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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


State of the Yankees: Third base

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 11, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The Yankees’ situation at third base feels both unique and familiar. Let there be no doubt that Alex Rodriguez is a one-of-a-kind player with a one-of-a-kind contract, but in terms of the Yankees plans and preparations, Rodriguez isn’t all that different from Mark Teixeira. Both are among the game’s premier players, locked into long-term contracts at positions where the Yankees don’t have an obvious replacement rising through the system. First base belongs to Teixeira, third base belongs to Rodriguez, and it should stay that way for a long time.

Starter: Alex Rodriguez
Backup: Ramiro Pena
Veteran insurance: none
Almost ready: Kevin Russo
Low rising: Brandon Laird, Brad Suttle, (plus a handful of lower-level guys who play all over the infield)

Pena seems to be the favorite to open as the Yankees utility infielder, and that makes him the most obvious backup at third base. Similar to the situation at second, though, Russo might be a better long-term solution should the Yankees need someone other than Rodriguez to play third base more than once or twice a month. With Jerry Hairston and Eric Hinske gone, there is no veteran who could step in and handle the position for a few weeks. Laird should be in Double-A, and he has legitimate power, but Suttle might be the most intriguing young third baseman in the system. He needs to bounce back from injuries and regain the form that made him a highly touted college hitter in the 2007 draft.

Worst-case scenario: You remember what happened last spring. At the time, it was believed that Rodriguez would need a second surgery this winter, but his doctors checked him out and determined that second surgery was no longer necessary. The worst-case scenario is that those doctors were wrong. There is absolutely no reason to believe they were wrong, but the possibility looms. If Russo takes a step backward in his return to Triple-A, Laird proves unable to stick at third in his Double-A debut and Suttle’s injuries prove too much for him to stay on the field at any level, the minor league system would take a hit at third base.

Best-case scenario: Ladies and gentlemen, your 2010 American League MVP, Alex Rodriguez. The same best-case scenario that applied to first base fits perfectly at third. Look at Rodriguez’s 2007 numbers. That’s what we’re talking about here. Icing on the cake would be another .320 batting average from Russo, 20 home runs from Laird and 400 at-bats from Suttle. A huge season from one of the lower-level infielders — Garrison Lassiter, Corban Joseph, Addison Maruszak, Jimmy Paredes – would be the cherry on top.

The future: Rodriguez is signed through 2017, so any talk of the future begins with him. He even has a contract that becomes more affordable year-by-year. There is some third base talent in the minor league system, but none of it is likely to bump Rodriguez as long as Rodriguez stays productive. If Rodriguez gets hurt, his skills fall off a cliff or the Yankees make a radical decision to have him change positions, then we can talk about a change of plans. For now, Rodriguez is the Yankees present and the future at third base.

An attempt at the complete depth chart
An educated guess, but just a guess
Scranton: Kevin Russo
Trenton: Brandon Laird
Tampa: Garrison Lassiter, (eventually Brad Suttle)
Charleston: Rob Lyerly, Kevin Mahoney
Both High-A and Low-A could have a lot of guys moving all around the infield, and even Double-A and Triple-A will likely see some defensive flexibility at second, third and short.

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115 Responses to “State of the Yankees: Third base”

  1. Brandon C. February 11th, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    What about Nunez?

  2. DaSaint007 February 11th, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    2010, 2011, 2012, 2013:
    A-Rod
    Jeter
    Cano
    Tex

    Mark it down, lock it up and throw away the key.

  3. Erin February 11th, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    DaSaint007
    February 11th, 2010 at 6:28 pm
    2010, 2011, 2012, 2013:
    A-Rod
    Jeter
    Cano
    Tex

    Mark it down, lock it up and throw away the key.

    ***************************
    Sounds good to me :D

  4. MTU February 11th, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Better:

    “DaSaint007
    February 11th, 2010 at 6:28 pm
    2010, 2011, 2012, 2013:
    A-Rod
    Jeter
    Cano
    Tex
    Montero

    Mark it down, lock it up and throw away the key.” :)

  5. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day February 11th, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/.....32bxcSSXqN

  6. DaSaint007 February 11th, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    MTU,

    While I agree that Montero could be a monster with the bat, I’m not yet sold on him as the heir apparent at C.

    But I don’t think the four mentioned need to switch their current positions over the next 4 years.

  7. GreenBeret7 February 11th, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    I can’t imagine Suttle staying at third because he’s a butcher. I’d say 1st base, butm he’s not good defensively there, either. Like Edgar Martinez and harold baines, a born DH.

  8. S.o.S. February 11th, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    I think its time to trade and get Alex replacement right about NOW. Whats Bettimett doing these days?

