Thursday, April 12, 2007

Fact Checking Manny

In Svrlgblg, Barry passes along Manny Acta's response on why he hasn't moved Ron Belliard to the #2 spot, putting the overmatched Kory Casto lower in the lineup where there's likely less pressure.
I asked Acta yesterday, in fact (should've been in DMTP) about whether he thought about moving Belliard to second and moving Casto down. He said: "Belliard has never been a top-of-the-lineup guy," and pointed out that even in winter ball in the Dominican he wasn't used that way. Interesting.

Doesn't this reek of the old Jamey Carroll line: "He can't play regularly because he's never played regularly?" (That was mocked beautifully by OMG, but it's long gone to the ether of teh Internets. This should be it, but it doesn't seem to be working for me)

At any rate, Manny needs to do a bit more research, and spending a little less time contemplating his facial hair. Here're Belliard's career splits:
Batting #1: 303 games, 1,423 Plate Appearances
Batting #2: 176 games, 795 Plate Appearances.

He has more PAs at those positions than at any other.

Now there are some valid reasons for why you wouldn't want Ronnie Belliard batting so high. Namely, at this point, he's shown little plate patience, and his hot streak has entirely been fueled by hits. So moving him up is almost certain to correspond with a cooling down period, unless you believe that he's going to hit .400 for the rest of the year.

The defense to that, of course, is that anything would be an upgrade over the man he's replacing.

Manny's said a few strange things over the last few days, including giving Robert Fick a start at first over Dmitri Young based on an 8 AB sample. I don't know if these are things he really believes, or just explanations he's giving for routine decisions because he feels he needs to give the press something. I really hope it's the latter.

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