December 22, 2005
I've seen some Yankees fans this winter express their desire for the Yankees to sign Free Agent Mike Piazza - in order to serve as a DH (and sometimes back-up catcher) for them in 2006. I don't get it. Check the numbers for Mikey since 2002:
These numbers tell us that Piazza's overall offensive ability is in sharp decline and that his ability to hit right-handed pitching should be in serious question at this point.
OK, so, how about just using him as a DH against left-handed pitching? There's two issues there for me.
First, there were only 16 LH starting pitchers in the AL last year (not including Randy Johnson) who made 25+ starts in 2005. And, six of them stunk last year. Basically, the Yankees should see a "tough" LH starter about once every other series in 2006. So, there's not a huge demand for a "bats only against LH SP as a DH" specialist in the AL.
Secondly, you don't know how Piazza will even hit LHP next year. In 2005, he stunk versus LHP (with an OPS of .806 in those spots). Yes, he did better against LHP in 2004 (with an OPS of .915). But, in 2003 he had trouble with LHP (with an OPS of .839) - albeit in not many chances.
Also, Piazza will be 37-years-old next year. And, his body has seen a lot of abuse. So, he's a very old thirty-seven.
Given the trend on Piazza's ability, and the lack of need for a bats-vs.-LHP-only DH specialist, having the Yankees sign him makes about as much sense as having Victoria's Secret sign Don Knotts to be a bra model.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at December 22, 2005 01:32 PM
Hardball Times shows that Knotts' Cleavage Zone Rates are surpisingly high. I say Victoria's Secret should go for it!
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at December 22, 2005 02:14 PM
Last year, Piazza'a OPS was .778. That's not great, but it beats Bernie's .688.
The current Yankee of using Bernie as DH makes as much sense as Victoria's Secret using Don Knotts as a bra.