Friday, June 4, 2010
Around the Diamond- Third base
It's been a few days, but I'm back to pick up where I left off, today looking at the third base position. As a refresher, I was hoping Ryan Doumit would be dealt, but can deal with him hitting lower in the order for the time being. I want Garrett Jones moved to first and Neil Walker as the full time second baseman. One of the three have since happened.
Today let's look at Andy Laroche. The numbers aren't great. Just a .250avg/3/11. The difference with Laroche is that I really like him, but the numbers aren't coming.
I love his approach at the plate. Granted he pulls the ball way too much, but when he is hitting to all fields, I feel he is a legit major league ball player. I wish he had the numbers to back up my argument.
Just like at first base, the Pirates have to have run production out of their third baseman as well. After all the trades, the younger Laroche was the first, of many more to come, real major leaguers the Pirates had acquired. He is versatile. He can, and has batted pretty much everywhere in the line up. He's made himself into an outstanding defensive third baseman as well.
For two months, I kept saying that Laroche has done nothing to lose his job. I don't feel that way right now. Pedro Alvarez is,and always was the teams third baseman of the future and now I believe Alvarez should be the third baseman of the present. Bring him up.
Start working Laroche out at second. He can share time with Walker and Walker can also play other positions when Andy is at second. Yes Walker is on fire right now, but I really want to see how he does after a month or so when the scouting report gets out on him. He's already seeing more and more off speed stuff, so hopefully he can adjust.
The team will see a drop off defensively with Alvarez at third, but the time is now. I'd rather see a power bat that can hit the ball out of the yard. In turn, it should make the whole line up deeper and better.
By no means should they give up on Andy, but he in turn he has to produce. I'm hoping the bad numbers have something to do with his back problems. They should make sure he gets about three starts a week, but in the meantime, turn the job over to Alvarez.