Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II
posted at 5/11/2014 8:53 PM EDT
The biggest argument against Choo was that he'd have to play LF, where the Nava/Gomes platoon was supposed to do pretty good this year on offense, or he'd have to play RF and force Vic to play CF.
I was Ok with going with Napoli for a shorter term than Choo. I have no big beefs with Ben given the budget he had to work with this winter.
I know you were a bit more optimistic than I was of Gomes, Carp & Nava repeating or improving on last season moon and respect your opinion but that was a huge task. I never really liked the Gomes signing because he had yet to face so many good lefties on a steady diet. Nava I like but the defensive liability requires guys like this to be consistently productive offensively to help our cause.
Nava's pre-2013 numbers were pretty good vs RHPs, and Gomes has been one of the leagues best hitters vs LHPs before 2013. I knew their defense was going to be bad, but as I said last winter, if we could keep them to a strict platoon and only playing in LF, they could be a big plus on offense that overides their defensive liabilities. So far, it looks like I was horribly wrong about LF.
I could be wrong but don't see this team surviving the long haul without Grady, Shane and JBJ getting the bulk of playing time and producing offensively. We need to improve our defense immensely and pray the starting pitching holds us up until we finally address the real needs.
An OF or JBJ, Grady and Vic is very very good defensively. Vic should start helping out on offense. Pedeys seems to have settled into the lead off role. I share your concern about our offense. I know it was a gamble to put our hopes on 3 youngsters at CF (JBJ), SS (Bogey) and 3B (Middy), but we still have some budget flexibility to make a move at the deadline to cover the one who seems to be the weakest link by then, or perhaps find a LF big bopper.
I'm not giving up hope. As long as our pitching remains number 1 in WAR (or top 3), we should stay in this thing to the end. Let's give these 3 kids a longer look. Let's see if Grady can snap out of this slump (if that's what it is): let's give Nava another chance if he doesn't. If LF looks like a disaster by the deadline, maybe LF will be the weak link that needs fixing more than 3B/SS or CF. I don't see Bogey being sent down. I doubt JBJ proves to be an overall weaker link than Middy or whoever is in LF. Bogey may be moved to 3B, if we find a SS, but I think if a big move is made, it will be at 3B or LF. I also think we may give Cecchini a look at 3B before the deadline, if Middy keeps struggling.