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Do Yankees really think Miranda can be the DH?

Dec 14, 2009, 2:56 PM EDT

Yesterday general manager Brian Cashman “cut off a question about not having a designated hitter” and insisted that “Juan Miranda can be a DH,” which is noteworthy following this afternoon’s news that Hideki Matsui is close to signing with the Angels.
“I don’t want to over-sell anybody, but I think Juan Miranda will do a nice job against right-handed pitching if that’s what we have to do,” Cashman said. “Is that the right way to go? I think the market will dictate that.”
I’d certainly bet against the Yankees trusting a 27-year-old, largely unknown career minor leaguer as their primary DH, but regardless of the likelihood could Miranda actually do the job? He’s hit .280/.366/.474 in three minor-league seasons, including .288/.375/.476 in 221 games at Triple-A, which while solid certainly doesn’t suggest outstanding production in the majors.
Based on those numbers Baseball Think Factory projects Miranda to hit just .246/.317/.391 in 2010. Cashman noted that the Yankees would platoon Miranda, which would certainly benefit the left-handed hitter and make him likely to top that projection, but his track record just doesn’t show enough power or plate discipline to believe that he should be a legitimate DH option for a team like New York.

  1. JBerardi - Dec 14, 2009 at 3:28 PM

    “Juan Miranda can be a DH,”
    Tim Lincecum can be a DH too, technically. And in fact, he and Miranda have roughly equal odds of landing that job for the Yankees.

  2. Bryz - Dec 14, 2009 at 3:40 PM

    The Yankees probably view Miranda as their 2010 DH, but I bet they have their eyes on at least 3 other players as well.

  3. Matthew Pouliot - Dec 14, 2009 at 3:49 PM

    Miranda played everyday in Triple-A. In the majors, 85-90 percent of his at-bats would come against righties. He hit .332/.439/.534 against righties in 2008 and .286/.369/.492 last season (he was actually just as good versus southpaws in 2009).
    Like Aaron, I don’t believe there’s much chance of the Yankees turning to him. But a team could do worse that a Miranda-Shelley Duncan platoon at DH.
    And, yeah, I know Duncan is gone.

  4. Shaun P. - Dec 14, 2009 at 4:31 PM

    Note too that Miranda’s home park in AAA is something of a pitcher’s park, which may be holding his numbers down a bit, and of course Yankee Stadium 2.0 is no such thing. Clay Davenport’s regular translation says that Miranda’s .290/.369/.498 line in AAA in 2009 would have translated to a .273/.351/.491 line in MLB with 22 HR. That’ll work just fine for a DH, especially if he’s part of a platoon.
    If the Yanks still want a LF and are serious about not increasing payroll over 2009, then Miranda may well be their DH.

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