I had a long post ready to go Tuesday night, but then lost it when my computer had an auto restart and for some reason I was not able to recover it. I will summarize what I saw for the last few games rather than get into the detail of the game (usual):
Montero: The guy has great power the other way; this much is pretty clear. However, the difference between the minor league pitchers and the major leagues is the consistency of the better quality pitches. This also means that pitchers at the major league level will be able to throw inside more often. I would imagine that I would pitch Montero like they pitch against ARod; fastballs inside and breaking stuff away. This is a great compliment, but Montero has a natural swing to RC (a little like Jeter but with much more power) and will need to show he can turn on the inside pitch even if it is where he once in awhile guesses and swings very early. He is going to have to keep the pitchers honest. Last night he was jammed with a fastball inside and if I were pitching him that is where I would target. The kid is 21 and has great ability to work with. Of course, the question will be where he will play. I think Cervelli has been hitting a little better of late, but I am not a fan of his defense (his throwing skills have been pretty bad). Cervelli may make for a good trade and then Montero could be the DH and backup catcher and we can see what he can do defensively. Obviously, his value as a catcher is much greater so if we can get that offense from the position it gives us a great advantage, but he can’t be a liability behind the plate. I believe Posada in his prime was such an advantage for us; hopefully Montero can be what Posada was (even if more power and less OBP).
Nova is clearly a better option than Hughes and Burnett and in my opinion; I would rather see Noesi start than Burnett or Hughes. Burnett doesn’t have any upside and this is why I was in favor of giving him away at the trade deadline for nothing or paying most of his deal and getting something of a prospect, but just removing him. Hughes, at least, is young and has some upside, but his lack of command drives me nuts. OK, so maybe he can’t throw 95, but at least throw 92 and hit your spots. His curve is fine, but he needs to develop at least one other pitch and he has not been able to (just as AJ hasn’t). They are actually similar in some ways in that they each miss spots on a regular basis and because of that they are hard to trust.
Nunez will only get better, but right now he is simply awful in the field; his poor play led to the loss in last night’s game.
It was a shame the Yankees had to play the game Tuesday night/morning. But I was glad to see Girardi give our guys a rest in the Wednesday game and go with most of the young guys. Unfortunately, as usual, Girardi shows his lack of consistency by getting all the regulars back in the lineup except for Jeter. After ending the previous game after 2 am, why even play the starters; give them a day off and I mean a FULL day off because if you get loose and then get in, you did not have a day of rest. A full day off is that you stretch a little, but you know you are not going to go in and that is very different than you could play if needed. While the latter is the usual, a full day rest is what is needed at times. So while Girardi plays against Boston and acts as if the games don’t really matter, he unloads 4 starters late in the last night’s game to try and win the game. Now, I am not saying you shouldn’t try and win the game, but the argument supporting Girardi is that he is always looking long term…until he actually isn’t. Again, he is so inconsistent in his approach it drives me nuts.
Brandon Laird - I said this before, but the guy is not a major league player.
Dickerson/Golson – I said this before as well, I think he and even a guy like Golson have a place on a roster to help with running and defense. Dickerson actually is a fine 4th or 5th OF and Golson is a specialist. On the Yankees, I think specialists are valuable because he could be an excellent pinch runner (instead of a good one like Dickerson) and Golson can be an excellent defender (instead of a good one like Dickerson)…the trade off is that Dickerson is a reasonable hitter and Golson is not a good hitter at all. My opinion is that a guy like Golson would be valuable on the postseason roster or even regular season because he is a specialist at two areas that could be used every game at some point.
ARod looked stiff again at 3rd base and missed a hard hit ball, but one would expect to make it usually.
Granderson got a few hits in last night’s game after he was brought in so I want to say this now so it doesn’t look like a Monday morning QB. I think Granderson should slightly back off the plate. George Brett once said that when people slump they tend to get closer to the plate and you have to back off usually. I see this with Granderson as it appears to me he is a few inches closer and it has made it so that he can only pull the inside pitch foul (if he gets good wood on it). Brett’s advice seems to make sense to me with Granderson.
Last comment, I know this goes on with all teams, but I think the Yankees don’t run down to 1st base hard enough. This has been going on all year and while it usually doesn’t make a difference, why not run hard all the time for that one time it does make a difference? This is not to pick on Swisher because I could call out every Yankee, but he hit a ball that was bobbled and if he ran hard all the way he could have beaten it out. If the Mets Timo Perez World Series blunder didn’t teach a lesson, I am not sure what else can?