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View Full Version : Anyone think Willie can handle SS?


SOX ADDICT '73
02-28-2005, 10:35 PM
Article today on Sox official site:
Willie Harris, who already has the ability to play second base and center field, will be used at shortstop in certain instances this spring to see if he can handle the position. If Harris can do the job, the White Sox probably wouldn't keep Valdez or Ozuna. Instead, they could add Jamie Burke to the 40-man roster as a backup catcher, a reserve at third base and a right-handed hitter off the bench.
When's the last time Willie played SS? I have no memory of him being tested there at the Major League level, but I'd love it if he could do it. Offensively and in terms of ML experience, I have more confidence in Harris than in Valdez and Ozuna combined, but does he have the range or the arm for shortstop?

I'd also like to see Burke stick with this team, especially as a RH PH, but what's been his experience at 3B?

OEO Magglio
02-28-2005, 10:37 PM
I saw that and I don't think he can handle it. I think his range would be fine there but his arm is just to weak. Hopefully he can prove me wrong, it would be nice to have that luxury, I'm just not expecting it.

mcfish
02-28-2005, 10:58 PM
When's the last time Willie played SS?probably never.

does he have the range or the arm for shortstop?He has great range for a 2b, so I'm sure his range would be fine. The arm might be a trickier issue, but a) he can play CF and b) he would only be a backup, so I think it would be fine.

I'd also like to see Burke stick with this team, especially as a RH PH, but what's been his experience at 3B?Burke has played 3B regularly before. Well, maybe not regularly, but he is always listed as being able to play C, 3B, and RF.

I love this decision to try Willie at SS as a backup. I really hope it works out and he handles it well defensively. If not, then Iguchi should try. Seriously, it's just a backup role - it's not like we're asking 1 of the 2 of them to take over at SS for 140 games.

Banix12
02-28-2005, 11:17 PM
I figure if Willie has enough of an arm to play the outfield he should be able to throw from SS to first. For a backup he should be more than adequate.

Burke played a few games last year at 3rd. I wouldn't call him outstanding but he's decent enough that he isn't a liability out there.

MisterB
02-28-2005, 11:24 PM
probably never.

He has great range for a 2b, so I'm sure his range would be fine. The arm might be a trickier issue, but a) he can play CF and b) he would only be a backup, so I think it would be fine.

Burke has played 3B regularly before. Well, maybe not regularly, but he is always listed as being able to play C, 3B, and RF.

I love this decision to try Willie at SS as a backup. I really hope it works out and he handles it well defensively. If not, then Iguchi should try. Seriously, it's just a backup role - it's not like we're asking 1 of the 2 of them to take over at SS for 140 games.

1) I don't think Harris has the arm to play SS.

2) Burke was drafted as a thirdbaseman and AFAIK didn't start putting in time at catcher until the high minors when it became apparent he didn't have the offensive ability to be a 3B in the majors (basically to prolong his baseball career, which has worked so far)

chisox06
02-28-2005, 11:25 PM
Well Ive never seen him play short so its hard to comment, but as Banix said he did play the outfield so it makes you think the arm strength wouldn't be too much of a liability. However, if Willie's playin short that means hes in the lineup somewhere. Im way more concerned with his bat than his defense.

popilius
03-01-2005, 12:11 AM
There's no way. . . you can't just walk into the shortstop position at the major league level, especially if you haven't been practicing there for years. Willie's a good defensive second baseman, and defensively speaking, I'd rather see Wilson Valdez at short.


:gulp:

SoxxoS
03-01-2005, 12:17 AM
I am waiting for phenom Andy Gonzalez. He should be ready by the All-Star break the way he is progressing.

balke
03-01-2005, 12:24 AM
There's no way. . . you can't just walk into the shortstop position at the major league level, especially if you haven't been practicing there for years. Willie's a good defensive second baseman, and defensively speaking, I'd rather see Wilson Valdez at short.


:gulp:

I wasn't impressed w/ Valdez at all last season. Willie would definitely be an upgrade overall, and his fielding couldn't be much further off than Valdez'. Willie does not have the arm to play short though.

