Monday, September 13, 2010

Replacing Our Beloved Andres Torres

As you know, Andres Torres is out for at least 2 weeks after having his appendix taken out. We talked about it a little bit in yesterday's recap, but Torres has been one of the most valuable Giants this year, having a 5.4 WAR, 2nd among all NL outfielders. Obviously, replacing him is going to be difficult not only because he's produced on offense, but also because he's been one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball this year. Let's look at the possible replacements for the next 2 weeks.

Cody Ross: Ross is probably the best option, especially against left-handed pitchers. He has a career .941 OPS against lefties and he's not a bad defender. He has a good amount of power, again especially against lefties, and he has experience playing center field. While he doesn't hit righties as well (.718 career OPS), he might be the best option against them too.

Aaron Rowand: Whenever Torres has needed a day off this year, Aaron Rowand has been the replacement and I'm not really sure why. Not only is he no longer a very good defender in center field, he has an OPS under .700 and often hits leadoff when he's in the lineup for some reason. Despite all of this, he's probably the second best option to replace Torres. He doesn't have Torres' range in center field, but he's not a terrible defender. He still has some power left, so I wouldn't be opposed to him getting a couple of starts, but he should be nowhere near the leadoff spot.

Darren Ford: Ford would probably be the best replacement for Torres defensively. His amazing speed gives him a lot of range playing in center, and he's always been regarded as a good defender, but he cannot hit at all. He couldn't even muster an OPS over .700 in AA, so he should not be getting regular at-bats in the major leagues. Many think his speed would be an asset in the leadoff spot, but if he never gets on base, what's the point?

Nate Schierholtz: Schierholtz would be an unknown in center field. He may have had some experience playing there in the minors but I don't think he's played there in the majors. He has good speed for a guy his size, but he probably would have average range in center. Additionally, I'm not sure he's a much better option than Ross. Schierholtz has actually hit lefties better than righties in his career, but Ross hits lefties much better.

Acquire another outfielder: This idea was first brought up by Andrew Baggarly and I'm not sure if I like it. The name he threw out was Scott Podsednik, and while he may be an adequate replacement, I'm not sure it'd be worth giving up a player for basically a 2 week rental. And Podsednik is pretty average.

So, I'm thinking Cody Ross is the best option to replace Andres Torres for the time being. But whatever happens, none of these guys should be replacing Torres in the leadoff spot. None of them really hit well enough or get on base enough for a leadoff hitter. Right now, while he's obviously not a perfect fit, Freddy Sanchez may be the best option to hit atop the order. Of course we all know that Aaron Rowand will be leading off and roaming center field for the next 2 weeks, so why did I even write this post? Andres, please get well soon.


  1. I don't like the idea of a 2 week rental. Ross/Rowand platoon v LHP/RHP both batting 8th.

  2. See, but Rowand against RHP isn't better than Ross against RHP.

  3. Velez/Rowand platoon.

    You know it's coming.

  4. Bochy said something on KNBR about a Ross/Rowand platoon so probably that.