No Room For Mediocrity

There are a lot of baseball thoughts swirling around in my head at any given time.  I think about the game of that day, I think about the lineup, and the starting pitcher, and what Mike Matheny is likely to do that will piss me off.  I think about the schedule ahead. I think about what roster changes I would like to see made.  Sometimes all of these thoughts and other things fight for time in my head.

When it comes time to post, however, I think about the thing I am most concerned about at the time.  Usually there is one thing.  Fortunately the team is playing better and things are looking up, so there is not a major concern for me right now.  So, I think, what do I post about?

I could post about the possible call up of Oscar Taveras, which is a topic that seems to be on everyone’s mind.  If I did that though, and I said what I really think, it’s likely to make people angry.  I have never been afraid of making people angry before now, but with the team playing better and most people in a better mood, it seems not to be a wise move on my part.  Let me just say that while I am not opposed to calling Taveras up when the time is appropriate, I have serious concerns about what will happen when that time comes.  Those concerns have to do with playing time, where he will play, and the expectations many people seem to have about what he will do for the team when he does come up.  I see some possible pitfalls, and areas where expectations may not necessarily be in line with reality.  I will just leave it at that.

The roster issue that most concerns me is the shortstop position.  I was initially opposed to the signing of Jhonny Peralta, I will not expound on the reasons for that opposition, but I was not happy about it.  However, once he was signed and on the team, it seemed unproductive to continue to be unhappy about it.  Acceptance was the wiser move I believed.  It has worked out pretty well so far.  His defense is not as bad as I feared it might be.  While he struggled at the plate at the beginning, he seems to have acclimated and has produced for the team.  I am content with him for now.

The back up to the shortstop position is of major concern to me, however.  The only viable candidate on the current roster to handle that position is Daniel Descalso.  While I have no issues with Daniel Descalso personally, I find him to be a very mediocre player at best, and a defensive liability at the shortstop position.  On top of his unacceptable defense, he doesn’t produce at the plate either.  Despite Al Hrabosky‘s preposterous claims that Descalso is one of the best utility players in baseball, in reality Descalso is doing nothing more than occupying a precious roster spot that could be better utilized by someone with more ability.

Mike Matheny appears to have strong feelings about Descalso.  I can’t speak to the root of those feelings, but they signal to me that as long as Descalso is on the roster, Matheny is going to play him as much as he can justify.  Because Matheny relies so much on small sample size match ups (which statistically speaking are fairly useless) those opportunities are going to arise more often than is comfortable or beneficial for the team.  Unfortunately, I don’t see Mozeliak making any move to change the situation, as Descalso has little trade value, and outright release, such as what occurred with Ty Wigginton last season, seems unlikely given Descalso’s tenure with the team, and Matheny’s attachment to him.  Descalso does have all three of his option years remaining, meaning he could be sent to Memphis, but this seems unlikely to me as well.

Someone will have to be sent down in the event that Oscar Taveras is called up in the next few weeks, but the likely candidate for this move seems to me to be Shane Robinson, as otherwise there would be an excess of outfielders on the roster.

Descalso will be second year arbitration eligible at the conclusion of the season.  Since I see no likely avenue for Descalso to be removed from the roster before then, I would hope that Mozeliak will see fit to non-tender Descalso during the offseason and allow him to move on.

 

Thank you for reading.

 

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