  9. Thomas Robust February 11th, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    The Yankees infield is pretty much locked up, and if Robinson Cano plays well and Derek Jeter doesn’t grow old fast these four can be playing together unchanged for many more years.
    That would be great, especially if there are a few championships along with it.

    Good pitching (with two ace players), a great infield (especially offensively, but also defensively), and a decent outfield (with good defense) could contend every year.

  10. MTU February 11th, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    S.o.S-

    “I think its time to trade and get Alex replacement right about NOW. Whats Bettimett doing these days?”

    I like Cody Ransom better ! Bring him back.

  11. DaSaint007 February 11th, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    S.o.S.
    February 11th, 2010 at 6:37 pm
    I think its time to trade and get Alex replacement right about NOW. Whats Bettimett doing these days?
    —————–
    LOL!

  12. Erica - always OPPC - Wishes Damon would fire Boras and COME HOME! February 11th, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Chad Jennings
    February 11th, 2010 at 6:23 pm
    New post, with no mention of Johnny Damon or Chien-Ming Wang!

    *************

    Well, then I am not interested!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (Just kidding Chad :-))

  13. Nick in SF February 11th, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    If Hughes wins the 5th spot, would that be Damon’s greatest legacy, or would the nod go to the players he and the (real) Mrs. Damon helped recruit?

  14. GreenBeret7 February 11th, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Jeter is a strange player. Up until age 30 he played with the wisdom of a veteran 40 year old. Since then, he’s played like a 23-28 year old.

    NYY will keep the infield together as long as Jeter decides not to play like his age.

  15. randy l. February 11th, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    “Nurse Karloff could have kidnapped me to smuggled me into her house. I talked her into going after Randy. ”

    pat m-

    i have good news and bad news for you.

    the good news is gb7 sent nurse karloff after me instead of you.

    the bad news is i gave him your address and said i was out there visiting you.

  16. LathamJoe February 11th, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Too bad that the Yankee Front Office played “nickel-dime” games with Jerry Hairston Jr. He was a capable backup in the infield as well as LF. Its amazing how they overspend for pitchers, but play hardball with valuable utility players that can be signed fairly cheaply.
    I like Pena, but a veteran presence for another year would help with the kid’s development.

  17. GreenBeret7 February 11th, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    LMAO. Better you guys than me.

  18. Pat M. February 11th, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Nurse Karloff will never get pass Airport Security to make her way to the West Coast….If she did, she’d get snatched up right away and be sent back to the Universal Back lots were they shot all those monster flicks…..Besides, she fancies you older guys

  19. Erin February 11th, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    MTU
    February 11th, 2010 at 6:39 pm
    S.o.S-

    “I think its time to trade and get Alex replacement right about NOW. Whats Bettimett doing these days?”

    I like Cody Ransom better ! Bring him back.

    ******************
    Darn-you beat me!! I was going to say bring Ransom back instead. ;)

  20. GreenBeret7 February 11th, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    Pat M.
    February 11th, 2010 at 6:53 pm
    Nurse Karloff will never get pass Airport Security to make her way to the West Coast….If she did, she’d get snatched up right away and be sent back to the Universal Back lots were they shot all those monster flicks…..Besides, she fancies you older guys

    ————————————————————

    I don’t deserve such a catch, Pat. Ya’ll are much better for her than me. As far as age, she doesn’t care about that. She just wants somebody to take care of. I’m not all that sure that she cares if they’re still breathing, which is something in Randy’s favor.

  21. Rich in NJ February 11th, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    GreenBeret7
    February 11th, 2010 at 6:18 pm
    Tom in NJ
    February 11th, 2010 at 6:13 pm
    Porcello’s a tough as nails Jersey boy.
    He didn’t grow up in soft in So. Cal.
    ————————————————————
    If Porcello is that tough, maybe he can take Rich In NJ out to the Meadowlands and introduce him to Jimmy.
    ____

    Huh?

  22. NYY626 February 11th, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    there are no words for that picture of Damon posted on the last thread…..

  23. Bronx Jeers February 11th, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Can anyone picture ARod playing another position? Other than DH?

    He could probably play 1st if that was ever needed somewhere in the distant future. I don’t think he could ever play SS again.

    There were plays last season where I thought he looked brilliant. Next day he couldn’t move.

    I know they say the hip is fine but I’m sure it’ll be a factor again at some point.

  24. Erin February 11th, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    NYY626
    February 11th, 2010 at 7:06 pm
    there are no words for that picture of Damon posted on the last thread…..

    ***************
    Did you burst out laughing too? That was my initial reaction. You gotta love Damon. :)

  25. NYY626 February 11th, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    So I just read this article on bleacher report:
    http://bleacherreport.com/arti.....rk-yankees

    This gem was in the comment section:

    “It’s actually a joke that guys like Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera are even counted as “home grown players” because the Yankees signed them to outrageous contracts to avoid them hitting the free agent market.”

