Remember back in August when Joe Girardi benching Jorge Posada as the Yankees’ starting designated hitter was a big story?
Posada ended up starting just 12 of the Yankees’ final 45 games at DH (plus a couple starts at first base), but Girardi announced that he’ll turn back to Posada as the starting DH for the ALDS against the Tigers.
Girardi technically announced that Posada would be the DH versus right-handed pitchers, but the Tigers’ playoff rotation won’t feature any left-handers. All of which means Jesus Montero will begin his postseason career as a bench bat despite hitting .328 with a .996 OPS in his 18-game debut.
Posada was a mess against lefties this season, going 6-for-65 (.092) with zero homers, but he can still get the job done against righties, batting .269 with 14 homers and an .814 OPS in 316 plate appearances.
When Cardinals starter Carlos Martínez returns from the disabled list, likely some time next week, he will pitch out of the bullpen, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Martínez has been on the disabled list since late July with a strained right shoulder. The plan is still for Martínez to start in 2019 and beyond.
GM John Mozeliak said, “If you’re going to go down that starting path and you’re starting at ground zero, the likelihood of him being back would be sometime in mid-September. And we’ve done that twice this year and ended up in the same place after a few starts.”
Martínez, 26, has a 3.41 ERA and a 98/49 K/BB ratio in 100 1/3 innings across 18 starts this season. The Cardinals’ rotation currently features Miles Mikolas, Jack Flaherty, John Gant, Luke Weaver, and Austin Gomber.
The Cardinals entered play Monday 2.5 games out of the second Wild Card slot in the National League, so adding Martínez to the bullpen — or, subtracting him from the rotation, depending on how you look at it — could make a significant impact on the club’s playoff chances.