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SoxxoS
04-01-2003, 12:05 PM
In the Sun-Times today, Manuel said Graf would start at SS against lefties.


No problem with the move, Jose hits terrible right handed anyway. It's just funny that the tinkering starts so early.


:jerry

I may have Olivo playing center. Who knows? I'm crazy.

maurice
04-01-2003, 12:10 PM
Many posters here (including me) advocate platooning Jose, but the thought of Graff playing SS gives me shivers down my spine. Why not shift Jimenez to short and play Graff at second? It should be quite an adventure.

voodoochile
04-01-2003, 12:10 PM
Originally posted by SoxxoS
In the Sun-Times today, Manuel said Graf would start at SS against lefties.


No problem with the move, Jose hits terrible right handed anyway. It's just funny that the tinkering starts so early.


:jerry

I may have Olivo playing center. Who knows? I'm crazy.

That's not tinkering, that's a platoon. Has Jerry been reading Phil Rogers?

:jerry
"Yeah, I've been watching the Iraq war on CNN and they kept saying platoon and I thought... that's what we need, a platoon of men to fill different positions. I wonder why no one ever tried this before. It's like pre-set tinkering. I can sleep even longer with this system in place. Tinkering without the thinking... What a concept..."

Fridaythe13thJason
04-01-2003, 12:26 PM
Originally posted by maurice
Many posters here (including me) advocate platooning Jose, but the thought of Graff playing SS gives me shivers down my spine. Why not shift Jimenez to short and play Graff at second? It should be quite an adventure.


No no no. Thats the BS we pulled with Jose last year. If we want Jimenez to be a stable player, good lead off hitter, and good defender, we play him at a position. He is our second baseman. Unless there is an emergency, he plays 2B always.

I agree with platooning Jose with Graff. I'm not sure why we're so concerned with his defense. It should be solid...not spectacular, but solid.

czalgosz
04-01-2003, 12:31 PM
Originally posted by SoCalUIC
No no no. Thats the BS we pulled with Jose last year. If we want Jimenez to be a stable player, good lead off hitter, and good defender, we play him at a position. He is our second baseman. Unless there is an emergency, he plays 2B always.

I agree with platooning Jose with Graff. I'm not sure why we're so concerned with his defense. It should be solid...not spectacular, but solid.

Well, if Jimenez becomes the starting SS next year (which he might well be) then it might be a good idea to see what he can do there. But I agree that they should let Jimenez get settled at second before moving him around.

But I have no issues with Graffanino at short. He should be fine. And Valentin has enough trouble against lefties that it's worth the defensive falloff, which won't be as bad as people think.

Brian26
04-01-2003, 12:55 PM
Simplistic Question:

Is Jose that awful when batting lefthanded against left-handed pitchers? Sometimes I wonder why he doesn't just bat soley lefthanded, against righties and lefties. I know his average is terrible when batting righthanded. Do you always have to play by the book?

maurice
04-01-2003, 01:11 PM
So I did a bit of research. Graff has started 42 games at short during his seven-year career . . . not that many but enough to generate a decent sample. He has a bad .958 FPCT at short, but a surprisingly good 4.91 RF and .869 ZR. Hopefully, he'll recude his error rate with regular playing time.

Disclaimer: yes . . . everyone is aware that fielding stats generally suck.

czalgosz
04-01-2003, 01:16 PM
Originally posted by Brian26
Simplistic Question:

Is Jose that awful when batting lefthanded against left-handed pitchers? Sometimes I wonder why he doesn't just bat soley lefthanded, against righties and lefties. I know his average is terrible when batting righthanded. Do you always have to play by the book?

IIRC, he tried batting lefty against lefty pitchers a year or two ago, and didn't feel comfortable doing it. I guess he just can't hit lefties.

PaleHoseGeorge
04-01-2003, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by maurice
So I did a bit of research. Graff has started 42 games at short during his seven-year career . . . not that many but enough to generate a decent sample. He has a bad .958 FPCT at short, but a surprisingly good 4.91 RF and .869 ZR. Hopefully, he'll recude his error rate with regular playing time.

Disclaimer: yes . . . everyone is aware that fielding stats generally suck.

The key question is whether Graffanino will produce more than Valentin over time in a platoon. Can Graffanino hold down the #2 spot in the line up against lefties, or are we already admitting his bat belongs in the bottom-third of the order? His glove work is no improvement over Valentin's. Is Manuel smart for trusting this guy against all the league's lefties or is he just tinkering?

Like any former substitute, we have to wonder whether Graffanino can maintain even his mediocre level of play across any meaningful length of time. Once opposing pitchers discover a hitter's weakness, their offensive production slumps badly because these sorts of ballplayers simply can't adjust. It's what I call "The Augie Ojeda Syndrome." Worse, the ballplayer's hitting woes usually follow him into the field, too.