    WHAT?????

  26. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! February 11th, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    For news on the real deal on Damon and the Tigers, see previous thread…

    ;)

  27. Rich in NJ February 11th, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    The Yankees need to find a young player over the next few years who can play both SS and 3B, and hit, so that if A-Rod or Jeter decline too much defensively, or need regular rest to prevent them from wearing down, that player can shoulder some of the load without the Yankees losing too much.

  28. GreenBeret7 February 11th, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Rodriguez is not an outfielder type. he doesn’t go back on flies that well, but, he looked just fine this past year. I’m sure that he wouldn’t do any worse than Damon on defense, though. 1st and DH would be his probables.

  29. Doreen February 11th, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Hoffa.

    Jimmy Hoffa.

  30. NYY626 February 11th, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Erin February 11th, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    NYY626
    February 11th, 2010 at 7:06 pm
    there are no words for that picture of Damon posted on the last thread…..

    ***************
    Did you burst out laughing too? That was my initial reaction. You gotta love Damon. :)
    ______________________________________________________________
    LOL my sentiments exactly!

  31. GreenBeret7 February 11th, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Exactly who would you suggest NYYs bring in for short and third and can hit so “NNYs don’t lose too much”?

  32. Enough Pitching Changes February 11th, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    I like Damon I really do. I will miss him. Cashman offered 2 years 14 million. Very fair offer, probably to much for Damon. He turned down. Best of luck J Damon, don’t let the door hit you on the way to obscurity.

  33. GreenBeret7 February 11th, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Doreen
    February 11th, 2010 at 7:13 pm
    Hoffa.

    Jimmy Hoffa.

    ————————————————————

    Still laughing. I thought that was pretty well known. Not that he’s there, just that it’s been a rumor for 35 years.

  34. Rich in NJ February 11th, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    GB

    Everyone in NJ knows where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. Sheesh.

  35. Doreen February 11th, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Rich in NJ -

    When they knock it down, will they find him?

  36. Rich in NJ February 11th, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Doreen

    I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you. :)

  37. Bronx Jeers February 11th, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    I actually read somewhere that the FBI has stated that they have no interest in the demolition of Giants Stadium.

  38. GreenBeret7 February 11th, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    He might be in NJ, but, he went through a wood chipper first.

  39. Doreen February 11th, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Rich in NJ -

    :lol: :lol:

  40. jake February 11th, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    If Suttle is healthy, he’s about five minutes from the big leagues–very polished player all around, with an especially sweet swing from the LH side. Russo has a questionable bat–like virtually all minor leaguers–but could play 3B just fine. However, the Yanks need A-Rod to win!!

  41. Rich in NJ February 11th, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Speaking of knowing where bodies are buried, if Detroit actually gives Damon two years @ $14m, Boras has to know where Mike Ilitch buries his victims.

  42. GreenBeret7 February 11th, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    jake
    February 11th, 2010 at 7:31 pm
    If Suttle is healthy, he’s about five minutes from the big leagues–very polished player all around, with an especially sweet swing from the LH side. Russo has a questionable bat–like virtually all minor leaguers–but could play 3B just fine. However, the Yanks need A-Rod to win!!

    ————————————————————

    Have you ever seen Suttle play? Just like Michael Jackson. He wears a glove on one hand for no known reason.

  43. Rick February 11th, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Kevin Russo will work hard in spring training and be one of the final cuts. He’ll keep himself ready at AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as the 1st infielder called if need be.

    http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com....._id=501835

  44. Nick in SF February 11th, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Hey, has LoHud commenter and fellow L :shock: ST fan Laura been heard from lately?

  45. champ809 February 11th, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    GreenBeret7
    February 11th, 2010 at 6:36 pm
    I can’t imagine Suttle staying at third because he’s a butcher. I’d say 1st base, butm he’s not good defensively there, either. Like Edgar Martinez and harold baines, a born DH.
    ***********************************************************
    I find it interesting that you say that because in ’08 Suttle was considered the best defensive 3b in the salyy league. In fact i’ve read a couple of scouts compare him to Ryan Zimmerman and say that defensively he could play in the majors right now.

  46. champ809 February 11th, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    I think that you are meaning to refer to Laird as not having a great glove

  47. champ809 February 11th, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Chad

    I think that Suttle starts the season in Tampa with Lassiter repeating Charleston at least initially. If Suttle is back in ’08 prior to the injury form then he gets moved up to Trenton with Laird moving over to 1b.

  48. S.o.S. February 11th, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    Have you ever seen Suttle play? Just like Michael Jackson. He wears a glove on one hand for no known reason.

