This will be the first of several posts breaking down the Yankees. I’ll take a look at all positions, but today I’ll start with catcher. Understand this is my take, my opinion, and there certainly will be a variety of opinions out there. Feel free to give your own thoughts in the comments at the end of the article.
The Yankees are in a state of flux behind the plate. The Russell Martin years are over and we are now three years removed from the last time Jorge Posada called the dish his own. On the horizon we have Austin Romine and Gary Sanchez, but they are still “green” and require more seasoning before taking on full-time roles with the big league club. That leaves us with Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart as the most likely to spend time as the team’s backstops.
Cervelli can hit and run. He has already proven his abilities in those categories (.271 average in 490 AB) , and as of right now is the front-runner to be the starting catcher. The problem with Cervelli lies on the defensive side. He has had issues with throwing out runners in the past (only a 20% CS rate). However, last year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre he was able to gun down runners at a 30% rate. Perhaps the 27-year old is coming into his own?
What does the rest of the division have?
Toronto Blue Jays: Behind the plate will be JP Arencibia (.233 avg with 18 HR), Josh Thole (.234) and Henry Blanco (.188 avg in 21 games)
Baltimore Orioles: Matt Wieters (.249/23/89) will continue to hold down the fort as the Orioles’ backstop.
Tampa Bay Rays: Former Yankee Jose Molina (.223 avg), Jose Lobaton (.222) and Chris Gimenez (.260) will all see time for the Rays at catcher.
Boston Red Sox: Jarrod Saltalamacchia (..222 with 25 HR) will continue as the primary backstop for the BoSox.
Here is where I think we stand at catcher:
1. Baltimore (Wieters)
2. Tampa Bay
Tomorrow, we analyze first base. If you like this post, share it. Examining all the positions against the rest of the American League East, you'll be surprised how the Yankees stack up!
--Steve Skinner, BYB Guest Writer
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