Catchers May Have Hand in Yanks' Pitching Problems
This was an article in yesterday's NY Times.
I think they might be on to something here. While I’ll give you the fact that Jorge Posada was behind the plate for championship winning teams and caught Cone’s perfect game, something has not been right the past few years. I think as AJ Burnett has suggested, he’s become too predictable.
In the beginning of Jorge’s career, his knock was that he came out a little too far when blocking the plate. He has since stayed back some; most notably the play at the plate in the 2001 ALDS, but still his defense has never been that of Pudge Rodriguez or any of the Molinas.
Now his pitch selection is being scrutinized. I too have taken note of the Yankees pitchers struggles recently, especially Mussina the past few years (with the exception of last year’s 20 win season, most of which was done with Posada on the DL) and Burnett & Wang so far this season.
At 37, Posada might be nearing the end of his career, but that shouldn’t affect his pitch calling. It certainly hasn’t effected his hitting as his numbers presently stand at .288 / 9 / 28 / 17 all while missing a few weeks when he was on the DL.
At the end of the day it always says winning / losing pitcher in the box score. The pitchers always have the right to shake the catcher off. I’ve read that even in the days of Thurman Munson when the signs came from Billy Martin in the dugout the pitcher would just stand there not shaking anyone off (thus not infuriating Martin) and the pitcher threw what he was comfortable throwing.
Some of this might be Posada’s fault, but ultimately, as I stated before, the pitchers share some, if not most of the responsibility while on the mound, though Jorge may want to think outside the box a little more often.
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