Monday, July 18, 2005

This Just In: Guzman Stinks

The news that Cristian Guzman would stink on ice isn't new. But what is new is that the team (or at least their manager) is finally grumbling that he might need to do something about it.

Guzman wins another Lame Duck for his sheer incompetence with the bat. He only went 0-2, because Frank finally, and smartly, pinch hit for him late in the game.

But because this is Guzman, he managed to make three outs in those two ABs, thanks to ANOTHER double play. Despite hitting at the bottom of the order, he's tied for 20th in double plays. That's just brutal.

What can be done though?

  • Frank's flirting with the idea of playing Jamey Carroll. While Jamey Carroll is an upgrade over Cristian Guzman, it's a bit like choosing lethal injection over the electric chair.

    He's hitting just .249/ .311/ .280, which would make Carroll one of the worst regulars in the league. Remember, this is a player who by virtue of playing brutal offensive second base, forced Jim Bowden to trade a starting pitcher for a stopgap second baseman.

    Carroll's not the answer at short.

  • The minor leagues are, in theory, a possibility.

    One problem, there aren't any major league quality shortstops at Triple-A.

    Rick Short has nominanly been a shortstop, but he's been logging most of his time at first base and DH this season. Part of the reason that he's never had a sniff of the majors before this season is the perception that he's not a good fielder.

  • A Trade

    Well, for who? There aren't a ton of shortstops floating around. That's why the good ones *coughTejadacough* are so valuable.

    One name, as a possibility, is Deivi Cruz. He's playing second for the Giants, because Omar Vizquel has short covered, but has traditionally played short. No one will confuse him for Tejada with the glove, or with the bat, but he'd be a pretty substantial upgrade over Guzman: .286/ .309/ .429. His offensive profile also matches up with the park -- he's a definite line-drive hitter and has put up some great doubles numbers (As many as 46)

    He's not very good defensively, but when he's having a good offensive season, as he is this year, he's close to league-average for a short stop.

    That's not to say that I think that he's an answer. It's just that there ARE some possibilities out there.

  • Regardless of what happens, Guzman isn't happy, "Everybody knows I'm an everyday player," Guzman said. "I know I'm not a bench player."

    On one respect, this quote infuriates me. How can someone be so self-unaware? He's the worst regular player in the league, BY A MILE.

    But, in another respect, it's a good sign. He's fighting, and he still thinks he's capable of starting. He hasn't given up.

    But if the team is really serious about moving forward in the pennant race, you can't worry about bruising anyone's egos. You need to do what's best for this team.

    And getting Guzman out of the lineup, or pinch hitting for him at EVERY opportunity, are what's best.


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