That’s An Interesting Thought

I wonder who’s had it before….

Oh, that’s right: ME!

In case you don’t have access to ESPN’s Insider, allow myself* to introduce …. myself:

We start with a headline: “Yankees should shift Jeter to CF”

Yes, yes they should.  Why?  First, he’s not a good shortstop anymore:

While there are arguments over the accuracy and effectiveness of different contemporary defensive metrics, they are nearly unanimous on The Captain’s limitations.

Second, the Yankees have a GLARING need in CF, and Jeter would be good there:

For all his defensive warts, Jeter has a strong arm and has always earned praise for his ability to track bloopers and pop-ups. These skills should both translate in center field. And simply by providing his usual dose of high OBP, he’d be a much better option than running Melky Cabrera out to center for 117 games, which the Yankees did last year.

Third, they could get much better at SS:

Crying over last year’s spilled Melky won’t help them catch up to the Rays and Red Sox, but signing Orlando Cabrera would provide the team with a useful-enough hitter, and a slick-fielding asset at short could make a small but important difference to a bad defensive ballclub. Last season’s Yankees ranked 25th in the major leagues in defensive efficiency (their ability to convert balls in play into outs) and park-adjusted defensive efficiency, and no positions see more chances than the middle infield.


I watched Yankee games last year when balls were hit up the middle, and just bounced right by Jeter.  I could see it myself and I’m no expert.  And before you get all “Gold Glove!  Gold Glove!” on me, allow me to please remind you that the Gold Glove is a meaningless award that was once given to Rafael Palmeiro in a season where he was primarily a DH and played a whopping total of 25 games at the position (1B) he was awarded the Gold Glove for, over much better options, like Tino Martinez.  Jeter’s range at SS is terrible.  The Yankees could be so much better if he moved.  At this point, I think it might be too late to move A-Rod back to SS, not that he’s so spry anymore either, but there are plenty of options, like the aforementioned Orlando Cabrera.

Man, this makes so much sense, it’s almost surely going to be ignored.  Damn.


* Please don’t jump on me for the intentional use of the Untriggered Reflexive, it’s a joke and a movie reference.  If you don’t get it, you’re worse off than me.


2 responses to “That’s An Interesting Thought

  1. PECOTA thinks that the ’09 Yankees are going to only be about 20 runs better than the ’08 Yankees offensively. Which kind of makes sense if you believe that ’08 Abreu + ’08 Giambi is equal to ’09 Tex + ’09 Swisher and you get more starts out of Posada, who won’t redo 2007 but will certainly be an upgrade over ’08 Molina + ’08 Pudge.

    The pitching might not be much better either. If Burnett ’09 = Pettitte ’08 and Sabathia ’09 = Mussina ’08, then the only real addition to the pitching staff is an extra half season of Wang and an upgrade at the end of the rotation in Petttite as the 4th or 5th starter. And then there’s the risk of AJ melting under the NY limelight, which shouldn’t be discounted.

  2. PECOTA seems a little low, but I do agree that the Yankee offense is likely not going to score 900 runs. However, PECOTA is assuming a huge dropoff from ARod (they have Arod at 46 VORP), which is unwarranted in my opinion.

    They also seem to not account for a bounceback season by Cano, greater production by Matsui (he missed most of last year), and Swisher playing the outfield instead of 1B, which is the most likely outcome.

    Regarding pitching they have the Yankees #1, probably because of the innings they’ll get out of the top pitchers, especially Sabathia, and amazing depth. Mussina had a great year but Sabathia projects to pitch at least 30 more innings this year.

    Jeter to CF may have been a good idea 5 years ago, but he’s too old to make the transition.

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