Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Burnett To Posada

The past few days, the news around the Yankee camp has been that both A.J. Burnett and Jorge Posada feel that they should work together this season. A.J. Burnett spoke yesterday to the Daily News:

“A lot of stuff was blown out of proportion last year,” Burnett said. “We’ve talked a handful of times already, and we’re just real excited to put that behind us and move on and get better and learn from each other.”

Further, Burnett says he never questioned Jorge and since Jorge “has caught in this league for a long time, and I can do nothing but learn from him, so I’m looking forward to it.” So the plan this year to have Burnett pitch to Posada.

Why?

Really, if Posada is going to catch only around 110 games as Girardi says, why not have him just skip the days Burnett pitches?

Not everybody has chemistry with everybody. It shouldn’t be a big blown-out-of-proportion deal. Last year, with Francisco Cervelli catching, batters batted .204 off of Burnett, with Posada catching, they batted .270.

And this doesn’t only apply to Posada. Burnett has always had catchers he preferred. In 2004, when Burnett pitched to Paul LoDuca, batters hit .183, with Mike Redmond catching, they batted .255.

Just like some batters say they can’t hit certain pitchers for some reason (Don Mattingly once said he couldn’t see the ball well coming from Tom Gordon), or pound an otherwise fantastic pitcher (Mattingly said he felt comfortable facing Randy Johnson), some pitchers work well with some catchers. And it’s not an insult. It’s just the way it is.

In 1998, Jorge Posada was by then, the Yankee’s starting catcher. Except for David Cone. Cone had his personal catcher that season in Joe Girardi. He just felt more comfortable with Girardi. And it showed. In the 30 games Cone pitched, batters hit just .235 off of him. The one game with Posada? They hit .300 off Cone and got 6 runs in 7 innings. The Yankees lost.

1 comment:

Pete S said...

Whatever works for Burnett. He's an emotional pitcher and the last thing the Yankees need is for him to be uncomfortable - that's when he uncorks pitches in the dirt and aims the ball.

Girardi is smart enough to know that if the battery is working, don't change it. If it's not working, mix it up and bring in Cervelli. He knows that the Yanks need Burnett to be effective.