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SCCWS
03-22-2009, 10:41 AM
Actually SS.....Being a devout WS fan in the northeast is not always easy. Looking at spring boxscores does not tell much. That is why message boards are so useful. I have read numerous positive reviews on this site on Alexi's development at SS this spring. I am not surprised Beckham is being sent down, it is what every team tends to do w players who never have played AAA. What I am confused by is why is he going to play SS instead of 2nd or 3rd in the minors? Is there some question whether Alexi is not the future at SS or is the thought Beckham will get more experience at SS in case Alexi does not work out but could adjust to 3rd or 2nd if needed next year if Alexi is the future?

Mingo
03-22-2009, 10:48 AM
My guess is because it is easier to convert a player from SS to other parts of the infield than it is the other way around. Strange things happen - what if Ramirez looses a wheel and goes on the DL? Eider Torres is a good fielder, but he is well under the Mendoza line at the plate. I think that is how the Sox are thinking about this.

Mingo
03-22-2009, 10:53 AM
Actually - whose on 1st if Konerko goes down is a pretty good question. I don't see Betemit getting many reps at 1st base - maybe I'm missing it. The plan maybe to bring Broussard or Kroeger up from a minor league assignment if that happened.

voodoochile
03-22-2009, 11:25 AM
Alexei is expected to excel at SS, but if he doesn't there's still a chance to move him back to 2B or even CF. So for now, Beckham plays SS. In a month or two when TCM is doing fine at SS then they can move Beckham to a different place based on need. They could even give him a shot at CF or 3B if those positions become need positions. Still, you don't take him out of his comfort zone until you have to - that allows him to get comfortable with the bat too before you hand him something new to learn.

Frater Perdurabo
03-22-2009, 01:15 PM
Alexei is expected to excel at SS, but if he doesn't there's still a chance to move him back to 2B or even CF. So for now, Beckham plays SS. In a month or two when TCM is doing fine at SS then they can move Beckham to a different place based on need. They could even give him a shot at CF or 3B if those positions become need positions. Still, you don't take him out of his comfort zone until you have to - that allows him to get comfortable with the bat too before you hand him something new to learn.

Right, because CF is such an easy position to play, that you can just stick anyone out there. Remember, KW said that CF is the EASIEST OF position to play. After all, if Mackowiak, Everett and the fossilized Griffey can handle it, ANYONE can, right?
:rolleyes:

voodoochile
03-22-2009, 01:20 PM
Right, because CF is such an easy position to play, that you can just stick anyone out there. Remember, KW said that CF is the EASIEST OF position to play. After all, if Mackowiak, Everett and the fossilized Griffey can handle it, ANYONE can, right?
:rolleyes:

Please. I never said that, so please don't put words in my mouth. The fact is the Sox have a CF problem at least unless one of the three stooges has a breakout year. I have no idea if Beckham can handle CF, but he wouldn't be the first SS to make the switch and TCM actually has played CF before. It's listed as one of his three possible positions. I'm not arguing for PK or AJ to be given a shot, but shortstops are traditionally the best athlete on the field and they often can play more than just SS. CF is a common switch for middle infielders.

Tell ya' what. Tell your boy to grab the job and not let go of it and then we can stop having these discussions. Otherwise... :rolleyes: back at you...

Frater Perdurabo
03-22-2009, 01:39 PM
Please. I never said that, so please don't put words in my mouth. The fact is the Sox have a CF problem at least unless one of the three stooges has a breakout year. I have no idea if Beckham can handle CF, but he wouldn't be the first SS to make the switch and TCM actually has played CF before. It's listed as one of his three possible positions. I'm not arguing for PK or AJ to be given a shot, but shortstops are traditionally the best athlete on the field and they often can play more than just SS. CF is a common switch for middle infielders.

Tell ya' what. Tell your boy to grab the job and not let go of it and then we can stop having these discussions. Otherwise... :rolleyes: back at you...

The Sox have a CF problem because, other than BA, the Sox DON'T HAVE A CENTER FIELDER. You cannot solve a CF problem by sticking an infielder out there.

You stated that either Beckham or Alexei could make the switch to CF. I disagree.

