Position Scrum Update, Part Dookie
Posted by The Right Reverend on March 20, 2006
Some Cardinal fans would’ve liked a signing of AJ Burnett this offseason, but not many of us would’ve enjoyed the scare the Blue Jays got earlier this week. After throwing 1 pitch in the second inning, Burnett removed himself from the game, noting soreness in his elbow. MRI’s are negative, but something seems fishy. Burnett already underwent TJ surgery in 2003.
Still looking for that second baseman, left fielder? The Spivey verses Luna clash of the Titans has been dissappointing to say the least.
Spivey-AB 42, OBP .286, SLG .190, AVG .167
Luna AB 40, OBP .326, SLG .250, AVG .225.
Cruz AB 26, OBP .158, SLG .308, AVG .158
Spiezio AB 43, OBP .385, SLG .535, AVG .297
Then there’s Aaron Miles, who hasn’t had many AB’s due to injury, but was 5-14, all singles of course. Maybe Ryan at Cardinaldiaspora has picked the right whipping boy after all. Not sure how Spivey’s wrist is doing, but at this rate he’s working himself out of a job. If all else fails, perhaps Wee Willie Harris will decide to refuse a minor league assignment to Pawtucket, and we can pick him up. Though Wee Willie isn’t hitting in the Red Sox camp, either. (.463 OPS) Yick. Spring training stats, grain of salt, I know I know, but right now maybe Speez is the answer at the hot corner. That may go over with some of you like a lead balloon, and understandably so, but something just doesn’t seem right with Spivey, and I admit I’ve never had much confidence in Luna.
The same problem is in left field. Chris Duncan continues to mash, but the club insists on sending him to AAA to learn his new position. The way he’s hitting, it would make sense to make him a utility man or better, but the fact that they are sending him to learn the outfield shows their commitment to him being a starter in the near future.
Both Bigbie, J-Rod, and Taguchi have combined for over 100 Ab’s, and all three have sub .600 OPS. On the other hand, Brian Daubach has 26 AB’s, and is hitting .346/.438/.692. That’s eye popping even for a small sample size, but a bigger picture reveals Daubach isn’t neccessarily hitting over his head. Last year while the Mets were playing Minky, Gomez, and Marlon Anderson (yep, that ex-World Series Designated non-Hitter of ours) at first base last year, Daubach was leading the International League in OBP (.426), and hitting for power (.554) SLG in over 300 AB’s. Daubach seems to get buried in the minors, but for a supposed washout, he’s proven at least at the AAA level he can hit. He also has some outfield experience. While his glove is bad, no one wins a Gold Glove playing left field and if he can just be adequate enough, maybe he could be at least a short term solution.
Okay, so maybe neither of these guys should be the starters. Spring training, weak competition, sample size, blah blah. The favorites to win the jobs-Taguchi, Bigbie, Luna, Spivey all are more likely to be better during the long haul, but neither Spiezio or Daubach are playing completely over their heads right now, given their career history, and both look to have something they could contibute in 2006.
What does all this really say? The pickin’s were slim this offseason, and maybe we did end up with the left overs.