Ken Davidoff's baseball insider

Yankees, Mets, trade rumors, free agents, off-the-wall predictions and other MLB musings.

Jose Molina will catch A.J. Burnett

Jorge Posada gave it up here at the Stadium. He clearly isn't happy with the decision, but he knows better than to stir up too much trouble at this time of year.

This was, ultimately, necessary. Burnett needs more hand-holding than your average pitcher, and Molina is clearly a better Pitcher Whisperer, if you will, than Posada. The offense will suffer, but Posada will just pinch hit for Molina late in the game, if it's close. Or, the Yankees will carry Francisco Cervelli on the roster, DH Posada and have Hideki Matsui on the bench.

We probably won't get much more information today, given that the Yankees still don't know their opponent. But we'll keep you posted here, and check out our expanded Yankees blog, which Anthony Rieber is running today with his usual brand of snarky insight.

UPDATE, 3:01 p.m.: Check out this Detroit Free Press story in which Jim Leyland behaves like a complete and utter donkey's rear end. If he didn't want to discuss the Miguel Cabrera matter, he could've said, "I understand why you're asking, but I'm not going to comment." But to dismiss the whole matter as "gossip"? That's offensive on about eight different levels.

UPDATE, 4:56 p.m.: Well, so much for the "no more info." Joe Girardi decided to play nice and shared plenty:

--The Yankees will choose "Series A," so Game 1 will be tomorrow, as expected.

--A.J. Burnett will start Game 2 and Andy Pettitte Game 3. Makes sense, based on how good Burnett has looked lately and Pettitte's late-season shoulder fatigue.

--Brian Bruney, Sergio Mitre and Ramon Pena are out of the roster mix. They're going to Tampa to stay in shape for potential future spots in future rounds. Girardi said that roster spots are all but guaranteed for the three starters, Mariano Rivera, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson and Alfredo Aceves.

The Yankees would likely need two lefty relievers against the Twins and just one against the Tigers, so it appears to be a matter of Freddy Guzman (against the Tigers) vs. Damaso Marte (against the Twins), as Tyler Kepner tweeted.

--The Marlins are bringing back Fredi Gonzalez as manager, which limits Bobby Valentine's options to, let's say, the Indians, Astros, Nationals and Yokohama BayStars.

--The Cubs' sale was finally completed, which means I will officially no longer have a conflict of interest when writing about them. Tribune retained three percent of Newsday following the sale to Cablevision.

UPDATE, 10:35 p.m.: Wow! I had to follow the last few innings on my Blackberry, due to a dinner commitment. Just watched the highlights on ESPNEWS. Just amazing. We'll discuss it more in the morning, but I think the Twins can give the Yankees a series.

One unrelated update: After seeing on that Yankees director of professional scouting Billy Eppler was rumored to be a candidate for the Padres' GM opening, I asked Brian Cashman whether he had received a request from the Padres to interview Eppler. "I have not," Cashman wrote in an e-mail.

And for you early risers, I'll be on "Good Day New York" at 6:50 tomorrow morning, live from Yankee Stadium.



Tags: A.J. Burnett , Jorge Posada , Jose Molina

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