Friday, August 27, 2010

FJM Friday: Who Spells It "Mychael", Anyway?

Mychael Urban is a pretty nice guy. He's not the one you want to listen to when it comes to trade rumors, but he does a good job on CSNBA and KNBR most of the time, doing double duty on the Giants AND A's no less. His analysis is very good sometimes, and his knowledge of baseball is obvious.

Too bad for him that this week he decided to write about Freddy Sanchez on his blog. I have a special radar for bad Freddy Sanchez opinions, and it often ends in you being featured on Fire Joe Morgan Friday. Don't worry, Mychael, nobody reads these posts anyway, they are for my own sick satisfaction. So, imaginary readers, remember: Mychael's writing in bold, my response in regular text.

And finally, it's time for the "Why" of the day: Freddy Sanchez not hitting 2nd.

The answer to that "Why" question is easy. Bruce Bochy has 8thInningWeirdness set as his homepage. Freddy Sanchez has been terrible offensively this year. He is the only regular starter with an OPS below .700. Having 2 back to back 4 hit games is a VERY good sign, don't get me wrong. But it doesn't erase a nightmare season at the plate. If Sanchez continues to hit the ball, I am perfectly fine with him hitting 2nd. Not ideal, but I'd concede. But it takes more than a single series to determine that.

He has every imaginable skill you need for the role, and some of those skills help you win games even when you're not getting hits.

I'm aware of these "skills" that a 2 hitter is supposed to have. Contact guy, bunting, moving the runner over, all that happy horseshit. None of it is relevant. It's pretty obvious to me that the only skill a 2 hitter really should have is the ability to hit and get on base. Maybe some speed on the bases. That's what you expect out of the guy getting the 2nd most at bats on the team. Now, Freddy Sanchez has an OBP that is about league average. Because of his complete lack of slugging this year, it is NOT ideal to have him getting a lot of opportunities. If his OBP were higher, that lack of power would be easier to deal with. But the combination makes for an embarrassing season long slump. A "contact guy" does not mean "good player".

If Sanchez is in the lineup, he should bat 2nd, with Huff, Burrell, and Posey to follow.

Wrong. If Sanchez STAYS really hot, then he can hit 2nd, in which case I'm fine with that order.

Burrell sees more fastballs that way, trust me.

I don't trust you. You have given me zero evidence to support that claim. As far as I know, there isn't much research to back up the "protection" theory of lineups. It's just as likely that Burrell would see more fastballs if there are players ON BASE in front of him. Having a player protect another in the lineup really only applies if you've got Barry Bonds or Albert Pujols doing the protecting. Buster Posey is gonna be great, but he isn't and won't ever be close to those guys. Speaking of Gerald Demp, one more thing in Urban's blog this week caught my attention, and this time it wasn't Mychael that was speaking nonsense.

...Buster Posey or Kurt Suzuki over the next 5 years? I asked 14 personnel people that question over the past 10 days, and was stunned that 3 people picked Suzuki. Why? "Simple," said one NL GM. "Track record." Can't say I agree with the man, but he's the one with the big corner office.

Whoever that man is that said that, he should be moved from his corner office to the basement immediately.

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