    ========

    That was a pretty SUTTLE way of describing it.

  49. GreenBeret7 February 11th, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    champ809
    February 11th, 2010 at 7:41 pm
    GreenBeret7
    February 11th, 2010 at 6:36 pm
    I can’t imagine Suttle staying at third because he’s a butcher. I’d say 1st base, butm he’s not good defensively there, either. Like Edgar Martinez and harold baines, a born DH.
    ***********************************************************
    I find it interesting that you say that because in ‘08 Suttle was considered the best defensive 3b in the salyy league. In fact i’ve read a couple of scouts compare him to Ryan Zimmerman and say that defensively he could play in the majors right now.

    ————————————————————

    17 errors in 92 games? Maybe the scouts confused him with Bob Zimmerman. He has a bad back and two shoulder surgeries, including a torn labrum. He’s missed a seasn, is 24 years old and strikes out too much and that was in low a Ball, two years ago.

  50. S.o.S. February 11th, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    LOST = Fantacy Island

    The directors of lost have me lost.

  51. GreenBeret7 February 11th, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    S.o.S.
    February 11th, 2010 at 7:46 pm
    Have you ever seen Suttle play? Just like Michael Jackson. He wears a glove on one hand for no known reason.

    ========

    That was a pretty SUTTLE way of describing it.

    ————————————————————

    He hit pretty well, but, at Joe Riley Park in Charleston, whenever he fielded the ball, the fans behind 1st base all yelled “Look out…He’s got it again.”

  52. champ809 February 11th, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    the errors were the result of him playing the season with a torn labrum in his shoulder….but he was in fact considered the best defensive 3b in the sally league and all the scouts reports that I’ve read about rave about his glove.

  53. GreenBeret7 February 11th, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Did you see him? He didn’t play with a torn labrum all season and that wouldn’t have led to all of the butchered grounders. He’s not a good defensive third baseman. Will he be? No way of telling, but, his arm will be weaker than before the injury. Whatever the case, he needs to start in Charleston. It makes little difference but, NYY doesn’t have many good defensive infielders in the low minors…and they won’t until they start putting some money into coaching at the lower levels.

  54. Nick in SF February 11th, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    S.o.S.: it’s probably never going to make any real sense… but maybe it will make some fake sense? I’m sticking with it ’til the end.

    What does make real sense is that commenter Laura LOST a bet we had about whether a particular character would survive what happened at the end of last season and make it to this season.

  55. S.o.S. February 11th, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Nick,
    They are freakin super heroes. They will all show up soon enough and get back to where they came from. Maybe they should just have the finally be a Saprano moment and have a blank screen.

  56. Bronx Jeers February 11th, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    I may be the only person that actually liked that Soprano ending.

    Why leave things off nice and tidy?

  57. blake February 11th, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Maybe Lost will end like Newhart and it will have all just been a dream.

    The two timelines are really confusing

  58. S.o.S. February 11th, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Maybe Lost will end like Newhart and it will have all just been a dream.

    The two timelines are really confusing

    =======
    Blake
    Thats not far fetched. They all wake up in that damn airplane and walk out of it with that look (you know when you think youv known someone in this or past life).

    Bronx Jeers,
    I almost broke my t.v. after it went blank. All those years watching and they chicken out at the end. Did he die? Did the guy walk right past him? We will never know. Its the to be continued movie without a continue.

  59. Joe Vogel February 11th, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Rich in NJ
    February 11th, 2010 at 7:12 pm
    The Yankees need to find a young player over the next few years who can play both SS and 3B, and hit, so that if A-Rod or Jeter decline too much defensively, or need regular rest to prevent them from wearing down, that player can shoulder some of the load without the Yankees losing too much.
    ———————————————————-
    Agreed as I’ve been saying this all along. I can’t see the current infield remaining intact for more than 2-3 more seasons without Jeter moving to LF and/or Rodriguez going to DH. I don’t envy Cashman when it comes time to convince Jeter that at age 38 he has more value to the Yankees in LF than he does at SS. Of course, this all is dependant upon finding suitable successors at SS and 3B.

    In regards to James Riddle Hoffa, his dismembered corpse has been floating around Sheepshead Bay in an rusty oil-drum for the last 35 years.

  60. Nick in SF February 11th, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    I promise they won’t end LOST Sopranos style.

    The Sopranos ending doesn’t bug me at all now… it was really masterful the way they ratcheted up the tension… Meadow trying to park her car… wild, wacky stuff. It did take some time for it to sink in when it went black… Say goodbye to pop-pop!

  61. S.o.S. February 11th, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    What the hell is wrong with showing Soprano getting whacked?

