“It’s been a long time,” Posada said. “Obviously your setup and stuff, and (what to do) when the ball gets to the zone, you remember all that stuff. It’s not going to go away.”
This afternoon, Posada started at first base for the Yankees. He started a double play when he snagged a line drive — “Self defense,” he said — and he picked a ball out of the dirt when Ramiro Pena made an off-target throw. He was solid.
“It’s very different,” he said. “It’s a process, especially with guys on base and balls hit in the outfield and stuff, where you have to be. Doubles, where you have to be. All that stuff. It doesn’t come instinctively – or whatever that word is – to me.”
The Yankees aren’t likely to need Posada at first base very often this season, if they need him there at all. Mark Teixeira doesn’t take many days off, Nick Swisher can play the position, and the Yankees are likely to carry a reserve who specifically plays the infield corners. Giving Posada some time at first just adds to the comfort level and gives the Yankees that option.
Also, the fact he played first base before he caught this spring is a clear indication that Posada really isn’t an everyday catcher any more.
“I’m clear with what’s going on,” he said. “I understand what’s going on, and I’m looking forward to DHing. I really am. I want to have a good year, and think of all the positives that I can contribute. I really want to concentrate on that. The team wants me to be a DH, I have to be a DH.”
Associated Press photo