I'm not sure if Graff might be an exception. I've watched too many utility infielders get a chance at semi-regular playing time and stink the joint up in matter of 6-8 weeks. Craig Grebeck comes to mind as a recent example.

Whatever we do, it's clear we're weak at shortstop this year. I'm firmly against screwing with Jimenez at 2B trying to paper-over our problems at SS. I don't like any of our available options--especially while carrying three catchers.

:jerry
"I wonder if Josh couldn't take a bit of infield at short?"

HawkDJ
04-01-2003, 01:59 PM
Sounds good to me. Valentin has only hit .196 against lefties over the last 3 years while Graffanino has hit .264 . I don't see how Graffanino's defense can be considered the same as Valentin's at short. Graffanino has always seemed solid at defense to me.

czalgosz
04-01-2003, 02:07 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge

Like any former substitute, we have to wonder whether Graffanino can maintain even his mediocre level of play across any meaningful length of time. Once opposing pitchers discover a hitter's weakness, their offensive production slumps badly because these sorts of ballplayers simply can't adjust. It's what I call "The Augie Ojeda Syndrome." Worse, the ballplayer's hitting woes usually follow him into the field, too.

I'm not sure if Graff might be an exception. I've watched too many utility infielders get a chance at semi-regular playing time and stink the joint up in matter of 6-8 weeks. Craig Grebeck comes to mind as a recent example.


I don't know, Craig Grebeck did a pretty nice job in the couple of opportunities he had (with the Sox in 1991/92, and with Toronto in 1998). He certainly wasn't an ideal solution, but he wasn't crappy, either. In any case, Graffanino is better than Grebeck ever was. At every place he's gotten substantial playing time, he's hit very well for a middle infielder. What I'm more concerned about is bringing poor defensive play to the plate than bringing weak hitting out onto the field.

Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge

Whatever we do, it's clear we're weak at shortstop this year. I'm firmly against screwing with Jimenez at 2B trying to paper-over our problems at SS. I don't like any of our available options--especially while carrying three catchers.



I seem to recall getting ridiculed on this web site for making that exact point last season. We can all agree that the Sox don't want Clayton back, but Valentin isn't the solution, either, at least not for the long run.

And the Sox shouldn't be carrying three catchers. They need to get Sandy Alomar out of there. Watching him play yesterday just confirmed that.

PaleHoseGeorge
04-01-2003, 02:26 PM
Originally posted by czalgosz
I don't know, Craig Grebeck did a pretty nice job in the couple of opportunities he had (with the Sox in 1991/92, and with Toronto in 1998). He certainly wasn't an ideal solution, but he wasn't crappy, either. In any case, Graffanino is better than Grebeck ever was. At every place he's gotten substantial playing time, he's hit very well for a middle infielder. What I'm more concerned about is bringing poor defensive play to the plate than bringing weak hitting out onto the field.



I seem to recall getting ridiculed on this web site for making that exact point last season. We can all agree that the Sox don't want Clayton back, but Valentin isn't the solution, either, at least not for the long run.

And the Sox shouldn't be carrying three catchers. They need to get Sandy Alomar out of there. Watching him play yesterday just confirmed that.

HUH? Who said anything about Valentin being "a solution"? To the contrary, I said we're WEAK at shortstop. I simply question the value of Graffanino as a solution for anything besides utility infielder. Again, is this improving the team or simply tinkering? I don't know, but it sucks to have to choose. Such is life as a Sox Fan, I guess. :(:

I can only remember one infielder, Joey Cora, who emerged from the back up role to make significant everyday contribution. I wouldn't count Craig Grebeck (or Paco Martin, or Chris Snopek, et al) as anything but a competent understudy.

czalgosz
04-01-2003, 02:35 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
HUH? Who said anything about Valentin being "a solution"? To the contrary, I said we're WEAK at shortstop. I simply question the value of Graffanino as a solution for anything besides utility infielder. Again, is this improving the team or simply tinkering? I don't know, but it sucks to have to choose. Such is life as a Sox Fan, I guess. :(:

I can only remember one infielder, Joey Cora, who emerged from the back up role to make significant everyday contribution. I wouldn't count Craig Grebeck (or Paco Martin, or Chris Snopek, et al) as anything but a competent understudy.

I agree totally - using Graffanino in this role isn't the right thing to do. I just thought you were being kind of harsh toward poor Tony, that's all.

It's kind of ironic that the first thing that KW tried to do when he came in is improve the situation at SS. Two years later, and the situation hasn't improved. He's done some nice things as GM, but the Sox need to find an everyday shortstop.