Today the news broke that Yankees catcher Jorge Posada was heading to the 15 Day Disabled List. Posada has already been on the DL once this season with shoulder problems, missing most of the first two months of the year. This is not unexpected, as he has been saying that he has had "discomfort" in his shoulder for weeks.
The intriguing part is the fact that he used the word "pain" for the first time when referencing his shoulder. To answer my own question, I personally am not surprised. He hasn't been able to put any sort of velocity on his throws since coming off the DL, as evidenced by his allowing 32 of 39 runners to steal against him.
That is 17.9 percent compared to a career average of 29.1 percent. His inability to throw with force nearly cost the Yankees a game on Saturday. Come crunch time, is his veteran presence worth an almost certain stolen base against? How many times have we seen a stolen base change an inning, game, series, or even history (see 2004 ALCS Game Four, Dave Roberts)?
Is it a risk worth taking down the stretch as the Yankees try to claw their way into the playoff picture? Probably not. Now some people have said, why not just leave him on the roster as a DH? Well, he hasn't been hitting very well lately, only .167 in his last seven games. That is most likely secondary to his shoulder.
It seems pointless to leave someone who can't play the field or swing the bat 100 percent on the bench, especially when you have three or four guys that can DH on any given day.
Posada says he is considering season-ending shoulder surgery. He also needs to realize that at 36, surgery could mean the end of his catching days.
Posada is the epitome of a Yankee, going about his business and doing what it takes to help the club win. But how useful will he actually be after his surgery? In reality, surgery could effectively end his career as an everyday player, at the very least his days as an everyday catcher.
Now the other side of this is that he just signed a four-year contract. He is guaranteed the money, why not let him try to come back from surgery? Personally, that is what I think should happen. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately depending on the situation, it isn't up to me.