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Frater Perdurabo
05-13-2004, 09:46 PM
I have a lineup platoon situation to take care of Paulie's abhorrent stats against right-handed pitchers, to get Frank more starts at 1B and to make room for Valentin without taking time away from Harris at 2B and Uribe at short:

Home against righties:
DH Frank
1B Gload

Home against lefties:
DH Frank
1B Konerko

Road against righties:
DH Valentin
1B Frank

Road against lefties:
DH Konerko
1B Frank

Frank plays every day, but plays first on the road. Konerko only faces lefties. Valentin only faces righties, and he can't make any errors as a DH. (He is also able to backup Harris and Uribe.) Gload gets some playing time as well. The last piece of the puzzle is to bring up Reed and send down Rowand.

Discuss...

SEALgep
05-13-2004, 09:48 PM
Frank is a liability at first. He can't throw well. PK and Gload are both better options than Frank. I don't mind him playing once in a while, but certainly not as often as you suggested.

MRKARNO
05-13-2004, 09:51 PM
Outside of interleague play, I wouldnt put Frank at first more than once every 10 days. We need him healthy and we need a better fielding first baseman. I'm still not sold that at this point in his career that Frank can really put up better numbers by playing in the field.

Frater Perdurabo
05-13-2004, 09:54 PM
Originally posted by SEALgep
Frank is a liability at first. He can't throw well. PK and Gload are both better options than Frank. I don't mind him playing once in a while, but certainly not as often as you suggested.

He's no gold-glove winner, but I think that given the rest of the Sox infield defense, it should not be a problem. Besides, with Valentin DH-ing the majority of games in which Frank plays first, Frank would not have to field many wild throws.

I'm of the opinion that Frank's offensive production alone would outweigh his defensive liability at first in road games. Plus, it would get Konerko out of the lineup against right-handed pitching, which would benefit the offense even more.

Add Reed to the lineup and the Sox would have a juggernaut offense.

voodoochile
05-13-2004, 09:56 PM
Originally posted by SEALgep
Frank is a liability at first. He can't throw well. PK and Gload are both better options than Frank. I don't mind him playing once in a while, but certainly not as often as you suggested.

So the Sox should make a decision to not start Frank at first because of the two times a game (maximum) that he has to make a throw?

Does anyone else see the inherent flaw in this logic?

Frater Perdurabo
05-13-2004, 09:56 PM
Originally posted by MRKARNO
Outside of interleague play, I wouldnt put Frank at first more than once every 10 days. We need him healthy and we need a better fielding first baseman. I'm still not sold that at this point in his career that Frank can really put up better numbers by playing in the field.

Is Konerko exactly a gold-glove first baseman? And does Konerko's bat justify keeping him in the lineup right now (apart from his Game 2 heroics tonight)?

No one will ever be sold about Frank's ability to produce even more at first if he isn't given the opportunity to do so on at least a semi-regular basis.

voodoochile
05-13-2004, 09:58 PM
Originally posted by Frater Perdurabo
Is Konerko exactly a gold-glove first baseman? And does Konerko's bat justify keeping him in the lineup right now (apart from his Game 2 heroics tonight)?

No one will ever be sold about Frank's ability to produce even more at first if he isn't given the opportunity to do so on at least a semi-regular basis.

Exactly Paulie's bad footwork nearly cost the Sox twice today in the first game. If Willie Harris isn't backing up both plays in amazing fashion, the runner goes to third both times.

Frater Perdurabo
05-13-2004, 09:59 PM
If Konerko was playing solid defense and hitting .290 at this point, I wouldn't even bring this up. But he's not, and he hasn't for almost two years (apart from six weeks last summer).

This is less a Frank-driven suggestion and more of a Paulie-driven suggestion.

RKMeibalane
05-13-2004, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
So the Sox should make a decision to not start Frank at first because of the two times a game (maximum) that he has to make a throw?

Does anyone else see the inherent flaw in this logic?

I'm still waiting for the Frank-haters to come up with a legitamite reason why Thomas can't play first base more often. In the two and half years I've been a member of this board, I haven't seen one yet.

MRKARNO
05-13-2004, 10:06 PM
Originally posted by RKMeibalane
I'm still waiting for the Frank-haters to come up with a legitamite reason why Thomas can't play first base more often. In the two and half years I've been a member of this board, I haven't seen one yet.

I dont call myself a Frank Hater. Quite the opposite, I'm a huge fan of Frank Thomas, but I think he's better suited for the DH role. While I think he should play first base more often, by that I mean once every 1-2 weeks or so maybe to get Crede, Valentin, Harris and Uribe all in the lineup at once. The fielding puts a lot more wear and tear on his body than the DH role does and we don't want to risk an injury with Frank because this team would go down if he went down. Especially at home where he gets to swing in the batting cage between at bats does it make sense to DH him. Plus we have an 8 million dollar 1st basemen who doesnt like to DH and money is definately a factor in Frank not playing at first more often.

