Saturday night’s Red Sox/Rangers game featured far too many players I know nothing about. And I’m talking about Red Sox players.
First off, why is Brian Anderson on the team? Why is Fernando Cabrera on the team? Why did the Red Sox trade for Alex Gonzalez?
What is happening around here? Does this team value on base percentage? Doesn’t this team follow trends? Isn’t a guy with a 1.494 career whip someone to stay away from? Doesn’t a guy with a career .288 OBP belong in the Independent Leagues?
I realize injuries are hitting the "ludicrous speed" level on the Red Sox roster right now, but aren’t there better options? Let’s talk about Brian Anderson, the player they traded Mark Kotsay for (I’m dangling prepositions baby!!!). Anderson is a very bad hitter. He has moderate power, unfortunately he couples that with nothing good. 20 home runs in 782 at bats. Did I mention he has struck out 203 times and only walked 62 times while hitting .225?
The good news with Anderson is he WILL get DFAed as soon as tomorrow when Rocco Baldelli is activated.
As for Cabrera, clearly the front office thinks they can harness this kid (does 27 years old still qualify as a kid?). Isn’t that the epitome of arrogance, believing you can help a pitcher that no one else has? He walks too many but lures you into believing he can be better by striking out more than 1 per inning (189 k’s in 170 IP in the majors).
Fine, perhaps the Red Sox can harness this kid’s ability, but let’s try doing that in the Arizona Fall League, or the Dominican Winter League, not mid-August in a playoff hunt.
Lastly, back to Gonzalez, he is a fine fielder, if you look at his career work, but he isn’t good anymore. The Boston Globe’s Adam Kilgore was able to look through the nonsense I heard on Sports Radio on Friday and basically spelled out why Gonzalez isn’t what you think he is (coach Dennis Green, are you listening?).
Gonzalez is no longer getting to that many balls and while he does handle the ones he does get to, he isn’t a "plus" shortstop anymore. In fact, Kilgore’s research suggest Nick Green would be the better option, not only because he is a superior defender, but because he is hitting much better than is Gonzalez. Not to beat a dead horse, but Gonzalez is terrible at the plate. Terrible.
So Saturday night featured Jason Varitek – .754 OPS in 2009, Gonzalez – .554 OPS in 2009, and Brian Anderson .641 OPS in 2009.
That’s not going to get it done. If an inning started with any of these 3, you might as well have turned the channel. This is not the bottom 3 of a playoff team. Come on! I can’t say it more clearly than that. This is a terrible disappointment.
The depth on this team is scary bad right now, but also confusing. When you look at the injuries and/or surprisingly ineffective players in 2009, there have been some bad breaks, but I’m not sure why the Red Sox management has chosen to replace injured/ineffective players with the ones they have.
Things have to change.