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View Full Version : Should They Consider Changing Positions in 2010


Red Barchetta
08-16-2009, 10:24 AM
After watching the defensive struggles in 2009, do you think SOX brass will consider perhaps moving players back to their more natural positions? I'm thinking Beckham to SS and Ramirez back to 2B.

It's nice to see Ramirez coming on offensively lately, especially since we need somone to step up and I really like the idea of him batting down in the order, perhaps even last as a secondary lead-off man. He had a rookie-of-the year like season in 2009 when playing 2B and perhaps the added responsibilty of playing SS this season has contributed to his struggles.

I would think it might be a better idea to focus on improving one position, in this case 3B than going into next season with 2-3 players out of position.

balke
08-16-2009, 10:30 AM
Ramirez got hurt, and Nix played SS. I think everyone has to realize Beckham for whatever reason is a 3Bman, and a damn good one so far at that.

If the Sox could ever get a SS good enough to push Ramirez back to 2B that would be cool, but I think Beckham at SS is not going to happen. He's probably good enough to be a MLB SS, but I don't think he's good enough to be a great defensive SS. And that's not a knock, SS requires a lot of range at the MLB level.

I'm not an expert, but just from what I saw at the CWS I think he is a sound defender there, but it didn't look like he had great range.

So I guess the answer would be no for me. I think He's great at 3B, and the fact that I DON'T miss Crede's glove at 3B right now is a miracle, because we are talking about one of the best defensive 3Bman I have seen... pretty big shoes to fill.

Plus, so far Beckham's bat added to his defense there might make him BETTER than Crede overall. Its nice not worrying about a 3Bman hitting below .250 for a change.

voodoochile
08-16-2009, 10:35 AM
I only see one player who is "out of position" and that's Beckham who has made major strides toward becoming a real solid glove at 3B.

I simply don't see the need to spend more money on the IF at present. This team isn't going to have a ton of money to work with unless season ticket sales take off like a bat out of hell early on. I would imagine they are having some success with their make a deposit on next year and get playoff tickets this year promotion, but who knows in this economy how soon people will have enough disposable income to really get back to 2006-7 levels.

I would think the team has more pressing needs including a 5th starter (unless Freddy or Hudson grabs the job) and more bullpen help. In addition they need to give raises to a few players currently on the roster though mediocre years will help them with Carlos and Danks and probably even Bobby. In fact they might be able to get Carlos and Bobby to agree to the long term deal they were pushing last year because of their injury problems this season.

Basically, unless KW makes a big splash in landing a FA 3B, I would expect the IF to look a lot like it currently does. If Getz doesn't cut it the team could do worse than Nix hitting at the bottom of the order.

Right now I expect most of this team to come back as is and I really don't have a problem with that idea.

illinifan1368
08-16-2009, 10:37 AM
Ramirez got hurt, and Nix played SS. I think everyone has to realize Beckham for whatever reason is a 3Bman, and a damn good one so far at that.

If the Sox could ever get a SS good enough to push Ramirez back to 2B that would be cool, but I think Beckham at SS is not going to happen. He's probably good enough to be a MLB SS, but I don't think he's good enough to be a great defensive SS. And that's not a knock, SS requires a lot of range at the MLB level.

I'm not an expert, but just from what I saw at the CWS I think he is a sound defender there, but it didn't look like he had great range.

So I guess the answer would be no for me. I think He's great at 3B, and the fact that I DON'T miss Crede's glove at 3B right now is a miracle, because we are talking about one of the best defensive 3Bman I have seen... pretty big shoes to fill.

Plus, so far Beckham's bat added to his defense there might make him BETTER than Crede overall. Its nice not worrying about a 3Bman hitting below .250 for a change.

