After my article on how important I thought Posada is to the success of the Yankees, I was stunned with his performance yesterday. Jorge made a big splash in his first spring training game by cracking a solo HR on the first pitch he saw that landed deep into the right field bleachers. In his second AB, he scalded a deep drive to center field that the wind caught and knocked down, but it still was a long run scoring double.
Posada went 2-for-2, with a solo homer run and two RBIs. This was with a swing that wasn't there a year ago.
"I couldn't load," said Posada, who underwent right shoulder surgery on July 30. "I had no extension. Righty or lefty, the shoulder was weak and it really messed up my swing. Alex Rodriguez said he has never seen Posada's swing as sweet as it was when he homered and bounced a ball over the center-field fence from the left side. "I told him he must have been playing winter ball in Puerto Rico," Rodriguez said. Girardi said he doesn't know where he will bat Posada, who could fit into the fifth spot behind Rodriguez. All the manager understands is that a healthy Posada would be welcome behind and at the plate.
He still won't attempt to catch a game until the middle of March, but the power he displayed shows a much stronger shoulder than I thought possible at this time.
I do try and watch as many pre-season games as I can as a rule, but too many people get caught up in spring training performance. It's really for the pitchers. Robinson Cano had a monster spring last year and he was so bad that Girardi had to bench him. Spring training is pretty meaningless as it relates to the regular season except for a few players on each team, but one thing that does register is the health of a player.
Was it just adrenaline or a sign of good things to come for Posada? I'm becoming a bit more optimistic...