Sunday, March 20, 2005

Spring Training update – 2 weeks to opening night

One thing about the Sox, and Yankees for that matter, is that ST really is a tune up for the real thing, the roster is built ahead of ST, and only a truly exceptional performance will see a guy kept on as the 25th man, or a truly awful performance see an expected roster piece dropped. The last big surprise player out of ST for the Sox was back in 2001 - SheAAA Hillenbrand – of whom Rob Neyer famously stated (in response to Hillenbrand’s assertion that he would be the next Jeff Bagwell) – “Jeff Bagwell was young and had a pretty good chance to be a star; Shea is 27, with a good chance to be 28".

The interesting thing then in Sox camp, are the new guys and the bubble guys – the new guys simply to get a look at them in Sox uniforms, lets face it, David Wells isn’t competing for a roster spot, and the bubble guys to see what the bench and bullpen will look like. Today, the bench -

(I am assuming that Jay Payton, and Ramon Vazquez are the definites – Payton in the OF, Vazquez for the IF)

The Candidates (competing for 1 / 2 spots)


AB

R

HR

RBI

BB

OBP

SLG

AVG

Youkilis - ST

27

1

0

4



0.296

0.296

Career

208

38

7

35

33

0.367

0.413

0.260

McCarty – ST

19

4

0

1



0.211

0.211

Career

1489

180

36

173

124

0.304

0.371

0.242

Petagine – ST

7

1

0

2



0.429

0.286

Career

307

41

10

43

55

0.346

0.371

0.225

Japan

2566

511

233

594

570

0.446

0.633

0.317

Hydzu – ST

23

3

1

5



0.435

0.261

Career

318

52

19

57

36

0.314

0.462

0.233

Stern – ST

2

0

0

0



0.500

0.500

2004 - AA

394

64

8

47

35



0.322


Adam Stern was the Sox Rule 5 pick from the Braves and with a solid spring would most likely have made the 25 man roster (he is required to be on the 25 man roster all season, or must be offered back to the Braves). However, a thumb injury has put Stern on the DL, and the Sox are allowed to have him complete a 20 day rehab stint before determining whether or not to put him on the 25 man roster.

Robert Petagine, who plays 1B, was an intriguing pick up by the Sox. Having first entered the big leagues with the Astros in 1994, he never really lived up to expectations – but that was in large part down to the fact that he was never given a real everyday position job – perhaps hindered by a ‘common’ dislike of a low batting average / high on base mix in his numbers. He has put up great numbers in the Japanese leagues over the last 6 years – he put up numbers comparable with Hideki Matsui, and indeed replaced Matsui when Godzilla headed to the Yankees. However, Petagine has also had injury problems this ST and will start the season on the DL, though is likely to be called up when he has finished rehab.

Youkilis, Hyzdu and McCarty were all on the roster in 2004 – Youkilis getting reasonable playing time after his call-up from Pawtucket due to the injury travails of Bill Mueller. He has been asked to play some 1B this spring to increase his chances of making the roster, and given Mueller had knee surgery early in 2005 it seemed that Youkilis would be a certain 25 man member – not sure that is still the case. He clearly (doesn’t he?) has a future as the 3B of the Sox, but he isn’t getting any younger and needs to make his mark soon to ensure that he is remembered for his true talent rather than as Billy Beane’s ‘Greek God of Walks’. Hyzdu had very limited playing time in 2004, but provides OF cover, whereas McCarty provides above average 1B defense late in games (as well as the blow-out pitching arm), and given Petagine’s injury may well end up in that 25th man spot, if Youkilis’s 1B is not considered strong enough for the majors.

2 threw a strike:

At 12:30 am, Blogger Neil M said...

Test...

 
At 12:32 am, Blogger Neil M said...

Test 2...

 

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