Monday, June 06, 2005

Stack 'Em Up

League Average: .245 .307 .369 .676
Brian Schneider: .229 .300 .354 .654
Gary Bennett: .266 .300 .391 .697
Bennett is playing over his head. His career OPS is just .647, and he's 33 years old. But, Schneider is playing under his. By the end of the year, their numbers will have probably reversed.

Either way, when you factor in Schneider's defense, it's an above-average platoon.

                  AVE  OBP  SLG  OPS
FIRST BASE .284 .367 .480 .847
Nick Johnson: .333 .448 .530 .978
There are two things to take from this.
1) Nick Johnson is a freakin' stud.
2) First Base is a pretty crappy position in the National League.

                  AVE  OBP  SLG  OPS
SECOND BASE .282 .349 .419 .768
Jose Vidro: .290 .365 .510 .875
Jamey Caroll: .240 .312 .280 .592
The wheels have come off the Jamey Caroll bandwagon. The slap-hitting supersub ain't so super when starting so often. He hasn't hit a homerun since 2003, and has just four extra-base hits.

His best role, is as late-inning hitter when you need a baserunner, or as Jose Vidro's glove.

And with Jose's ankle injury, he'll need an extra-large glove.

                  AVE  OBP  SLG  OPS
SHORTSTOP .261 .312 .377 .689
Cristian Guzman: .193 .232 .240 .472

                  AVE  OBP  SLG  OPS
THIRD BASE .276 .355 .448 .803
Vinny Castilla: .281 .355 .438 .793
Despite his frequent tears, he's still just a league-average third basemen. His problem is that he hasn't been too consistent. He's as likely to get on four times in a game as he is in taking an 0-fer.

                  AVE  OBP  SLG  OPS
LEFT FIELD .274 .349 .460 .809
Ryan Church: .319 .359 .496 .855
Marlon Byrd: .321 .391 .377 .788
Could anyone please tell me why we'd need Preston Wilson or anyone else? We've got an above-average left field platoon for about the league minimum.

And now, with Clint Barmes' injury, Church becomes the heavy favorite for NL Rookie of the Year.

Let the man play, Frank. Let the man play!

                  AVE  OBP  SLG  OPS
CENTER FIELD .275 .343 .445 .778
Brad Wilkerson: .281 .359 .453 .802
His defense has been surprisingly good in center. While he's not Andruw Jones out there, I'm pretty comfortably saying he's at least league average with the glove, if not slightly better.

The only thing I've noticed giving him a problem is on balls hit to deep to right-center. For some reason he doesn't seem to get as good a read on that ball.

Otherwise, despite his slump, and recent injury, he's been excellent.

                  AVE  OBP  SLG  OPS
RIGHT FIELD .264 .347 .455 .802
Jose Guillen: .295 .330 .507 .837
His numbers with RISP have stunk, but he's shown signs of coming out of that in the last week or so. He's going to have to continue to put up these kinds of numbers, and continue his role as the team's lone true homer threat.

We're getting average to above-average production at every position on the diamond, save two: shortstop and second.

Yet, when Bowden goes on these rants about wanting to acquire more players, it's always outfielders that are mentioned.

Well, where are they going to play? None of the names being bandied about are world beaters. They're has-beens and never-weres like Preston Wilson. And, even without factoring his bloated, Ted-Kennedy's-head sized salary, Church and Byrd are more effective.

The only two spots this team can upgrade are second, which if Vidro ever heals, will be upgraded, and shortstop. I've written before why Shortstop won't get upgraded this year, especially because Guzman has shown signs of turning the corner.

Now, Bowden really needs to do something in the short term for second base. Vidro's not back til mid-July at the earliest. And another month of constant playing time for Carroll aint' what the doctor ordered.

Obviously D'Angelo Jimenez is a possibility. But, he carries a ton of baggage, including fights with teamates. There are also players like Junior Spivey, who could be quick stopgap solutions, before sliding to the bench when Vidro's back. (I've given up pimping for Brendan Harris. If his excellent results when up last month weren't enough to convince the team that he's a possibility, then there's little hope for them.)

But, other than those two spots, we are, to paraphrase Don Rumsfeld, going to war with the army we've got.

Ours may not be the efficient fighting force [insert glowing rhetoric about nobility, honor, patriotism], but they're a scrappy bunch who's surprising the hell out of a lot of people.

It's too bad that this army's general doesn't realize where he's outmanned.


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