    He wasnt bigger than the godfather and i believe even he went down(cant remember #3 that well).

  62. m February 11th, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Frank,

    Thanks for that. Sounds like a lot of old players on that Tigers team.

    SoS,

    You snooze, you lose. I figure talk about yo’ boy Peyton would bring you out of the cave. Guess I was wrong.

    Nick in SF,

    Yes, I did see that. Good one.

  63. S.o.S. February 11th, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Have a good night fellas. mel, to be continued….

  64. Bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes February 11th, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Maybe the scouts confused him with Bob Zimmerman.
    ====

    Here is your glove back, thanks for the loan…
    ====

    Chad,

    This blog has gained immeasurably by your inclusion.

    Considering how the internet boards and prospect sites these days have most fans more up to speed on the farm than most beat writers, who have no time to indulge, I think were I an editor in these times I’d groom a guy for the beat by having him start at AA. (Not that newspapers, the ones that still exist, would have a minor-league beat guy, lol, but in an ideal world…)

    Your background gives your reporting a real leg up on other guys who can only make allusions to this or that guy based on hearsay.

    Very enjoyable reading, especially for those of us who are weary of the usual debates and just want to hear about who’s moving up and for ST to start.

  65. champ809 February 11th, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    I think it’s interesting GB7 how drastic your opinions are sometimes from the scouting community….Suttle is just an example.
    I’ve also seen you a number of times on here state that Montero is better defensively than Romine and while he’s improved and improving I’ve never heard or read anyone else with that opinion. In fact Romine is universally recognized as being better RIGHT NOW than Jesus behind the plate.

    Also as I’m sure you know the infields in most minor league stadiums are terrible and the last thing you get from the are true hops.Most scouts and evaluators look past just the naked # of errors when judging the defensive prowess of players particularly in the lower levels of the minors.

    Eduardo Nunez is a case and point as he’s actually a plus defender @ SS with great range and a great,great arm but if you just looked at the error #’s you’d think he was a butcher.

    Agree?

  66. Bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes February 11th, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    S.o.S.
    February 11th, 2010 at 8:52 pm
    What the hell is wrong with showing Soprano getting whacked?
    ====

    Admittedly, I have not followed this discussion, but for one thing, that would effectively kill any kind of a prospective sequel.

  67. Bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes February 11th, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    Nunez just needs to learn to let the game come to him, including the ball. He charges the ball when he shouldn’t, has more time than he thinks he does, etc.

    Growing pains.

    Agree on the talent.

  68. Bronx Born February 11th, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Hey Bod..Good to see you, I know I owe you pix of Luna, we been slammed will take some this weekend.

  69. champ809 February 11th, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Joe Vogel

    I’m just curious buddy but in 2yrs when the Yanks move ‘ol Jeet over to LF where are they going to slide Crawford to?

  70. champ809 February 11th, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    I think that there is a better chance that if Jeter wants to continue to play he’d be a DH kinda like Molitor and sometime of’er

  71. Nick in SF February 11th, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Why show Tony getting whacked if that’s not how the series ended? Heh, some people are still mad that they never said what happened to the Russion in the woods.

    m, glad you caught up. Since I never saw a ‘my bad’ reply, I didn’t know where you were vis-a-vis YOUR cave.

  72. champ809 February 11th, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    I agree Bodhi about Nunez I think he’s always trying to make the spectacular play and rushes some of the easy ones as I think he knows just have gifted he is with the glove.

    If he can learn to slow the game down a lil bit and play within himself he has a chance to be a RH Cano with 20-30sb speed and GG caliber glove.

  73. Bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes February 11th, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    champ809
    February 11th, 2010 at 9:11 pm
    I agree Bodhi about Nunez I think he’s always trying to make the spectacular play and rushes some of the easy ones as I think he knows just have gifted he is with the glove.
    If he can learn to slow the game down a lil bit and play within himself he has a chance to be a RH Cano with 20-30sb speed and GG caliber glove.
    ====

    Cano’s an interesting comparison – they’re both effortless talents, though not really similar hitters. And they both have electrifying defensive ability.

    It’s funny, crossing sports here, but Nunez reminds me a little bit of Mark Sanchez, the Jets rookie QB. Sanchez always thinks he can make the play – that was his rookie hubris because at USC, he was used to not ever giving up on a play and making it work.

    He’s smartened up, and I think he’s shown everyone that he has the cool head to go along with the arm and the feet. Nunez needs to learn a certain humility that he cannot make every play. Being more selective and patient will actually help his confidence in the long run, because he will have become wiser.

    It’d be nice if he’d also take a pitch now and again, lol. I like his aggressiveness, but he needs to understand that hitter’s counts are going to help him get on base.