Alexei looked terrible out there to start 2008. Just because CF is listed on a sheet of paper or a web site that lists what positions a guy can play or has played in the past, does not mean that he is actually good at it at the MLB level. Mackowiak's player profile said he too could play and had played CF. It didn't mean he was good at it. Griffey's baseball card showed all the Gold Gloves he won in CF. It didn't mean he was good at it in 2008. So just because Alexei played CF in Cuba does not mean he'll be good at it.

Beckham really has never played CF in his life. Ozzie Guillen was a fantastic shortstop. Does anyone think he could have been a good CF? I don't. I'm not sure Ozzie Smith could have been a good CF. Just because a guy is a great shortstop does not mean that he'll be a great CF.

The idea that Beckham or Alexei - both admittedly great athletes - could make the switch to CF implies that one only need to be a great athlete to play CF. Aaron Rowand was a great athlete who at least had left field instincts, but made up for this deficiencies in CF with his hustle. Both Alexei and Beckham are infielders. They have not had the years of outfield experience to develop center field instincts!

CF requires a different skill set than SS. Just because Ozzie and KW don't recognize that doesn't make that fact magically disappear.

As for Beckham: If Alexei remains at SS, I think Beckham can move to 3B or 2B. Or, if Fields and Getz are fantastic in 2009, and CF remains a hole, then perhaps Beckham or Fields or Getz could be TRADED for a legitimate CF.

voodoochile
03-22-2009, 02:51 PM
The Sox have a CF problem because, other than BA, the Sox DON'T HAVE A CENTER FIELDER. You cannot solve a CF problem by sticking an infielder out there.

You stated that either Beckham or Alexei could make the switch to CF. I disagree.

Alexei looked terrible out there to start 2008. Just because CF is listed on a sheet of paper or a web site that lists what positions a guy can play or has played in the past, does not mean that he is actually good at it at the MLB level. Mackowiak's player profile said he too could play and had played CF. It didn't mean he was good at it. Griffey's baseball card showed all the Gold Gloves he won in CF. It didn't mean he was good at it in 2008. So just because Alexei played CF in Cuba does not mean he'll be good at it.

Beckham really has never played CF in his life. Ozzie Guillen was a fantastic shortstop. Does anyone think he could have been a good CF? I don't. I'm not sure Ozzie Smith could have been a good CF. Just because a guy is a great shortstop does not mean that he'll be a great CF.

The idea that Beckham or Alexei - both admittedly great athletes - could make the switch to CF implies that one only need to be a great athlete to play CF. Aaron Rowand was a great athlete who at least had left field instincts, but made up for this deficiencies in CF with his hustle. Both Alexei and Beckham are infielders. They have not had the years of outfield experience to develop center field instincts!

CF requires a different skill set than SS. Just because Ozzie and KW don't recognize that doesn't make that fact magically disappear.

As for Beckham: If Alexei remains at SS, I think Beckham can move to 3B or 2B. Or, if Fields and Getz are fantastic in 2009, and CF remains a hole, then perhaps Beckham or Fields or Getz could be TRADED for a legitimate CF.

Again... I never said they would definitely be capable of handling CF. I said they MIGHT be able to do it and pointed out that others have made the switch before. Please don't befuddle the argument with random anecdotal evidence of players the Sox have put out there who have been less than stellar. It adds nothing to the discussion of whether these two particular players could make the switch. Also, just because TCM was unspectacular in his first two games in CF (which just happened to coincide with his first two games of pro ball in America) doesn't mean he wouldn't become more comfortable given time and practice. Just because Ozzie wouldn't have made a great CF (though he didn't have the direct competition for SS the way Beckham/TCM do - so there was no need or desire to see if he could) doesn't mean no one can. Ever heard of Robin Yount? (There, I'll throw some annecdotal evidence back at you - doesn't add much does it?)

Please go back and reread what I wrote. I am not claiming that these guys are shoe-ins to make the switch and make everyone forget Micky Mantle or Willie Mays. I am solely pointing out that it is a possibility that they MIGHT be able to make the switch. I was replying to a question about why Beckham was slotted to start the season at SS in the minors and tossed out some ideas of what might happen in the future. I'm not psychic. I've never claimed to be an expert. I was merely talking about possibilities. Like it or not, they actually ARE possibilities.

