Re: Where should Ellsbury bat?
posted at 1/2/2012 7:19 PM EST
Wait - hold the boat here...we are running out of bench playersYou get 4Punto and Shoppach leave you w/ 2So are the last 2 spots are given to Aviles and DMac? That doesn't exactly strike confidence on Opening Day. They are solid call-ups but that's about it.At least this will be very temporary. Kalish will be there. I don't think you could keep Lavarnway down there if he's mashing the ball. Jose I too if they decide they need a MIF'er....Middlebrooks if Youk is ailing.....Anyways, you get my point right? It's pathetic to have to use your last 2 bench spots to take away AB's from your left fielder and your right fielder.
We need at least one back-up OF on the roster anyways, so it makes sense to have (or get) that excels vs LHPs. I'm fine with straight platoons as long as both are near or over .800 vs one side pitcher. It's also helpful to have another bench player that can play OF. That's where Aviles comes in.
I think you are underestimating Aviles. For someone who has played about half of his innings at SS, some at 2B and a little at 3b and OF, a .288 BA is more than decent for a starter. He'll be our back-up. Yes, I know, he barely walks (.318 OBP), but he's got some "pop". He has about 50 extra base hits per 650 PAs. I'll take that as a utility IF'er anyday. He's also a pretty good fielder.
I agree we can do better than DMac as our 4th OF'er, but I do not think we can afford Cody Ross and still have a better pitcher staff. DMac has pretty good numbers against LHPs... good enough to be a big help. I have serious issues with his RF fielding, but I think Ben is going to "live with it", and focus our attention on upgrading pitching.
A bench of Shoppach, Punto, Aviles and DMac compares pretty well with this...
Sox 2011 Top 4 subs (by most PAs)
250 Varitek .723 OPS
341 Lowrie .685 OPS (Injured some of the season)
278 Reddick .784
175 DMac .704
107 Aviles .775
105 Cam .447
I hope Bobby V uses a near strict L-R platoon at catcher to utilize Shoppach's very good numbers vs LHPs and Salty's much better numbers vs RHPs.
If Bobby uses DMac and Aviles vs LHPs in the OF, it will improve our overall bench numbers and help Sweeney & CC's overall numbers improve as well by subtracting from their horrible splits.