  74. Joe Vogel February 11th, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Champ809,

    I know Crawford seems to be everybody’s dessert of the month right now, the girl next door that catches your eye. But for all of Crawford’s physical gifts and line drive stroke, I don’t envision him being nearly as productive after 30 as he has been before it. So much of his value is rooted in his fleet-footedness (OF range, SB’s, 3B’s, infield hits). Simply put, when that speed starts to diminish, what will be left? Low double-figure power, .330 OBP due to low BB rate, and an OF arm that only Johnny Damon would be jealous of (slight hyperbole). I just can’t see Cashman falling for such a dish.
    Besides, like it or not, solid defensive teams don’t sport SS nearing the age of 40 (the position simply demands too much range). As omnipotent as we all wish Derek Sanderson Jeter to be, I doubt that he will be able to buck the natural order of things and remain at SS at that age. LF is the only real option (other than retirement), as it will be range that knocks him off SS, thus ruling out CF, 2B, etc.

    Diminishing range and the daily wear and tear of playing IF is ultimately what will ultimately will push Rodriguez to DH. The other obvious spot for him would be 1B but that spot is clearly locked up for the better part of the next decade.

  75. Bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes February 11th, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Hey Bronx,

    No worries, I’ve been something of a stranger on here these days myself, health concerns in the family have most of my focus right now.

    Luna is a beauty – we’d love to see more pictures, of course, and one of these days, we’ll get round to getting an actual digital camera to take better pictures of Alyosha.

    Offseason has become tedious, I’ve frankly lost interest in the same old disputes. ST will be here soon – a breath of fresh air! Then new discussions will be born.

  76. champ809 February 11th, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Interesting comparison with Nunez and Sanchez. Sanchez is the real deal. he’s got a lotta game and I think you can see that he’s got “it”. He’ll win a ring if the Jets can get him a couple of stud WRs and keep building on that defense.

  77. Bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes February 11th, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    I hear you champ.

    I think we also need an every down corner to go with Revis. (Colts game really pointed up our secondary getting exploited).

    Of course, having Jenkins and Leon back will make a dramatic impact on both sides of the ball.

  78. SJ44 February 11th, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Harold Reynolds, who is very tight with Jeter, believes Jeter will retire when he’s not able to play SS at a high level any longer.

    Doesn’t see a position change for him. Similar to Barry Larkin.

    Interesting perspective coming from someone close to Jeter.

  79. Joe Vogel February 11th, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    SJ44
    February 11th, 2010 at 9:28 pm
    Harold Reynolds, who is very tight with Jeter, believes Jeter will retire when he’s not able to play SS at a high level any longer.

    Doesn’t see a position change for him. Similar to Barry Larkin.

    Interesting perspective coming from someone close to Jeter.
    ———————————————————
    I heard that interview, too. It may certainly happen, but when faced with the actual choice of retirement or a position change before Jeter feels like he is through will make for a most difficult choice. My only hope is that if/when it becomes apparent that his value is no longer at its highest at SS and a change is in order, that Cashman and Girardi stand firm and force a choice. That may seem cold, but I’m sure most can remember Bernie Williams last season in CF (2005), when it was obvious that he no longer had anywhere near the range nor the arm to play the position yet the very loyal Torre kept trotting him out there on a daily basis (granted, his alternatives were limited).

  80. DaSaint007 February 11th, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Derek Jeter will NEVER play any other position other than SS. He doesn’t need to.

    A-Rod took the 3B job ONLY because Jeter was entrenched there. If Jeter were unable to consider another position when a BETTER defensive and offensive option were available, what makes anyone think that he’ll move when there’s a LESSER option to take his spot?

    Jeter will retire whenever he thinks that his SS days are over.

    That being said, 10 years of ARod is a long time. Maybe after Tex’s contract expires he moves to 1B, but he’s entrenched for a while. Cano, unless he regresses, and unless the Yankees need pitching help, will be at 2B for years to come.

    The Yankee infield is the most stable segment of this team and will be for years. Get used to it.

  81. Carl February 11th, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    SJ44 February 11th, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Harold Reynolds, who is very tight with Jeter, believes Jeter will retire when he’s not able to play SS at a high level any longer.

    Doesn’t see a position change for him. Similar to Barry Larkin.

    Interesting perspective coming from someone close to Jeter.

    I remember reading Jeter saying he could DH when he couldn’t play short anymore.

    http://tinyurl.com/mky8um

    He also told Harold that he would stop playing when he wasn’t having fun anymore.

  82. champ809 February 11th, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    I’ve always thought that Jeter had that Dimaggio in him where he’ll just walk away when he feels his skills may start slipping. He’s not that type to hang on for 2-3 yrs extra hitting .285 with no power and let that be the way people remember his game.
    I see him being very protective of his image and the perception of it by fans.