The one thing I completely agree with you on is that if the Sox end up with too much IF talent and no room for all of them to play they could indeed package some of it for a true CF or other needs.

Frater Perdurabo
03-22-2009, 03:14 PM
Again... I never said they would definitely be capable of handling CF. I said they MIGHT be able to do it and pointed out that others have made the switch before. Please don't befuddle the argument with random anecdotal evidence of players the Sox have put out there who have been less than stellar. It adds nothing to the discussion of whether these two particular players could make the switch. Also, just because TCM was unspectacular in his first two games in CF (which just happened to coincide with his first two games of pro ball in America) doesn't mean he wouldn't become more comfortable given time and practice. Just because Ozzie wouldn't have made a great CF (though he didn't have the direct competition for SS the way Beckham/TCM do - so there was no need or desire to see if he could) doesn't mean no one can. Ever heard of Robin Yount? (There, I'll throw some annecdotal evidence back at you - doesn't add much does it?)

Please go back and reread what I wrote. I am not claiming that these guys are shoe-ins to make the switch and make everyone forget Micky Mantle or Willie Mays. I am solely pointing out that it is a possibility that they MIGHT be able to make the switch. I was replying to a question about why Beckham was slotted to start the season at SS in the minors and tossed out some ideas of what might happen in the future. I'm not psychic. I've never claimed to be an expert. I was merely talking about possibilities. Like it or not, they actually ARE possibilities.

The one thing I completely agree with you on is that if the Sox end up with too much IF talent and no room for all of them to play they could indeed package some of it for a true CF or other needs.

Fair enough. Like you, I'd like to see BA surge out of the gate, win the CF job outright, and star in CF for the Sox for the next decade. If not, at least I'd like to see the Sox develop or trade for a true CF who can hit and run and get on base for the next decade, if for no other reasons than so I don't have to read any more about the Sox converting infielders to fill CF.

Long term, I think Beckham is destined for 3B (where his SS defense and instincts actually would help him), with Alexei competing for Gold Gloves at SS, Getz/Lillibridge at 2B, and Fields moving over to 1B.

Konerko05
03-22-2009, 06:34 PM
Actually - whose on 1st if Konerko goes down is a pretty good question. I don't see Betemit getting many reps at 1st base - maybe I'm missing it. The plan maybe to bring Broussard or Kroeger up from a minor league assignment if that happened.

I guess that depends on when Konerko goes down and how long he's down for.

If it's for a couple days, Betemit is the obvious choice. If it's an extended trip the DL, someone will get called up to share time with Betemit. That choice depends on who is hitting in the minors.

Kroeger would be my first guess right now. Broussard is also an option.

Two other options are Brandon Allen and Dayan Viciedo. Both of these players have a lot of hitting ability, but might not be ready for a call up. If it's later in the season, we could very well see one of these players.

Frater Perdurabo
03-22-2009, 06:48 PM
I've read elsewhere that Betemit's bat was never in question, but rather his fielding (especially at SS and 2B, and to an extent 3B) was a problem. Can anyone confirm (or refute) this?

voodoochile
03-22-2009, 10:32 PM
I've read elsewhere that Betemit's bat was never in question, but rather his fielding (especially at SS and 2B, and to an extent 3B) was a problem. Can anyone confirm (or refute) this?

Yeah, he hits well for power if nothing else. He doesn't walk much. He signed in the minors when he was 15 so he's been in pro ball for a long time but not much to show in the majors for it. His career OPS in the majors is .762 which is about league average. He's just never gotten a ton of PT and that's probably because his bat doesn't justify his shoddy defense.

http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/stats/individual_stats_player.jsp?c_id=cws&playerID=400140

http://minors.baseball-reference.com/players.cgi?pid=1284

whitesox901
03-22-2009, 10:54 PM
would Brousard not be the first basement if Paulie went down?

sullythered
03-23-2009, 03:01 AM
Any chance Allen could get a call up if Pauly were to go down?