Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I've Already Used Elementary And Watson In A Post Title

Brandon Watson's call-up is likely a short-term solution with Robert Fick on the bereavement list, but it's interesting in that with the team souring on Nook Logan and Alex Escobar's most recent injury, he'd likely be the next OFer called up.

Manny Acta has said that he'll give Watson time in CF while he's here, so they can get an idea of what they've got with him. (That they do that when they've FINALLY made up their minds to go with what they should've been doing all along -- a CF platoon -- is a bit maddening, but, hey, if this team knew what they wanted to do with CF, it just wouldn't be the same).

I won't rehash the argument against Watson here. I made that last year when the team stupidly made him the CFer out of spring training. Nothing's really changed. Even with his hitting streak, it was 95% singles. That's fine if you're walking occasionally, but he doesn't.

I could go on a rant about how feckin stupid it is to use one week's worth of playing time to evaluate a player, but that's what these team consistently does. I just gotta toughen up and take it, much like Wil Cordero's wife.

But this one's a bit different, I think. This isn't meant to see what Watson CAN do, but to show what he can't.

Jim Bowden was on 980 last night, talking about Brandon Watson, and he ripped him. No, he didn't actually say bad things about him, but when Bowden isn't lavishing overwrought praise on a player, it tells you something. He made the point that Watson's hitting streak has to be discounted because of his performance against Triple-A pitching (something a curiously named likely genius mentioned here). He also said that although he was playing CF in the minors, he wasn't capable of being a CFer in the majors, and that he'd project more to being a LFer. And thirdly, he said that "some in the organization" (read: him) think that he's a fourth or fifth outfielder at best. Which, by the law of baseballmen-ese, means he's a 5th or 6th outfielder.

I was thinking about that this morning, when I re-read one of my old posts. Even as they were deciding to keep Watson over Church, there were whispers against him.

In that post, I wondered if the call was Frank's. Was he the one pushing for Watson, while the front office knew that they didn't have much?

With Watson's recent success, is this the front office's way of killing some of that momentum? If they give Watson 7 games to prove that he can't hack it at the plate or in the field, there won't be yammering down the line to give him a chance. They'll be able to point to his two stints of failure and rule him out. (even as the stints they gave him were too short for any real meaningful evaluation).

I dunno if this is what the team is really thinking. I don't think they really WANT Watson to fail. I think you want all of them to develop into great hitters. I just don't think they expect him to. And I don't think they'd be disappointed if he didn't.


  • To create room on the 40-man roster for him, the team put Alex Escobar on the 60-day DL. That creates a logjam down the road. When (if?) Escobar is healthy and needs to be activated, they'll have to dump someone. The logical choice would be Logan. But why would they keep Watson around if he's "failed" twice?