  83. gayle February 11th, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Will he Yankees trake the same approach with Alex this year as they ddi last year in terms of making sure that he took the days off during the week in order to make sure his hip stays healthy? I think everyone agreed that those 2 days a week off helped him along with other things he changed ie batting stance. I would hate for all that work he has done to go down the drain by playing him too much and perhaps having issues with the hip again. Him not having to have the second surgery is pretty remarkable.

  84. Bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes February 11th, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Jeter will retire whenever he thinks that his SS days are over.
    ====

    I can’t offer an opinion because I have no idea whether Derek Jeter would be open to changing positions.

    But just as a shot in the dark, I’d say a player of Jeter’s level might have a change of heart, even if he had the intention of retiring.

    I don’t think it would be that easy for Jeter to walk away from playing, if he could still hit at a high level.

  85. Nick in SF February 11th, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    “He also told Harold that he would stop playing when he wasn’t having fun anymore.”

    I think he was referring to when he would get married.

  86. Carl February 11th, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Nick in SF February 11th, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    “He also told Harold that he would stop playing when he wasn’t having fun anymore.”

    I think he was referring to when he would get married.

    haha

  87. champ809 February 11th, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    I doubt that there is anyway that ARod can play 3rd more than 4 more yrs,5 tops. His reflexes and lateral movements will leave him quickly with his body type and unless the Yanks get a vizquel/rey ordonez type glove at SS then the infield D on the right side of the diamond will be brutal in 4-5 yrs.

  88. Joe Vogel February 11th, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    DaSaint,

    I didn’t say anything about Cano or Teixeira moving. Barring injury, I suspect Tex will play at a star-level for the duration of his contract. In Cano’s case, he is one finest 2B in the game both offensively and defensively, he’s only 27, and barring injury he will also likely man 2B for the better part of the next decade.

    My comments are reserved for the left side of the IF. I’m not sure why you are so positive about knowing what Jeter is or is not willing to do for the team in terms of a position change. I agree that a change can only occur once an adequate successor is located and the current state of the Yankee farm system is a bit thin on high-end IF prospects. However, they still have a couple of seasons and there are multiple routes possible for securing successors.

    On a related note, I wonder if Rodriguez’s enhanced size and hip difficulties would have moved him off of SS by now if Jeter already had not?

  89. DaSaint007 February 11th, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    I’ll worry about 4 or 5 years, in 4 or 5 years. If there are 2 to 4 WS Championships in there, I’ll take it.

  90. Pat M. February 11th, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Babe to Lou, Lou to Joe D., Joe D. to The Mick, The Mick to Murcer, Murcer to Randolph, Randolph to Mattingly, Mattingly to Bernie & Bernie to Jeter……Yankee lineage, most impressive

  91. champ809 February 11th, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    The Yanks actually have a # of prospects at the lower levels of the system both 3b and SS that are very intriguing and being that they are 3-4yrs away from knocking on the door the timing may be just right.
    Jimmy Paredes,Brad Suttle,Jose Pirela,Jose Mojica,David Adams,Corban Joseph just to name a few.

  92. Rich in NJ February 11th, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    I don’t even know what I’m having for lunch tomorrow. How do people know what other people will do in three, four, or five years?

  93. Joe Vogel February 11th, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    champ809
    February 11th, 2010 at 9:43 pm
    I’ve always thought that Jeter had that Dimaggio in him where he’ll just walk away when he feels his skills may start slipping. He’s not that type to hang on for 2-3 yrs extra hitting .285 with no power and let that be the way people remember his game.
    I see him being very protective of his image and the perception of it by fans.
    ———————————————
    That may very well be true. The preservation of player image will undoubtedly collide head-on with the competitive desire of a great athlete to continue competing.

    It reminds me of an orthopedic surgeon that I once worked with who suffered from back problems and was no longer able to perform surgery. Unfortunately, as a result he committed suicide as he so self-identified himself with his career and it was taken away from him before he was ready.
    Now, I am in NO WAY saying that Derek Jeter would commit suicide, but what is relevant is that I suspect he does deeply identify himself with his career (SS of the Yankees) to a much greater extent than the average Joe Blow on the street. This is why I believe he may face a painstaking and heart-wrenching choice (Enough of amateur hour psychology).

  94. DaSaint007 February 11th, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Hey Joe,

    It’s not that I don’t think Jeter would move, its that I don’t think he’ll be pressured to move in the next 4 years, because I don’t think anyone will match him defensively and offensively to make it worthwhile to the team to make him move.

