CAIRO is the projection system set up by SG, the man behind the curtain over at Replacement Level Yankee Weblog. Since it’s pretty dead out there right now, I figured we could take a look at some bench candidates and how they might project in 2011.
Now to be fair, projecting players who have yet to play in the majors is extremely difficult. In the past I have tried to take a “rolling average” concept to these projections and come up with a ballpark number for each prospect. It’s just too difficult to tell exactly how someone will transition to the major leagues. So keep that in mind as we look ahead.
BRAR- Position adjusted Batting Runs Above Replacement
Much to the chagrin of Yankee fans everywhere, we know Francisco Cervelli and Ramiro Pena will probably make the team out of spring training. In lieu of the Yankees signing another utility player though, this might make the most sense.
Montero would obviously be an upgrade over Cervelli and I don’t think anyone would question that. However it would be smart for the Yankees to see how he looks in spring training and get him some more seasoning in AAA. As for Austin Romine, I don’t think there is any doubt he needs more development time. He should get regular at bats in Scranton to continue his progress.
It’s so very easy to hate on Ramiro Pena because he is so very bad at baseball. However his ability to play SS, 2B and 3B is a skill unmatched at this point by anyone aside from Eduardo Nunez. Is the difference in hitting ability from Eduardo Nunez to Ramiro Pena really big enough to make up for Nunez’s poor defense though? Probably not. And while I’d love to see David Adams in the majors this year, his broken ankle needs to be rehabbed prudently. Had he gone uninjured, he may have seen some AAA time and thus be primed for a stint in the Bronx this year. Obviously that never happened. So it would be best for him to continue to play every day and get healthy. He is a solid defender but doesn’t have the positional utility that Nunez or Pena does. Ultimately I think Adams could be a really nice piece so I hope he continues to develop and can stay healthy.
Russo looked overmatched at the plate in his brief stint in New York but I thought he held his own in the field. I don’t think he’s as bad as he played last season but WOW, is a .470 OPS scary as hell. As for Colin Curtis, I don’t really have a firm grasp on what his role would be with the Yankees. As Mike Axisa broke down, the last two spots on the roster will be filled by one positional player who can play SS (read Nunez/Pena) and the last probably with some ability in the outfield. I agree with Mike that there are probably better options for that last spot on the market.
I think in the best case scenario, Eduardo Nunez and David Adams eventually turn into players the Yankees can depend on off the bench. Nunez would be able to play SS, 2B and 3B and if Adams goes the super utility route, he’ll play 2B, 3B and some outfield. Eventually, Jesus Montero and Austin Romine will take over the catching duties full time for the Yankees, squeezing out Frankie Cervelli and Russell Martin. That’s obviously not a scenario in play for 2011 though. In the future the Yankees should have some nice assets able to compliment their starting 9. In 2010 though, we should expect to see more of Ramiro Pena and Francisco Cervelli.