Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Real Problem with Posada

Recently we've been treated to a bevy of stories about Posada's supposedly rocky relationship with AJ Burnett. We've also heard a lot of commentary over the course of the season about Joba's tendency to shake Posada off (used to be seen as a virtue, not so much anymore).

What has stuck out to me, however, is the fact that both of the pitchers who supposedly don't care for Posada's game calling are guys who lack control. That is, they don't hit the target, or anywhere near the target, that Posada sets up and then they blame Posada's pitch selection. Hence Girardi's recent comments about execution.

Take Joba for instance. He pitches like a little b****, and probably shakes Posada off because he rather not throw strikes, and Posada rarely calls for intentional walks. These things happen, but the story becomes how hard Posada is to work with.

Burnett has great stuff, but no control. Think more talented Jose Veras. He misses all over the place, gets hit, then has the balls to wonder why Posada called this or that pitch (note: he didn't call for it right down the middle).

So, in conclusion, the problem is the inability of these guys to hit their spots, not Posada's inability to call a game. Sure Posada can be a bit stubborn and rough around the edges, but Burnett and Joba can't locate their pitches, and that's a much bigger problem.


cr1 said...

Great chance to see Burnett prove today how much better he pitches without bossy old Jorge trying to tell him what pitch he needs to throw where.

Oh, wait...

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

exactly. I suppose three runs in six innings is a "quality start" but we expect more than that.

Same as always with Burnett, lots of strike outs but too many balls. 105 pitches in six innings is way too much for a guy with his stuff.

Fernando Alejandro said...

He's always thrown too many pitches. Even in his no hitter he walked 8 guys. 8!

Jon Roberts said...

This Posada thing is stupid. I don't think its controversial to say Molina is a better receiver and blocker, but its not like Posada suddenly forgot how to call games. If that were the problem Girardi could just call the game. I don't know what to make of the Burnett/Posada thing. I guess if they don't work well together you try to get Molina in on his days.

Joba doesn't have the track record or experience to merit that consideration. Some one needs to tell him to man the hell up and throw strikes. He looks like he's afraid of contact and he has no reason to be. He seems hesitant to me and I don't think the catcher has anything to do with that. I think he's afraid of getting hurt. I'm not one to be all about the radar gun, but maybe they should give him some kind of incentive to ramp it up for a couple innings and see if they can get him out of his head. I think he needs to realize that he can just throw free and easy and that will bring success.

After I blew out my knee and had it fixed and went through rehab and all that I was still very tentative with it. One day the dog slipped off the leash and I was like a chubby, pasty Usain Bolt chasing him down. I think Joba has been hurt a couple of times and it's in his head.

Fred Trigger said...

Does Bill simmons read you guys? From his latest mailbag.

"Of course, it will probably turn out that the hitter who broke out was drinking hemoglobin from dead baby seals while illegally fighting panda bears "

That sounds awfully similar to variteks training regimen.

Raven King said...

What a brutal loss for AJ WHY WHY TELL ME WHY Burnett.
I thought we could see the Rangers get swept while Josh Hamilton hit a moon shot out of the new Yankees Stadium.
Too bad things didn't work out as planned.

Raven King said...

There's no problem with Jorge.
He and his pitchers simply agree to disagree with each other on every single pitch because it will make the game more fun and challenging. said...

To his credit, Burnett did strike out 12 over six innings. That's pretty decent by my standards, but on the other hand, I agree that he does throw too many pitches.

In some aspects, I feel that it's good when Jorge and A.J. disagree. If one always agreed with the other, they would never know when the other was wrong.

Fernando Alejandro said...

It was a tough loss, and Burnett pitched well, but this one falls on the offense. Burnett and Posada have worked well together before, and in fact, probably Burnetts best game of the season was the game against Beckett, which he worked with Posada. But Burnett does have control issues, and we've always known that.

Fernando Alejandro said...

Trig, we are more like Bill Simmons' spiritual advisors and mentors then anything else.

Tigs said...

Whether you like it or not, part of a catcher's job is to deal with whiney pitchers and get them to throw their best stuff.

Jorge's never been good at that--think Mussina. Moose hit his spots, but needed a certain amount of coddling that Jorge was never able to give.

My opinion of Jorge is that he's sort of a lunk. He's a serviceable catcher who becomes far more than serviceable when he's hitting over .300. But he's not, he's 7th on the team in RBIs, 8th in batting average, and 7th in HR.
Pitchers are willing to overlook way more when they feel like their catchers are making up for it elsewhere, but he's not really getting that done this season.

However, it's not as if we're picking up Mauer; Pierzynski would make a better Met (and he's getting old). Hell, it's not actually realistic that Jorge would be going anywhere, and I don't like him as a full-time DH.
So, I think it's Girardi's job to fix the issue and either suck up to or kick Joba and A.J.'s asses--whatever they need to make it work.

Fernando Alejandro said...

Agreed, there's still 2 more years left on his contract, and he'll likely be catching a considerable number of games in that time. I agree that Posada has had his issues working with pitchers before, and he's simply not the easiest person to work with, but he can call a good game, and I think that's what people are losing sight of.

And even when he's not batting .300, which he's only done once in his career, he's still one of the best offensive catchers in the game. Mauer is an anomoly for catchers, and Victor Martinez really isn't a catcher, but even including them in the list, Posada is still in the top 10 for catchers in most categories. This is where Posada falls for catchers with at least 300 plate appearances:

4th in Slugging.
4-way tie for 3rd in Homeruns.
8th in batting average.
7th in OBP

That's not bad.

Riddering said...

I'm with you on Catchgate being overblown but I've yet to see Joba or A.J. blame Jorge's game calling.

In fact, in more than one instance, A.J. has adamantly rejected that idea when the media puts it forth. He's taken the blame for being beaten. It kinda irks me to see these guys be blamed for not taking responsibility when they're already dealing with not having the stuff to help win games for their team, ie, a pitcher's least favorite activity.

We've seen bad slumps from all parts of our team this year, yet we're still playing better than anyone else. This too shall pass. No one is still enraged over the offensive slump during interleague play because the bats have been quite perky since. I've no doubt that A.J. and Joba will right themselves again soon.

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

I, for one, am still quite enraged over that interleague play offensive slump.