Sometimes I wonder if the Yankees really want to win or not. Sometimes their decisions don't make any sense. And sometimes, fans like me get a little frustrated.
When it comes to the catching situation, I have been a flip-flopper - I admit it. But when I finally became at peace with what the Yankees decided (so I thought) to do, they switched it up on me.
And this time, I don't understand it.
Everyone knows that the AL East is the toughest division in baseball. The already-dominant teams have made vast improvements this offseason. The division title may come down to one game. It makes sense for all teams to put their best players out there and have the strongest roster possible, does it not?
Well apparently, this doesn't make sense for the Yankees.
All Spring Training long, fans and the media alike have been focusing on the backup catcher battle. Once Francisco Cervelli had another stroke of bad luck and broke his foot, he was out of the mix - leaving Jesus Montero as the front runner for the job. Like all of the catching candidates, Montero has not had a spectacular spring. His batting average is hovering below the Mendoza line in his limited playing time, but he has shown sparks of brilliance in his few at-bats.
Austin Romine has struggled at the plate as well. The Yankees considered him in the mix for the backup spot as well, and I never thought that made sense. Romine was only in Double-A last season and had worse stats than Montero, who played in Triple-A. To me, it was obvious that Montero should be considered over Romine.
I didn't even think they would consider anyone else. But all of a sudden, Gustavo Molina and his .067 batting average is the front runner for that backup spot.
It's so frustrating! Gustavo Molina...no he's not one of the catching Molina brothers, so he's obviously not good. Well that's a little unfair...I need to be logical here.
Since I never heard of Molina until a few days ago, I looked up his stats. He has played 23 games in the Majors over three years, and hit at a startling clip of .122. Wow. Hey, at least it's double what his spring average is.
Joe Girardi likes the fact that Molina has had Major League experience, though so minimal. He feels that it is silly to use Montero, because when Francisco Cervelli returns, he will have to send him back down to Triple-A. He doesn't want to disrupt Montero's rhythm as an everyday player or stunt his baseball development.
So instead of going with the phenom who has the potential to be an offensive superstar and has improved his defense, the Yankees would rather go with the player with no potential. Talk about logic...
I don't understand where this decision came from. I remember earlier in the spring, Girardi said he didn't think it was a big deal if Montero was backup. He said he can grow and learn just by observing - he doesn't have to play every day. And now he has completely flip-flopped.
If they would just give Montero a chance in the Bigs...maybe they wouldn't even want to send him back down. This decision just pains me so much. Am I ever going to see Jesus Montero play in a Yankees uniform?
Apparently not for some time.
Gustavo Molina over Jesus Montero. .122 career average over superstar potential. Frustrated fans over excited ones.
Which would you rather have?
by Virginia Califano
Questions? Comments? Contact Virginia at firstname.lastname@example.org