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Can't Catch a Break: The Yankees' Catching Situation

Jeremy KaufmanSenior Analyst IApril 15, 2008

We are merely two weeks into the Major League Baseball season, and already the New York Yankees have found themselves a victim of the injury bug.

As if a shoulder injury to starting catcher Jorge Posada wasn’t bad enough, the Yankees now find themselves without backup Jose Molina, who injured himself in a game against the Boston Red Sox.

With Posada limited to duties as a designated hitter and Molina possibly heading toward the disabled list, the Yankees have called up veteran journeyman Chad Moeller from the minor leagues.  He will serve as a stop-gap for the time being.

However, any fan of baseball knows that a team cannot survive very long without serviceable play from the catcher position.

After Posada injured his shoulder at the beginning of the season, Molina was given the opportunity to step up behind the plate. Fortunately for the Yankees, he did just that, throwing out approximately 46 percent of would-be based stealers as well as performing admirably at the plate.

However, with both major league catchers now out, the most important position in baseball (other than the pitcher) is now in the possession of an adequate, yet overly mediocre journeyman.

While the Yankees do have some formidable catchers in the minor leagues, the injury bug has taken a toll on them as well.

Early on in spring training, AAA catcher P.J. Pilittere broke his wrist in a collision at the plate that resulted in all kinds of controversy. As a result, that option is off the board for the Yankees.

Another noteworthy catcher within the Yankees’ system is Jesus Montero, an 18-year-old catcher who some believe has the potential to become the best power hitting catcher ever. In fact, major league scouts have commonly assigned Montero the highest possible rating for power potential, not just for a catcher, but for any major league prospect.

However, in spite of Montero’s incomprehensible upside, Montero is still very young and is only playing in A ball for the time being, a long way away from the big leagues.

Therefore, it appears that Yankees fans may have to be content with the work of Chad Moeller for the time being. Let’s just hope Posada gets healthy soon.

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