Not being on the "PUT FRANK AT FIRST" bandwagon does not a Frank-hater make.

Frater Perdurabo
05-13-2004, 10:09 PM
Originally posted by RKMeibalane
I'm still waiting for the Frank-haters to come up with a legitamite reason why Thomas can't play first base more often. In the two and half years I've been a member of this board, I haven't seen one yet.

While I didn't agree with it at the time, I at least could understand why Manuel was reluctant to play Frank at 1B more last season. Konerko was just coming off an All-Star season and Valentin was the starting shortstop.

But this year the Sox have Uribe and his arm is much more accurate than Valentin's. In fact, the Sox have pretty accurate arms at second, short and third. This makes whatever defensive advantage that Konerko brings to the position even less significant. Furthermore, Konerko's slump in early 2003 has become a long-term trend. The Sox can't afford to subsidize his poor bat in the lineup anymore, especially when he isn't a great defensive first baseman to begin with. We're not talking about Rafael Palmeiro at 1B during his prime, people.

Consequently, in 2004 there is nothing to lose by playing Frank at 1B. Rather, there is much, very much, to be gained by it. Besides, I'm only calling for Frank to play first in road games to stay in the flow of the game. He can DH at home where he can hit in the cages between at-bats to stay sharp.

Frater Perdurabo
05-13-2004, 10:13 PM
Originally posted by MRKARNO
I dont call myself a Frank Hater. Quite the opposite, I'm a huge fan of Frank Thomas, but I think he's better suited for the DH role. While I think he should play first base more often, by that I mean once every 1-2 weeks or so maybe to get Crede, Valentin, Harris and Uribe all in the lineup at once. The fielding puts a lot more wear and tear on his body than the DH role does and we don't want to risk an injury with Frank because this team would go down if he went down. Especially at home where he gets to swing in the batting cage between at bats does it make sense to DH him.

I'm not calling for Frank to play at 1B even one game at the Cell. I'm only proposing that he play first on the road, and then DH full-time at home.

Originally posted by MRKARNO
Plus we have an 8 million dollar 1st basemen who doesnt like to DH and money is definately a factor in Frank not playing at first more often.

Yeah, an $8 million first baseman who isn't much better defensively than what Frank would offer at first, and who basically has treaded water along the Mendoza line (and been among the league leaders in GIDPs) for the equivalent of the better part of two seasons.

Frater Perdurabo
05-13-2004, 10:16 PM
Originally posted by SEALgep
Frank is a liability at first.

Apart from Game 2 tonight, Konerko is a liability in the lineup every day. And he's not all that in the field, either.

RKMeibalane
05-13-2004, 10:30 PM
Originally posted by MRKARNO
I dont call myself a Frank Hater. Quite the opposite, I'm a huge fan of Frank Thomas, but I think he's better suited for the DH role. While I think he should play first base more often, by that I mean once every 1-2 weeks or so maybe to get Crede, Valentin, Harris and Uribe all in the lineup at once. The fielding puts a lot more wear and tear on his body than the DH role does and we don't want to risk an injury with Frank because this team would go down if he went down. Especially at home where he gets to swing in the batting cage between at bats does it make sense to DH him. Plus we have an 8 million dollar 1st basemen who doesnt like to DH and money is definately a factor in Frank not playing at first more often.

Not being on the "PUT FRANK AT FIRST" bandwagon does not a Frank-hater make.

Don't misunderstand me. I wasn't calling you a Frank-hater. And I do agree that Frank probably can't hold down first base every day. However, I do think he needs to be out there 2-3 games each week, especially on the road, so he won't spend so much time obsession over every at bat.

Manuel's decision to keep Frank at DH late last season was one of the main reasons (IMO) that the Sox missed the playoffs. If the offense had been just a little bit more productive, they would have been able to overtake Minnesota.

A. Cavatica
05-13-2004, 10:32 PM
I'm not a Frank hater, but I have an irrational fear that he'll hurt himself out there. The torn triceps (or was it biceps?) was a sign.

Apart from that, I like your idea.

ND_Sox_Fan
05-14-2004, 12:38 AM
I love the suggestion - get PK out as much as possible.

At the very least, Thomas needs a start at first this weekend. His average has dropped about 40 points over the last week or so, and letting him play the field usually helps get him out of slumps.

Plus, he is going to need to see some action before Interleague starts anyway!