Tuesday, June 22, 2004

New Stats Geek

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Brian O'Neill wonders if the Pirates are playing the right guys. He's right that Randall Simon, Chris Stynes and Tike Redman are contributing less than their share, and the article contains a link to a chart comparing the Pirates' OPSs to the league average. It's positively space-age by daily paper standards. Nice work, Stats Geek.

One thing Mr. O'Neill doesn't mention is that even if the Pirates were to give more opportunities to Ruben Mateo and play Simon, Stynes and Redman less, the Pirates would still have one of the worst benches in the league. Here it is:

Abraham Nunez
Bobby Hill/Jose Castillo

Yuck. That's three guys (Hill and Castillo count as one guy, since the other would be starting) who are basically middle infielders, and two guys who... well, I'm not really sure what they do. That bench would be so bad that the Pirates would probably still have a below-average offense. Here's one way to solve that problem.

1. Cut Simon.
2. Recall J.J. Davis, who's a quality major league hitter right now. Let him share time with Mateo and Daryle Ward by having Craig Wilson play first while Ward sits and Jason Bay play center field while Mateo sits. Davis is slugging .737 at Nashville; his rehab assignment is bogus, and he already demonstrated last year that he can kill AAA pitching. Don't waste his talent. Find a way to get him 300 big league at-bats by the end of the year.
3. Send Redman to the minors. He's embarrassing. He can't hit, he can't field, and his 2003 with the Bucs was the mother of all flukes.
4. Recall Tony Alvarez, who's putting up a .397 OBP at Nashville. Alvarez doesn't have the upside that Bay or Davis has, but he'd definitely be a competent bench player, and he can play center field.
5. Cut Stynes; install Rob Mackowiak at third.
6. Chris Truby has a .911 OPS at Nashville. Unless there is good reason to believe that .911 is a joke, promote him until Freddy Sanchez is available. Yeah, I just advocated letting Chris Truby play in the big leagues. You got something to say about it?
7. For the love of God, stop letting Nunez pinch hit. The fact that he switch-hits is irrelevant, since he doesn't actually hit from either side of the plate.


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