Thursday, October 15, 2009

Guzman In, Hinske Out

Via LoHud, Joe Girardi announced that Freddy Guzman will be added to the ALCS roster at the expense of Eric Hinske. They've got the audio and the relevant part can be found around the 2:00 mark.

Joel Sherman (among others) advocated this move yesterday, reasoning that while Hinske does have a solid bat, there are few occasions that he would be used:
The Yanks should stick with Hinske only if they intend to start him vs. Jered Weaver, against whom Hinske is 4-for-11 with a homer lifetime. Hinske could start in left for struggling Johnny Damon (3-for-19 vs. Weaver with no extra-base hits) or as the DH rather than Hideki Matsui (2-for-10 vs. Weaver) or Jorge Posada (2-for-14, but with a homer and double).

My gut, though, tells me Girardi plans to ignore small sample sizes and go with his standard lineup vs. Weaver. In that case, the Yanks should meet Angels' aggression with aggression of their own, and put Guzman on the roster.
We haven't been very big proponents of the Freddy Guzman experiment around here, but we are literally talking about the 25th man on the roster in this case. Hinske didn't leave the dugout except to celebrate during the ALDS, and the presence of Guzman will allow Joe Girardi to start Brett Gardner over Melky Cabrera (which is probably optimal) and still have a pinch runner available on the bench.

It also means that Francisco Cervelli will still be around for the ALCS, creating some interesting possibilities for catching in the later innings. Like we saw in Game 2 against the Twins, when Jose Molina starts, he could be pinch hit for by Jorge Posada, who could later be pinch run for (in this case by Guzman) and replaced by Cervelli for defense. In games Posada starts, the second half of that equation still holds true with Molina being the likely defensive replacement.

Check back in a little while, as Matt will take a closer look at the catching situation for the series.

1 comment:

  1. I think the fatal flaw for Hinske for this series is that both Fuentes and Darren Oliver are lefties.