Wednesday, May 03, 2006

You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here

Alex Gonzalez and Sal Fasano have to GO. Both are 'veterans' that simply haven't produced either in the field on at the plate.

Gonzalez is sporting a 258 OPS!!!! That breaks down to a .091 average, .167 OBP and .091 slugging. That's a 2-22 stretch with 2 walks. HORRIBLE. His supposed pedigree isn't anything to write home about either, producing a career 695 OPS. He's also messed up in the field at both first and third, which was supposedly his strength.

Sal Fasano has a cool fu manchu, shows emotion, gives out pizzas, and has a fan group in the right-field stands. And he sucks. He had a career year last year that simply wasn't too great anyway (785 OPS, 11 home runs in 160 AB), and Gillick saw him as a way to placate Lieber's want for a personal catcher and possibly improve the backup position from the dreck that Todd Pratt was throwing out there. However, Fasano looks lost at the plate, swinging at everything he can get his hands on, and a lot of pitches he can't. Thus, he's struck out 15 times in 33 AB, and has only walked once. His OPS is an anemic 592.

So, what can be done? Well, cut them both and bring up two guys from Scranton. Replacing Fasano is easy, as there is only one viable option right now: Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz is 26 or 27 depending on what source one cites, but started baseball late and thus is 'younger' in that sense. He's also tearing Scranton up this year after a good year in Reading in 2004 and a good year last year in Scranton in 2005. He should not have to repeat AAA, the guy is simply producing too much. He has a 386 average, 448 OBP and 663 slugging percentage for a 1.111 OPS!! He has 5 doubles, 6 homers and 2 steals in 23 games thus far, and is a good defensive catcher as well. The choice is simple and obvious.

As for backup infielder, there are several options, as the entire infield has shown flashes at times:

1B/3B/C Chris Coste - 170 avg/257 OBP/239 slugging. He is not a viable option anymore, despite his good spring training. This career minor leaguer (33 yrs old) simply is a AAA player. Keep him at Scranton and hope he gets out of his bad slump and contributes to their team.

2B/3B Angel Chavez - 265 avg/308 OBP/388 slugging and 5 steals in 12 games. He has some speed, and is a younger guy(24), but is not ready for the majors just yet. Give him some more games in Scranton.

3B- Brennan King - 333 avg/372 OBP/524 slugging in 17 games. He's 25 and is doing well in Scranton thus far, but does not have as much positional flexibility as some other guys who can come up.

3B/SS Danny Sandoval - 315 avg/327 OBP/370 slugging in 14 games. He did well last year and he has some positional flexibility, but he is simply not taking enough pitches to be given a spot on the major league roster right now.

2B/3B/LF Bobby Scales - 406 avg/474 OBP/735 slugging in 16 games. He was simply hitting the lights out to start the season but is currently on the DL.

LF/2B/3B Joe Thurston - 296 avg/376 OBP/519 slugging and 4 steals in 24 games. He was once considered the 'future 2B' of the Dodgers, and simply stalled for them between AAA and the majors. However, he is producing for Scranton and is still only 26 yrs old. He's also in the middle of a 12 game hitting streak. He deserves to be brought up and given a shot over a flame-out like Alex Gonzalez

The choices are clear, Carlos Ruiz and Joe Thurston over Sal Fasano and Alex Gonzalez.

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