Last night’s game had several interesting moments.
The decision to pinch-hit for Alejandro Kirk with Josh Palacios blows me away. Kirk is a hitter. We know that. We can see that. Yeah, he is having a slow start to the season, but we can’t possibly be thinking that his 27 at-bats show what kind of hitter he is.
And Josh Palacios? Well, he has a .280 batting average. He has 7 singles. 4 of the singles came in the same game, and it wasn’t like they were crushed. He’s on the team because two outfielders are injured, but he isn’t someone you should be taking Kirk’s spot in the batter’s box.
I would have liked to see a reporter ask Charlie, “Do you really think that Josh Palacios is a better hitter than Alejandro Kirk?” If he answers yes, he’s telling us a lot about his ability to judge (as my dad would say) horse flesh. If no, why would you pinch-hit? Kirk should be getting as many at-bats as we can. He’ll figure it out.
A manager I liked used to say, ‘you pick the guys you think will do best during spring training, and you run with them until, at least, mid-season. Trust your judgment.’ Basically, don’t let small samples cloud your judgment. Either you are a baseball man, or you are someone who cares about the last ten at-bats.
Lourdes Gurriel’s defense would turn my hair grey, but fortunately, my cable was out (two nights in a row, if there is a third, there will be a change made) and I didn’t have to see it. He is awful at going back on a ball (better at coming in, but then he’s been playing so far back that he’s not getting to balls hit in front of him either). You would think he would be getting better at it by now.
If he was hitting, we’d forgive the occasional gaff, and he’s always been a streak hitter, he’ll get it going at some point. I’ve thought he’s a warm-weather hitter for a while now. Maybe he’ll warm as the weather warms.
I guess hoping that he’ll get better on defense, as the season goes on, is being overly hopeful. I’m sure they work on it with him, but there isn’t going to be a switch that changes everything suddenly. But, his defense will look better when he starts hitting.
How many times, this season, has Bo Bichette had a problem getting the ball out of his glove? This is a new problem, right? I don’t remember this happening, several times a month, last year, or the year before.
In the off-season, I was hoping we’d get a SS and move Bo to second base, but this problem wouldn’t be any better at second base.
Again, if the team was hitting, we wouldn’t notice so much, but when you are getting 3 runs or less in 9 of 17 games, every error is a big deal.
The Hyun Jin Ryu pitching on extra rest thing bothers the old man in me. I want my number one pitcher going out there every 5 days. Of course, yesterday, on 2 extra days of rest and he comes out at 83 pitches.
I don’t know how true the short rest thing is. Career:
- 4 days rest: 2.75 ERA, batters hit .229/.272/.359
- 5 days rest: 3.41 ERA, batters hit .267/.308/.414
- 6 or more: 2.56 ERA, batters hit .238/.286/.359
- 4 days (4 games): 2.74 ERA. .605 OPS
- 5 days (7 games): 2.29 ERA, .620 OPS
- 6 or more (1 game): 5.79 ERA, .919 OPS
Last year there weren’t enough games to mean anything.
Personally, we don’t have enough starting pitching. Even if Ryu isn’t quite as good on normal rest, it is better to have him go out there than whoever or 5th or 6th starter might be.