Slow down there tiger. Beckham great a 3b? Not by a long shot. He has zero range towards the line. I'm already tired of balls getting by him for doubles. I wish they would play him closer to the line, so he could take a way the extra-base hits. I'd rather a single than a double...

balke
08-16-2009, 10:44 AM
Slow down there tiger. Beckham great a 3b? Not by a long shot. He has zero range towards the line. I'm already tired of balls getting by him for doubles. I wish they would play him closer to the line, so he could take a way the extra-base hits. I'd rather a single than a double...

Defensively: Rolen, Crede, Cal he's not. (Uribe wasn't even that great to his right, but had the arm and was great to his left.) Remember, this is also his first year there. I think that with his reaction time he's going to be able to make more of those plays in the future.

I think when people say he will grow at 3B its actually warranted. I didn't have that same feeling with Fields, he never seemed to have the reaction time he needed to think about moving to his right. He had a bad habit of guessing to his left on initial reaction.

Will he be Crede calibur ever? Too early to judge. I'm not banking on it, but I think in comparison with MLB 3Bman, defensively he will be above average year in and year out. And with his bat, that will put him in the upper echelon of top overall 3Bman.

At SS I don't think he'd be there. I think the Sox would be better with Ramirez there, and if he makes dumb mistakes for too long, get a strictly defensive SS stud and put Ramirez at 2B again. This is my thinking, but I'm just an observer.

DickAllen72
08-16-2009, 10:51 AM
I read that Ramirez played mostly OF in Cuba. That would explain his struggles at SS. His "natural" position may be OF. I wouldn't mind seeing him starting in LF next year.

Beckham is not a "natural" third-baseman by a long shot. He's hardly ever played there before and does not seem to have the quickness nor the range toward his right as another poster has mentioned. He played SS throughout college so he's a "natural" middle infielder but scouting reports had him possibly being moved to 2B because of his arm and range. I'd like to see him start at 2B next year.

So the Sox need to plug defensive holes at 3B, SS and RF next season. That would really improve their defense, help the pitching staff, and improve the ballclub as a whole.

voodoochile
08-16-2009, 10:54 AM
I read that Ramirez played mostly OF in Cuba. That would explain his struggles at SS. His "natural" position may be OF. I wouldn't mind seeing him starting in LF next year.

Beckham is not a "natural" third-baseman by a long shot. He's hardly ever played there before and does not seem to have the quickness nor the range toward his right as another poster has mentioned. He played SS throughout college so he's a "natural" middle infielder but scouting reports had him possibly being moved to 2B because of his arm and range. I'd like to see him start at 2B next year.

So the Sox need to plug defensive holes at 3B, SS and RF next season. That would really improve their defense, help the pitching staff, and improve the ballclub as a whole.

Wouldn't Ramirez take up that OF slot or are you just planning on dumping him altogether?

DickAllen72
08-16-2009, 10:57 AM
Wouldn't Ramirez take up that OF slot or are you just planning on dumping him altogether?
Re-read the third sentence of my post. I would put Ramirez in LF. An OF of Ramirez LF, Rios CF, and a new RFer with Q to DH.

Red Barchetta
08-16-2009, 10:59 AM
I read that Ramirez played mostly OF in Cuba. That would explain his struggles at SS. His "natural" position may be OF. I wouldn't mind seeing him starting in LF next year.

Beckham is not a "natural" third-baseman by a long shot. He's hardly ever played there before and does not seem to have the quickness nor the range toward his right as another poster has mentioned. He played SS throughout college so he's a "natural" middle infielder but scouting reports had him possibly being moved to 2B because of his arm and range. I'd like to see him start at 2B next year.

So the Sox need to plug defensive holes at 3B, SS and RF next season. That would really improve their defense, help the pitching staff, and improve the ballclub as a whole.

That's the point I was making in my original post. Similar to (gulp) Ryne Sandberg who started at 3B, he was also a SS in the minor leagues and was a more natural middle infielder. Perhaps moving Beckham to 2B is an option. I think highly enough of him as a natural athlete/baseball player and he's doing a better job at 3B than I thought he would, however if he's a more natural middle infielder, maybe that's where he should play.

voodoochile
08-16-2009, 10:59 AM
Re-read the third sentence of my post. I would put Ramirez in LF. An OF of Ramirez LF, Rios CF, and a new RFer with Q to DH.

