Welcome to the “All Hitters Edition” of the The (NL) West Coast Bias! We are about through the first three weeks of the season and there are some great story lines throughout the Division. One of the more puzzling is the handling of Cuban import, Alex Guerrero, by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
What More Does a Man Have to Do in Order to Get Playing Time?
The Dodgers are paying the 28-Year-Old Guerrero $28 million over four years to give them offensive production similar to Puig. It was thought that he would make the club out of Spring Training back in 2014. It was being reported by many
that he might win the starting 2B job out of camp in 2014. He didn’t because the Dodgers felt he needed to work on his defense at 2B. Then he got his ear “Tysoned” by teammate Miguel Olivo. After surgery and recovery time, he went back to AAA to continue learning the position. Over 258 Plate Appearances, he slashed .329/.364/.613 with 15 HRs, 49 RBIs, 4% BB rate and 17% K rate. Meanwhile, Dee Gordon has a breakout season and Guerrero isn’t needed to play 2B in 2014. This offseason, Gordon gets traded to the Marlins, which looks like the club is clearing a spot for Guerrero, but before the dust settles, LA acquires Howie Kendrick to play 2B. Alex still makes the team out of camp as bench player, but he has only appeared in 9 of the team’s first 16 games. He has had multiple at-bats in only four of them. In his limited opportunity he has 20 PA, 9 H and 1 W. Six of the hits were for extra bases with 4 HR, 12 RBI and only 1 K. That is good for a slash line of .474/.450/1.211. Of course this pace is not sustainable, but why the hell should they not give him more of a chance to see what he can do? Kendrick has had a great start to the season, but why not give him a shot at 3B? Yes the defense is questionable, but is Uribe that great with the glove to warrant running him out there every day with his .250 Avg? I’m not sure a career fielding percentage of .972 at 3B is enough to hold Guerrero back any longer. After a hot start, the Dodgers offense has cooled off and they need a spark. In 2013, that spark was the infusion of Puig. Could Guerrero be that spark in 2015? I sure hope the Dodger’s brass gives him the chance. Although he batted over .300 in 8 seasons in Cuba, it doesn’t seem that scouts can agree whether he truly possesses a plus hit tool. Regardless it must certainly be better than production of the 12 year veteran, Uribe, and he does flash plus power. What more does a man have to do to get more playing time?
Jake Lamb, 3B (ARI) – Lamb’s foot injury was a bad “break” for the kid that was having a great start to the season and had secured the starting 3B position from the $68.5 Million Dollar Man, Yasmany Tomas. He is likely out until mid-May so Tomas will get his chance to learn how to play 3B on the fly. So far so good at the plate. In his first two starts since taking over as the starting 3B, Yasmany is 3-for-6 with one walk, one run and zero Ks. Expect the power to come as he settles in. Despite the hot start, Lamb may have trouble getting the gig back since there isn’t really anywhere for Tomas to play in the outfield either. Keep an eye out on how this unfolds over the next month or so.
Yasiel Puig, RF (LAD) – He has hit safely in all but three games this year but has yet to show the power and speed that we are accustomed to . He left Friday’s game early, as his injured a hamstring running to first base. We might see Andre Ethier for a game or two, as early reports indicate that Puig is considered “questionable” to play this weekend. Doesn’t look like something to be too concerned about, but Puig owners should consider benching him until more info is available.
Melvin Upton, 4th OF (SD) – The artist formally known as BJ looks to join his brother in San Diego in mid-May. This news shouldn’t really matter because Melvin shouldn’t be on your roster unless you are in a super deep league. Even then, I still question the point. He hasn’t been productive since 2012 and there are no indicators that another change of scenery will change this. Run Away (clicking coconuts) !!!
Hunter Pence, RF (SF) – The Giants desperately need Pence back in their lineup. It doesn’t appear that his forearm will allow it before mid to late May. The Giants rank 28th in the Majors in Runs scored with only 2.94 Runs per game. They had been struggling to find someone that gave any positive production to take his place. Over the last week, Justin Maxwell has given them a nice boost, both at the plate and in the field. I don’t get that excited about Maxwell as he is a career journeyman and will get exposed the more he plays. Giants fans are still praying for a speedy recovery and hope he picks up were he left off in 2014.
We’re Going Streaking!!!
Get these guys in your lineups that are off to a “hot” start to the season…
DJ LeMahieu, 2B (COL) – 16 G, 54 PA, .389/.431/.500, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 1 SB
Yonder Alonso, 1B (SD) – 16 G, 66 PA, .400/.485/.491, 1 HR, 8, RBI, 1 SB
Howie Kendrick, 2B (LAD) – 15 G, 63 PA, .321/.397/.571, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 1 SB
Ender Inciarte, LF (ARI) – 15 G, 61 PA, .310/.344/.414, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 2 SB
Get them the !@#% Out of Your Starting Lineup
These guys are off to a horrid start and should be pulled from your lineup until they prove they can still hit…
Casey McGehee, 3B (SF) – 12 G, 42 PA, .179/.238/.282, 1 HR, 2RBI, 0 SB
Aaron Hill, 2B (ARI) – 11 G, 41 PA, .158/.220/.211, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0 SB
Carlos Gonzalez, RF (COL) – 15 G, 61 PA, .175/.213/.298, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 0 SB
Jedd Gyorko, 2B (SD) – 12 G, 48 PA, .163/.250/.209, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0 SB
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Major League Fantasy Sports Show: Join Ej Garr and Corey D Roberts on Sunday April 26th from 7pm-8:30pm EST for this week’s episode of the Major League Fantasy Sports radio show sponsored by the Sports Palooza Radio Network. Call in at 646-915-8596. This week will be discussing all things fantasy related in the A.L. East and the N.L. Central.