Because of the Tigers right-handed rotation, the Yankees decided that rookie Jesus Montero would be limited to a bench role in this division, but they still wanted him available. They wanted his bat, and Tuesday night he delivered two hits in his first two postseason at-bats.
“That was a thought in our mind when he came up (in September),” Joe Girardi said. “We could use him off left-handers, and he could provide some big offense. But we had to watch him play. We had to see how he handled the situation. I thought he handled it pretty good.
“I go back to his first start in Boston against Jon Lester, his first AB, bases loaded. That’s a tough situation. I’m not sure what the standings were at that time. That’s a pretty tough situation. His first swing was kind of wild. He swung at a pitch over his head. Then he seemed to really bear down. That game told me something, even though I don’t think he got a base hit that day. But that game told me something about him, that he was able to relax in the moment.”
If the Yankees win tonight, Montero’s role could increase in an ALCS matchup against the Rangers. For now, it’s hard to complain about the guy that’s been getting the DH starts for the Yankees. Jorge Posada has been a productive and reliable hitter, once again showing his value in a season that’s been a struggle.
“We looked at what he had done against right-handers during the course of the season,” Girardi said. “We looked at Jorge’s experience in these type of situations and how he’s been productive. I’m sure it means a lot to him. I know it means a lot to all of us. I’m sure it means a lot to him what he’s done these first four games. We all want it to continue.”
Associated Press photo