Thursday, June 25, 2009

The New Cris Guzman

I have been riding Cristian Guzman for numerous reasons this season. Mainly, because he has upper echelon talent that he displays in bursts, losing focus on occasion and playing like a replacement player. Some people still hold 2005 against him, where he played much worse than that, but for the most part, the good exceeds the bad with Guzman.

He was mentioned as a possible catalyst for some of the indifference a failure to execute, as he is one of the veteran leaders and needs to be setting the example. At the time, he wasn't getting behind ground balls and air mailing throws to first base. He was hitting fine, but come the end of May, those hits weren't dropping anymore and he was in a 7-42 funk.

Then, in the Tampa series, he was running full out to beat a ground ball to second base. He didn't, but that didn't deter him from running like a bat out of hell the next time, beating out an infield hit against the Yankees and bunting for a single against the Red Sox. That has helped him bat around .450 for the past week or so. The increase in hustle has corresponded to Alberto Gonzalez' activation, so maybe a little kick is what some of these guys need. The defense could still use some work.

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