Don’t count Jorge Posada out of the Yankees postseason plans just yet. For most of the past month, Posada was little more than a spectator, but he’s taken advantage of his limited opportunities lately. It’s clear that the Yankees see Jesus Montero as their designated hitter against lefties, but Posada, Montero and Eric Chavez could all factor into the discussion against right-handers.
“This is a guy that has a lot of experience in the postseason, so this could be a good postseason for Jorge,” Joe Girardi said. “I don’t doubt that. If you look at his right/left-handed splits, he’s swung the bat pretty well against right-handers this year.”
It’s true. Despite his ugly overall numbers, Posada is hitting .277/.353/.480 against right-handers. All four of Montero’s home runs have come off righties, but it was Posada who pinch hit for Montero against a right-hander five days ago and got the game-winning hit that beat the Rays. Plus, there’s probably something to be said for Posada’s postseason experience.
“Leading into the playoffs, it feels good that you’re swinging the bat well,” Posada said. “… I just hope that I have a chance to be on (the roster).”
Girardi’s left little doubt that he plans to carry Posada, but Girardi has cut Posada’s playing time significantly. Posada’s made the most of limit at-bats.
Since September 3, Posada is hitting .300 with two home runs and five RBI in eight games. It’s a tiny sample size, but it’s almost the entire month of September for Posada who became a barely used, part-time player. His recent numbers are better than Chavez’s, and Posada’s splits against righties are also better. His home run on Sunday, and the curtain call that followed, were reminders that he could still have an impact in what seemed to be a lost season.
“He’s been swinging the bat pretty well,” Derek Jeter said. “Fans here are outstanding. They appreciate not only everything he’s done in the past, but everything he’s done this year.”
Here’s Posada speaking between games yesterday.
Associated Press photo