Sunday, August 15, 2010

Interchangeable Parts... or Not

See, this is what pisses me off the most.

I was up trying to take a dump or something in the 5th inning when Craig Stammen was due to hit. All he had done was come in with the bases loaded and nobody out and bail Marquis out. With the bullpen already stretched thin this week and Strasburg up tomorrow, one would think that Riggleman would try to get three innings from Stammen. Especially since Stammen is one of the few pitchers in the NL who can be trusted to swing a bat.

Instead, Riggleman through the white towel for Sunday as well and gave Justin Maxwell a charity swing. It is very difficult to watch uninformed decisions being made at the highest level. Anyone who has watched batting practice knows Stammen is a good all-around athlete with more than a little pop. Given a fair complement of plate appearances, he may not duplicate Zimmerman's numbers, but it is fairly safe to say the following this season:

Craig Stammen is a better hitter than Nyjer Morgan;
Craig Stammen is a better hitter than Wil Nieves;
Craig Stammen is a better hitter than Willie Harris;
Craig Stammen is a comparable, if not better hitter than both Pudge and Alberto Gonzalez;
and finally,
Craig Stammen is a much, much better hitter than Justin Maxwell.

Instead, since Riggleman thinks that his roster is full of interchangeable parts, where Willie Harris = Mike... err, Michael Morse, and John Lannan = Craig Stammen. He sees P and and thinks that designation defines the player's skill set more than the player himself. Just like the disaster sending Guzman out to right field, Riggleman saw that middle infielders like Morse and Desmond play acceptably out there and figured a "32" (I don't trust those birth certificates anymore) year old career shortstop would be just fine. Everyone who had ever watched Guzman play knew that even second or third would be a stretch for him, and the outfield, was, at best, a wild gamble. Justin Maxwell getting on base (walk) against an average pitcher is a stretch, but with Kennedy throwing strikes as well as he was last night, it was a wild gamble to think Maxwell would get on against him. Just frustrating as hell, and fortunately, I was reenacting Marquis' second inning in the bathroom when it happened, so I didn't have the chance to raise hell down in 116.

Oh yeah, about that Jason Marquis...

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