough -- and far enough ahead of their closest competition for a postseason berth -- that they can play with a 24-man roster in the interest of not embarrassing one of their greatest-ever players. The rosters expand in three weeks, and then the roster's not an issue. Granted, there will still be that moment of embarrassment when Posada doesn't make the postseason roster.

Or maybe, as Joe Pawlikowski speculates, management is hoping for something else.

There have been reports that the Yankees soon plan to call up top prospect Jesus Montero, and this could merely be a transition period for them. It gives them a week or so to gauge Jorge’s reaction to being benched (perhaps they hope he’ll decide to retire or ask for his release), and to see how well Chavez can perform in a more significant role. But with Montero waiting in the wings, it seems probable that they’ll call him up soon to take reps at DH. If that doesn’t happen, it’s a near lock that he gets reps in September. It appears that the Yankees really are beginning the transition from former heavy hitting catcher to the projected future one.

The only problem with this plan is that Montero hasn't actually been all that great in the minors this season, and might not be much of a catcher anyway.

Of course, the Yankees have the best run differential in Major League Baseball. So all these "problems" really seem but a trifle compared to, for example, what the Astros are facing.

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