Friday, May 12, 2006

Outfield Platoon

We have five outfielders. Johnny Damon is set (although Rotoworld says his shoulder may be bothering him, which is exactly what we need right now) , but the combination of Bubba Crosby, Bernie Williams, Melky Cabrera, and Kevin Reese will need to fill the corner spots.

Billy Bean's philosophy is essentially "The real injury replacements don't come from your bench. Bench players aren't good enough to play every day. The real replacements you keep down at AAA, allowing them to get better. A good baseball organization trusts it's depths guys"

Based on Torre's comments following Sheffield's injury, I fully expect Melky Cabrera to play full time. He will play RF, and play it quite well. I have full faith in Melky's ability to hit for average, discipline, and a little bit of power. Being a switch hitter, he shouldn't end up on the bench too often.

Left field is a little tougher. Kevin Reese is probably the best option against right handed pitchers. Against left handers, the choice is harder. The best option would probably be Brian Cashman dropping Tanyon Sturtze and adding Kevin Thompson, but Bernie Williams is the likely choice. He's bashing lefties right now, in a very limited amount at bats, so maybe he can be productive in that role. Torre will likely play Bernie every day, which is a huge mistake.

Hey, at least the outfield defense will be good.

Oh, and Rotoworld also has Dotel coming close. He's throwing 95, and tossed two innings of minor league ball. He's not throwing breaking balls yet, but he can't be more than a few weeks away. Reinforcements are good.