“For sure, something was wrong with my swing right-handed. I can still hit left-handed, there’s no question about it. I feel like I can. I felt like, toward the end, I wasn’t given a chance to do it to come out of the slump right-handed, but I felt good left-handed all year.”
Now, take a look at this chart:
This chart illustrates Jorge's lefty and righty splits for each season. The measurement used is weighted on-base percentage (wOBA). The wOBA values in the chart contains 2 adjustments:
- Since major league hitting was higher in most of Jorge's career than in his last couple of seasons, wOBA is adjusted to the 2011 AL run-scoring environment.
- Since the new Yankee Stadium is friendlier to run-scoring than the old, wOBA is adjusted to neutralize this consideration.
The flaw with all these judgements has been this: in 2011 Posada had only 71 right-handed plate appearances (PAs). In other words, all these pronouncements were based on ridiculously small sample sizes. 71 appearances represents about 2.5 weeks worth of games; and these judgements have been proliferating since May, when Jorge had in the range of 25-30 plate appearances. Horrendous streaks over a period of 71 PAs routinely happen; thus sound baseball analysis has to view this as a slump, as Jorge mentioned, and nothing more than that.
Since Posada has retired, we'll never know with certainty whether his righty hitting would have bounced back in 2012. But since Jorge referred to this angle in his press conference, it seems worthwhile to back up his point.