Posada has been a great hitter in his career, so he’s not oblivious to just how bad a .149 batting average looks on the scoreboard. He knows the impact that sort of production can have on a lineup, and he knows there have been plenty of cries for Joe Girardi to give his at-bats to someone else. Anyone else.
After another 0-for on Friday, Posada sought out his manager.
“I said, ‘Thank you for sticking with me,'” Posada said. “Because if I’m in his shoes, I’d second guess. Do you give him a day or talk to him a little bit? But he’s been very supportive.”
Girardi assured Posada that the support will keep coming.
“He probably swung the bat better in Detroit than anybody there and didn’t have a ton to show for it,” Girardi said. “It is frustrating when you look up there. I told him, ‘Throw them first 70 at-bats away. It’s what you do from here on out. Have quality at-bats. Continue to be productive. Just do what you’re capable of doing. Don’t worry about your average. I’m putting you in there every day because I believe in you, and I believe you’re going to hit. And we’ve seen a ton of progress, so just keep going.’”
At the beginning of the week, Posada seemed to break out of it a little bit with five hits in three days. Now he’s gone three days without a hit.
“You watch the game (Thursday) and I feel like I hit three balls hard and nothing to show for it,” Posada said. “It’s frustrating. It’s really frustrating. You get here and you feel good and (you have the) same approach and try to try to stay positive and it feels like, it’s just very frustrating. That’s all I can say right now.”
Posada said he does not believe the position switch has anything to do with it. He said he’s felt comfortable at the plate lately. He feels healthy. He feels fresh. He has absolutely no explanation for the fact he’s still hitless against left-handed pitchers. In his career, he’s been better against lefties than righties, but he’s 0-for-22 against them this season.
“You have to rely on positives,” Posada said. “And it’s tough to look back and there’s not a whole lot of positive.”
The only positive is that the Yankees have the second-best record in the American League. Winning will buy Posada some time and keep Girardi from being forced into a decision he obviously doesn’t want to make. It’s in the Yankees best interest that Posada gets this turned around, and for now, Girardi will give him the time and the at-bats to do that.
Here’s Posada after last night’s game.
Associated Press photo