How much money you planning on adding to the payroll next year?

DickAllen72
08-16-2009, 11:03 AM
How much money you planning on adding to the payroll next year?
I'm not adding a cent. That's Jerry's responsibility. I have a family to support.

Edit: The Sox would have the salaries of Dye and Thome Contreras coming off the books, so that helps pay for three new players right there.

voodoochile
08-16-2009, 11:07 AM
I'm not adding a cent. That's Jerry's responsibility. I have a family to support.

It's an expression.

Do you really think the Sox have the $30M lying around to make those kind of dramatic changes next year? That's before normal raises, bullpen help and 5th starter money. They'd be looking at a $130M payroll, IMO and I just don't see how they would be able to do that.

My point is that I don't think it's very realistic to expect that to happen. Do you? If not, what do you realistically expect to happen?

Do you think that the realistic expectation is enough or are you expecting the team to fail if that's all they do?

Edit: Thome's money got spent on Rios already and Contreras + Dotel = Peavy.

UofCSoxFan
08-16-2009, 11:10 AM
Beckham is a serviceable third baseman defensively. He is by no means "great" and as pointed out his range to his right is extremely limited. Moreso, his bat is elite, already, at SS or 2b, whereas it is only good at 3b.

I wouldn't read too much in Nix play SS instead of Beckham when Alexei got hurt. They knew he'd be out a couple days only. If he was to go to the DL Beckham would have been moved over. Instead they didn't want to jerk a young player all over the field and possibly impact his hitting.

Alexei is a very overrated defensive SS. Frankly he was overrated at 2b. He will move OF eventually, though probably not next year.

I'm not convinced Beckham is the answer at SS either. He had a bunch of errors there in the minors.

Still, if it weren't for awful defense: poor infield play, limited infield range, inability to hold runners, poor OF reads....we'd be winning this division easily. This is currently one of the worst defensie "good" teams I can remember. I think we'd be foolish if we didn't at least review every spot.

Red Barchetta
08-16-2009, 11:11 AM
Re-read the third sentence of my post. I would put Ramirez in LF. An OF of Ramirez LF, Rios CF, and a new RFer with Q to DH.

If (and that's a big IF) Quentin can stay healthy, I think it's too early in his career to designate him as DH only. I think he is a good outfielder and if Ramirez would move to OF, I would like to see Quentin on one of the corners. That's where Dye would be valuable as a resign. He and Quentin could split RF perhaps 70/30 with Quentin playing most of the games.

Obviously, this would all depend on what happens at SS.

At this point, if nothing changes, I think our defense will improve based on experience and the strengthening up the middle with Rios in CF.

voodoochile
08-16-2009, 11:15 AM
Ramirez is at worst an average MLB shortstop and I think he'll get better as he gets comfortable. Remember it's his second season in the majors and his first playing this position in the majors. He's also still young.

DickAllen72
08-16-2009, 11:24 AM
It's an expression.

Do you really think the Sox have the $30M lying around to make those kind of dramatic changes next year? That's before normal raises, bullpen help and 5th starter money. They'd be looking at a $130M payroll, IMO and I just don't see how they would be able to do that.

My point is that I don't think it's very realistic to expect that to happen. Do you? If not, what do you realistically expect to happen?

Do you think that the realistic expectation is enough or are you expecting the team to fail if that's all they do?

Edit: Thome's money got spent on Rios already and Contreras + Dotel = Peavy.
I don't know what to expect. My point is that the Sox biggest weakness is now their defense. Their horrid defense is negatively impacting the pitching staff. The Sox goal should be to improve the defense.

The biggest weaknesses on the defense, now that they have a legit CFer are at SS, RF, 2B, 3B, and LF. They can easily improve 2B by moving Beckham there. Ramirez can't be any worse than Pods or Q in LF. That leaves holes at 3B, SS, and RF.

