Re: DH, plate disciplne, longjevity
posted at 10/5/2011 3:17 AM EDT
In Response to DH, plate disciplne, longjevity
[QUOTE]Sorry, Katz, if I couldn't come up a tidier title for comments on a topic you addressed on another thread. Plate discipline is desirable as a general rule. Vlady has put in an impressive career without it. So did Yogi. He probably would have lasted a little longer had the DH been in force. A lot depends on what a team wants from the DH. Perhaps it settles for a player who strikes out and makes out a lot chasing bad pitches, if the guy can still hit with power, maybe a lot of it. OTOH, in a club's overall scheme, a better fit may be a guy who has good plate discipline, gets on base, and keeps the parade moving. To be honest I don't know how the DH slot is used across the AL. In its early days, it had the image of a guy who could no longer play well in the field -- if he ever could -- but who could still powder the ball, plate discipline or no. "It takes only one swing of the bat." And all that. In a roundabout way, this leads to Ortiz/Youkilis. If for one reason or other, Ortiz is not a member of the Boston Red Sox next season, Youkilis would be a candidate to replace him at DH. Quite apart from whether Youk would take to the role and the question of who would play third, the definition of the DH in the Sox lineup will have undergone some modification. Though Youk batted cleanup, he was far from the conventional cleanup hitter. And he never was as fearsome at the plate as Ortiz became once he got untracked in 2008 and 2009, and all of this year pretty much until his power took a leave in September. Moreover, how Youk recovers from his injuries remains to be seen. There has been talk about "reconstruction" in Boston -- not all of the talk realistic or sensible -- and even if a more moderate term is used, what the Sox decide about the DH and how they define it will have an effect,
unavoidably. I'm not campaigning here for Ortiz. No one can predict whether a change would be for better or for worse. But the issue surely must be in minds in the executive suite as action on Ortiz is being contemplated.
Posted by expitch
This is where the rubber meets the road. Roster flex vs. stud hitter.
And I think how the FO sees it is largely dependant on how a given player will adjust to the role.
Papi made an easier adjustment than others might because he was injury-prone in the field. Watch him after he hits. Often, he'll go directly down the runway and study more video. He might have been off just a hair on his last AB, or maybe the pitcher threw something he didn't encounter, thus more in-depth research is required. He is well prepared. But it takes a total dedication to hitting, and players coming up at various levels who play on both sides of the fence only see
themselves as half a player
if they only hit.
IMO, the team is not in a position to screw around with one who is such a great hitter in Papi, and who has such a huge presence.
Youk's fragility really complicates the circumstance. I just don't see many options given the need for Youk's RH bat...and the fact they really won't be able to realistically replace Papi's numbers.
And after all the hyperbole we'll hear this winter, I think the chances are that the team will still man Youk at 3rd, but with a back-up that can be more durable.
And they will watch his PT carefully.
Of course, it the FO gets into the same panic mode that has stricken many fans, then all bets are off.