FanPost

The search for bench players

What's more important -- offense or defense-- in a SS or 2B? Does a slick-fielding, no  power MIF save or cost your team runs? There's a lively debate going on at PD's CardsTalk comparing Izturis, Eckstein & Ryan. http://www.stltoday.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=534150.

This issue got me thinking about the Cards bench. I'll try to summarize what others are saying about the above issue and give my thoughts on why I think the Cards shouldn't trade/buy any IF help. I also think that given our offensive weakness at the bottom of the order, we need to use the best hitters available.

 

 

 

 

Now CardsTalk discussion raises the issue of  "lies, damn lies, and statistics." The Saber metrics guys argue that Izturis is the weaker of the three SS DEFENSIVELY. According to these stats, Ryan is the best, followed by Eck.  The guys who use their own personnel "eyeballs" say that Izturis is better.  Offensively the Eck/Ryan is a push and Izturis is clearly again the weakest, notwithstanding his good OBP% this year.

In looking at the Memphis IF offensive stats, there are several guys that are out performing Izturis (.204/.265/.361): J. Hoffpair (.387/.418/.391) and B. Barden (.290/.435/.375). Well, okay Hoff's not getting on base quite as much. There are two other guys who could be serviceable as Glaus's backup: J. Mather--on DL (.318/.464/.727), & D. Freese (.254/.460/.277).

Full disclosure: I haven't seen ANY of these guys play, I don't create my own stat sheets, and yes, I know it's not the same to compare ML and Pacific League. But the point I want to make is that it's preferable to give the Memphis guys a chance to prove themselves before trying to package a group of pitchers and prospects to get a bench player from elsewhere.

I'm willing to have Brendan Ryan play everyday SS, and I think defensively he'll be comparable to Izturis. He certainly will be more effective at the plate. I also think the Memphis guys mentioned above will be adequate to replace TGlaus when he needs a day off. Perhaps one or more will develop into a John Mabry or Scott Spiezio. They need to be given the chance.

Thanks for reading and be gentle to this first-time poster.

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