    There’s tremendous offense in A-Rod and Tex, maybe Cano and Posada to Montero. Granderson and possibly Crawford?? create tremendous defensive coverage and run producing ability. Jeter’s stats could decline and it not hurt the team. Frankly, I think that’s the plan. If the Team stays defensively above-average, and offensively prolific (and I think the transition is now from power to speed), then his ‘decline’ is manageable.

  95. Rich in NJ February 11th, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    “Harold Reynolds, who is very tight with Jeter, believes Jeter will retire when he’s not able to play SS at a high level any longer.”

    Jeter wasn’t playing SS at a high level in 2007, and according to a recent article, even Torre realized that he may have had to change positions, so Jeter may in fact be the last to know.

  96. Tom Swift February 11th, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Chad, during the course of the season, will you do periodic updates on what’s shaking in the minors? Say, once a month? Your MiLB insights and reporting are much appreciated.

  97. Melkman is in Hotlanta February 11th, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    “Harold Reynolds, who is very tight with Jeter, believes Jeter will retire when he’s not able to play SS at a high level any longer.

    Doesn’t see a position change for him. Similar to Barry Larkin.

    Interesting perspective coming from someone close to Jeter.”

    Did you just use half a container of Pond’s Cold Cream?? Did you overdose on Geritol? Of course Jeter isn’t going to retire. He’s going to play one or two unnecessary seasons just like a washed up boxer fights one too many fights: for the payday.

  98. Rich in NJ February 11th, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    “Did you just use half a container of Pond’s Cold Cream?? Did you overdose on Geritol? ”

    What does that even mean?

  99. Joe Vogel February 11th, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    DaSaint,

    I don’t think his offensive output is what will move him. It will be diminishing range on defense that will facilitate the move. Offensively, I’m guessing he will still be a top-5/10 offensive SS.

  100. Melkman is in Hotlanta February 11th, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Johnny Damon is still available, let’s snap him please 2 years 11.5 million with performance bonuses. Please!!!!

  101. Melkman is in Hotlanta February 11th, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Arod is on the wrong side of 30 and he still has 8 years left. Cashpoor really thinks Arod will produce in his last 4 years?

  102. Rich in NJ February 11th, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    “Arod is on the wrong side of 30 and he still has 8 years left. Cashpoor really thinks Arod will produce in his last 4 years?”

    There you go again. If it was up to Cash, the Yankees never would have re-signed after he opted out.

  103. Bret the Hitman February 11th, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Jeter will has more dignity than he has money. He will retire from the game with grace and his legacy will not be tarnished.

  104. Melkman is in Hotlanta February 11th, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Cashpoor was playing bad cop and Stein was playing good cop.

  105. Carl February 11th, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    # Rich in NJ February 11th, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    “Arod is on the wrong side of 30 and he still has 8 years left. Cashpoor really thinks Arod will produce in his last 4 years?”

    A-Rod went to Hank to get the deal done.

  106. Joe Vogel February 11th, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    The Rodriguez contract negotiations were fascinating.
    How does a 32 y/o 3B publicly opt out of 3 remaining years for $81 million (where the Rangers are paying around $9 million/year), explore the open market, find out the only suitor (Angels) can make an offer that pales in comparison to his current deal, crawl back to his former employer sans his agent whom the employer publicly refuses to deal with, and still get a guaranteed contract for 10 years at MORE money than what he was previously making? Where did his leverage come from?
    This is why Hank Steinbrenner should not be allowed into contract negotiations.

  107. Rich in NJ February 11th, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    “Cashpoor was playing bad cop and Stein was playing good cop.”

    Apparently, you have a rich fantasy life.

  108. Joe Vogel February 11th, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Bret the Hitman
    February 11th, 2010 at 10:21 pm
    Jeter will has more dignity than he has money. He will retire from the game with grace and his legacy will not be tarnished.

    Agreed.

  109. Chad Jennings February 11th, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    One last post on two Hall of Famers calling it quits.

  110. Rich in NJ February 11th, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Carl

    You quoted my name, but not my post.

    What, if anything, did I type that you responding to?

  111. Rich in NJ February 11th, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    I think Jeter can change positions, if necessary, and still retain his dignity.

  112. DT - OPPC member February 11th, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    A state of the Yankees third base post without mention of mule cousin, PED’s, high salary, prima donna, dangling ear buds, general aloofness, and other digs I have long forgotten.

    Yup, PA is gone. ;-)

  113. bru February 11th, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    just on wfan a caller talking about montero working out at 1st base

    summers said the yankees might trade him(pure speculation) but from everything i read & hear there is no way montero will catch

  114. pat February 11th, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    “This is why Hank Steinbrenner should not be allowed into contract negotiations.”

    Hank didn’t spend $275 million without Hal signing off on it too.

  115. Pat M. February 11th, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    Cal Berkley Bears are and will be money in the bank all the way to the Sweet 16

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