Managing Jorge Posada's ego

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Joe Girardi, trying to manage Jorge Posada’s feelings over getting benched in favor of Jose Molina:

Yankees manager Joe Girardi had the conversation with Jorge Posada on Sunday, a talk similar to one he had with Joe Torre when Posada was about to cut into Girardi’s time behind the plate.

Girardi didn’t like it, and he didn’t expect Posada to be excited about light-hitting Jose Molina catching A.J. Burnett in the postseason.

“When I played here, we split guys during the playoffs,” Girardi said Thursday. “Of course, you want to play every day. I wouldn’t want a catcher who didn’t want to play every day. That would bother me inside if the guy didn’t want to play every day.”

Given that Posada was the better choice behind the plate both in 1999 and today, I don’t know how this is supposed to make Posada feel any better.

That aside, I think this is more or less a non-story. People really want Posada to fly off the handle I suppose. It would certainly make for some great theater. But (a) Posada just does not seem to be wired like that; and (b) I’d be shocked if Girardi didn’t have a closed door meeting with Posada in which he told him “look, Burnett is a head case and I need to manage his head. I know this is going to chafe your ego a bit, but please do whatever you can to keep cool, OK?”

Maybe it would be different if the Yankees were down 1-0 instead of up, but the most we’re going to ever get out of this are the sorts of “hey, I always want to play” quotes from Posada like we see in the linked article.

Mets to move Matt Harvey to the bullpen

Matt Harvey
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Mets right-hander Matt Harvey is heading to the bullpen, according to comments made by club manager Mickey Callaway on Saturday. As predicted, Harvey doesn’t appear to be taking the news particularly well, going so far as to tell Callaway that the decision has him “at a 10 with being pissed off” and that he’s motivated to prove himself as a starter.

It’s been rough going for Harvey this spring. After missing significant time to a shoulder injury last season, the 29-year-old righty returned to the mound with a lot left to prove. He pitched to an 0-2 record in four starts, issuing 14 runs, four home runs and 17 strikeouts in 21 innings. It’s been a while since the Mets have seen anything better out of their starter — he hasn’t turned in a sub-4.00 ERA since 2015 and hasn’t pitched well enough to earn an All-Star berth since 2013 — and now it appears they’re at the end of their rope.

At this point, the Mets insist that the shift is a temporary one. While Callaway has helped successfully convert several starters to the bullpen, including Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco, that’s not the plan for this veteran right-hander. Instead, both the team and Harvey seem to view the change as a way to clear up any mental blocks Harvey may be encountering on the mound. “We know he’s healthy,” assistant GM John Ricco told reporters. “He’s feeling good. Then you get to, is this a little bit of a mental thing, a confidence thing? One of the things we talk about is getting him into the ‘pen, where he can have success in short spurts, get that confidence back and really let it go and get back to being a guy who can dominate the way he’s shown in the past.”

Harvey will be eligible to pitch out of the bullpen on Tuesday, when the Mets are scheduled to kick off their next road series against the Cardinals. As for his replacement, left-hander Jason Vargas will resume his role in the rotation when he comes off the disabled list next Saturday.