Maybe they can get a guy tlike Scutaro for SS? Or maybe KW has his eye on some young guy we never heard of? I don't know. Maybe they can get a third baseman and/or a RFer, maybe they can't. But that's what they need. I'm sure with Thome, Dye, Contreras, and probably Dotel, maybe Pods, maybe Jenks etc. coming off the books along with some increase in budget, the Sox have enough flexibility to add a few players to fill these holes. If they can't afford it, it's a moot point and they'll have to suffer with the same poor defense yet again.

Maybe they can't afford to add all three players so they can still move Alexei to OF and get a decent fielding SS and leave the inexpensive GEtz/Nix platoon at 2B and the acceptable but not great defense of Beckham at 3B. Or maybe they can fill two of the three...whatever. These are just goals they should have to improve the defense.

The sad part is, I don't see Ozzie even considering moving Ramirez to the OF anyway, so the chances of my suggestions coming true are slim anyway. But it's just my own humble opinion of how I think the Sox can improve for 2010.

DickAllen72
08-16-2009, 11:28 AM
If (and that's a big IF) Quentin can stay healthy, I think it's too early in his career to designate him as DH only. I think he is a good outfielder and if Ramirez would move to OF, I would like to see Quentin on one of the corners. That's where Dye would be valuable as a resign.
Or re-sign Thome for cheap and let him DH and have an OF of Ramirez, Rios and Quentin. Not ideal, but probably an improvement and a cheaper alternative.

As you say it depends on whom they can get to play SS.

DickAllen72
08-16-2009, 11:31 AM
Still, if it weren't for awful defense: poor infield play, limited infield range, inability to hold runners, poor OF reads....we'd be winning this division easily. This is currently one of the worst defensie "good" teams I can remember. I think we'd be foolish if we didn't at least review every spot.
Agreed. The horrid defense is why this team is hovering around .500 instead of leading their crappy division. And again, one of my biggest concerns is that this defense is killing the pitching staff.

voodoochile
08-16-2009, 11:31 AM
I don't know what to expect. My point is that the Sox biggest weakness is now their defense. Their horrid defense is negatively impacting the pitching staff. The Sox goal should be to improve the defense.

The biggest weaknesses on the defense, now that they have a legit CFer are at SS, RF, 2B, 3B, and LF. They can easily improve 2B by moving Beckham there. Ramirez can't be any worse than Pods or Q in LF. That leaves holes at 3B, SS, and RF.

Maybe they can get a guy tlike Scutaro for SS? Or maybe KW has his eye on some young guy we never heard of? I don't know. Maybe they can get a third baseman and/or a RFer, maybe they can't. But that's what they need. I'm sure with Thome, Dye, Contreras, and probably Dotel, maybe Pods, maybe Jenks etc. coming off the books along with some increase in budget, the Sox have enough flexibility to add a few players to fill these holes. If they can't afford it, it's a moot point and they'll have to suffer with the same poor defense yet again.

Maybe they can't afford to add all three players so they can still move Alexei to OF and get a decent fielding SS and leave the inexpensive GEtz/Nix platoon at 2B and the acceptable but not great defense of Beckham at 3B. Or maybe they can fill two of the three...whatever. These are just goals they should have to improve the defense.

The sad part is, I don't see Ozzie even considering moving Ramirez to the OF anyway, so the chances of my suggestions coming true are slim anyway. But it's just my own humble opinion of how I think the Sox can improve for 2010.

Thank you for sharing your opinion.

I agree that Ozzie isn't going to move Ramirez to the OF. I think he'll be okay with leaving the IF alone for the most part.

DickAllen72
08-16-2009, 11:34 AM
I agree that Ozzie isn't going to move Ramirez to the OF. I think he'll be okay with leaving the IF alone for the most part.
That's exactly what I think will happen as well. I'm not thrilled with it, but that's what I think the plan is.

Red Barchetta
08-16-2009, 11:36 AM
That's exactly what I think will happen as well. I'm not thrilled with it, but that's what I think the plan is.

I agree. Last season when he played 2B, I never thought he was hurting us playing there. This season with him at SS, I have questioned it.

DickAllen72
08-16-2009, 11:42 AM
I agree. Last season when he played 2B, I never thought he was hurting us playing there. This season with him at SS, I have questioned it.
One weakness I have observed in Ramirez is that he seems to be afraid of contact with the runners on a DP. At 2b, it's not much of a problem because most of the times he'd have his back to the runners and would be running away from the oncoming runner to take the throw and make the pivot. At SS, he has to run in toward the sliding runner and being afraid of the contact makes him tentative.

Also, he seems to have better range to his left than to his right. At 2B, he could cheat towards his right a little and it's not a big deal. At SS, when he cheats to his right he has to run a lot harder and faster toward second to make a DP or cover a throw from the catcher and that also screws up the timing of the play.

And thirdly, although I know he has a good arm, I don't know why he often "lollipops" his throws to first. Again, not a big deal from 2B, but not good from SS.

voodoochile
08-16-2009, 11:47 AM
One weakness I have observed in Ramirez is that he seems to be afraid of contact with the runners on a DP. At 2b, it's not much of a problem because most of the times he'd have his back to the runners and would be running away from the oncoming runner to take the throw and make the pivot. At SS, he has to run in toward the sliding runner and being afraid of the contact makes him tentative.

Also, he seems to have better range to his left than to his right. At 2B, he could cheat towards his right a little and it's not a big deal. At SS, when he cheats to his right he has to run a lot harder and faster toward second to make a DP or cover a throw from the catcher and that also screws up the timing of the play.

And thirdly, although I know he has a good arm, I don't know why he often "lollipops" his throws to first. Again, not a big deal from 2B, but not good from SS.

I've seen a big improvement from him since Ozzie yelled at him in June. He had one more bad game shortly after that, but then has been pretty solid since until he made a couple of errors recently, but that's bound to happen, everyone makes errors. Like I said, I think he's at worst ML average defensively and I expect that to improve.

In addition, he's a plus bat for SS. In LF he'd actually be a below average bat.

soxfanreggie
08-16-2009, 11:53 AM
Knowing what we brought in already and that or payroll isn't goingto skyrocket, we're probably goig to have to "deal" with not getting the best option at every position. We might have to make due with an "average at best" 5th starter or position player-a past his prime vet, a rook with some experience to get. Maybe the team we have will attract a decent vet to sign a one or two year deal because he wants a legit shot to win it all.

kufram
08-16-2009, 11:58 AM
I only see one player who is "out of position" and that's Beckham who has made major strides toward becoming a real solid glove at 3B.

I simply don't see the need to spend more money on the IF at present. This team isn't going to have a ton of money to work with unless season ticket sales take off like a bat out of hell early on. I would imagine they are having some success with their make a deposit on next year and get playoff tickets this year promotion, but who knows in this economy how soon people will have enough disposable income to really get back to 2006-7 levels.

I would think the team has more pressing needs including a 5th starter (unless Freddy or Hudson grabs the job) and more bullpen help. In addition they need to give raises to a few players currently on the roster though mediocre years will help them with Carlos and Danks and probably even Bobby. In fact they might be able to get Carlos and Bobby to agree to the long term deal they were pushing last year because of their injury problems this season.

Basically, unless KW makes a big splash in landing a FA 3B, I would expect the IF to look a lot like it currently does. If Getz doesn't cut it the team could do worse than Nix hitting at the bottom of the order.

Right now I expect most of this team to come back as is and I really don't have a problem with that idea.

Great post. I think we have our infield for next year and more. Beckham is just a natural baseball player period, and will get his positioning together himself. Give the kid a chance. TCM is going to make fewer errors I expect and he brings such a great bat that I can live with it anyway. Getz is more than servicable. Paulie at first is Paulie. Nix, I think is going to be a great backup for 3rd, short, and 2nd. Everyone will only get better. The addition of Kotsay gives us excellent backup and LIDR for 1st. Keep'em all.

UChicagoHP
08-16-2009, 12:03 PM
Since Williams acquired Rios, the Ramirez to CF move is probably not an option anymore. I only see him being a "plus" player at SS or 2B, so keeping him in the MI is probably a lock. On the other hand, Beckham is much more of a "plus" player in MI as well. I'd wager a pretty penny the Sox plan on moving Beckham to 2B in the off-season. His bat at that position is a ridiculous advantage for the WhiteSox. Of course, it all depends on whether or not the Sox can find a better than average 3B in the off-season, but they really aren't too hard to find.

Domeshot17
08-16-2009, 12:12 PM
It makes way too much sense to do it:

The Sox have a below average defensive 3b, a below average defensive SS and a below average defensive 2b.

We have the potential to shuffle that to create an average to good SS, an average to good 2b and pick up an average or better 3b.

By shuffling these positions we improve offensively at all 3 spots, 2 of them big time.

Sadly, some people, including Ozzie, look at Alexei and do not see a lazy sub par SS, but someone with some kind of budding superstardom. I do not see it in him, I see a strong arm, thats it. Hopefully I am wrong, but that alone will prevent Beckham from taking over at short.

balke
08-16-2009, 12:28 PM
Agreed. The horrid defense is why this team is hovering around .500 instead of leading their crappy division. And again, one of my biggest concerns is that this defense is killing the pitching staff.

Defense is a problem lately... but I think its a better problem than what the Sox did have. They could not hit earlier this year. Right now, with Rios and Beckham instead of Anderson/Wise and Fields... I'm really happy.

I want to give this team a chance. I think the proper changes have been made, and I wouldn't mess with anything on this team right now.

JAKE PEAVY IS COMING TO THE SOX! I can't wait. Ozzie can play baseball a lot of different ways come September, and the Sox have a great chance to win this dang division and be a top force going into the playoffs.

fram40
08-16-2009, 12:39 PM
Since Williams acquired Rios, the Ramirez to CF move is probably not an option anymore. I only see him being a "plus" player at SS or 2B, so keeping him in the MI is probably a lock. On the other hand, Beckham is much more of a "plus" player in MI as well. I'd wager a pretty penny the Sox plan on moving Beckham to 2B in the off-season. His bat at that position is a ridiculous advantage for the WhiteSox. Of course, it all depends on whether or not the Sox can find a better than average 3B in the off-season, but they really aren't too hard to find.

I'll be shocked if the Sox change anything in the infield. All reports indicate that the long-term plans are to leave Beckham at third, and Guillen has been quoted repeatedly that TCM is his shortstop. ALl indications are that Guillen likes Getz at second as well, with multiple reports that Guillen likes Getz as a baseball player.

3/4 of the infield is new to their postion this year at the ML level and there appear to be no ready replacements in the minors. Given how those same 3/4 have gotten demonstrably better as the season has gone on (perhaps not WSI's opinion but the Sox mgmt postion) this infield is coming back as is and I expect better play defensively from 2B, SS and 3B simply from experience.

LITTLE NELL
08-16-2009, 12:39 PM
I'm a Getz fan and he would be out if Beckham moved to SS and TCM to 2B. Lets remember these guys are all rookies at the position they are playing now and I believe they will all be better as the years go on.

chisoxjtrain
08-16-2009, 12:52 PM
Isn't Alexei's natural position SS?

TheVulture
08-16-2009, 01:28 PM
I really don't see Beckham playing a better SS than Ramirez.

DickAllen72
08-16-2009, 06:41 PM
Isn't Alexei's natural position SS?
He played mostly outfield in Cuba. At least that's what I remember reading from a Cuban poster on another message board a few months ago.

UChicagoHP
08-16-2009, 07:15 PM
I really don't see Beckham playing a better SS than Ramirez.

Me either, but I bet he will a damn fine 2B for the next decade...