SoxWillWin
03-01-2005, 01:41 AM
Maybe they play him at short in the spring to avoid any media attention over a struggle for the 2B position. I mean we all know Iguchi is our starting 2B. After all we are getting tons of media attention these days. Just a thought.

idseer
03-01-2005, 08:00 AM
There's no way. . . you can't just walk into the shortstop position at the major league level, especially if you haven't been practicing there for years. Willie's a good defensive second baseman, and defensively speaking, I'd rather see Wilson Valdez at short.


:gulp:

i don't know about that. ripkin didn't take years to catch on at third after a career at short.
the situation will be unique to willie. only trying it will tell.

Ol' No. 2
03-01-2005, 08:57 AM
Well Ive never seen him play short so its hard to comment, but as Banix said he did play the outfield so it makes you think the arm strength wouldn't be too much of a liability. However, if Willie's playin short that means hes in the lineup somewhere. Im way more concerned with his bat than his defense.There's a big difference between throwing from the OF, where you have the chance to get more of your body into it, and throwing from SS, where it's almost all arm. I think it's a longshot that Willie can play SS, but it's worth a look in ST.

Procol Harum
03-01-2005, 09:21 AM
Never say never but this is a close one. Too much of a learning curve at this stage of the game, especially with what he's shown us up to this point arm, hands, and head-wise.

voodoochile
03-01-2005, 09:22 AM
There's a big difference between throwing from the OF, where you have the chance to get more of your body into it, and throwing from SS, where it's almost all arm. I think it's a longshot that Willie can play SS, but it's worth a look in ST.

Always nice to have options. If Crede struggles offensively again and Harris continues to show an ability to reach base, it will be nice to be able to bump Uibe to 3B and move Willie to SS.

Obviously, I hope Crede makes a big leap this year because he still has all the tools.

Ol' No. 2
03-01-2005, 09:28 AM
Always nice to have options. If Crede struggles offensively again and Harris continues to show an ability to reach base, it will be nice to be able to bump Uibe to 3B and move Willie to SS.

Obviously, I hope Crede makes a big leap this year because he still has all the tools.I think there's a better chance Iguchi can play SS than Willie. SS is a lot different than playing 2B. Backhanding a ball to your right and getting enough on the ball to make a good throw to first isn't something you learn in ST.

idseer
03-01-2005, 09:30 AM
I think there's a better chance Iguchi can play SS than Willie. SS is a lot different than playing 2B. Backhanding a ball to your right and getting enough on the ball to make a good throw to first isn't something you learn in ST.

what .. 2nd baseman don't backhand balls to their right? :?:

Ol' No. 2
03-01-2005, 09:35 AM
what .. 2nd baseman don't backhand balls to their right? :?:Of course they do but it's not nearly as long of a throw. It's a much easier play.

DaleJRFan
03-01-2005, 11:28 AM
Burke has played 3B regularly before. Well, maybe not regularly, but he is always listed as being able to play C, 3B, and RF.

We've got the 33 year old version of Brandon Inge. And that's fine with me. Burke is a decent contact hitter and can come in the right situation to move the runners along. If Crede flops (again) then we have a backup plan until Fields is ready.

veeter
03-01-2005, 12:27 PM
If David Eckstein has the arm for short then Willie can make the throw. He just needs to work on a quick release. Easier said than done I know.

Lip Man 1
03-01-2005, 12:36 PM
In a word...no.

Lip

SoxxoS
03-01-2005, 01:18 PM
If David Eckstein has the arm for short then Willie can make the throw. He just needs to work on a quick release. Easier said than done I know.

Eckstein is the exception, not the rule. He gets the job done, and is completely a different player than Harris.

Fake Chet Lemon
03-01-2005, 01:23 PM
If there is any question about his arm the answer should be NO. SS is the one position I don't think a team should EVER compromise defense for offense. Just ask our staff about all the extra innings they have pitched thanks to J. Valentin.

Jabroni
03-01-2005, 03:08 PM
I think Willie has the range to play SS but not the arm. Maybe we can get Canseco to shoot up some of the good stuff right into Willie's bicep?

AZChiSoxFan
03-01-2005, 03:26 PM
Article today on Sox official site:

When's the last time Willie played SS? I have no memory of him being tested there at the Major League level, but I'd love it if he could do it.

You have a good memory. According to Baseball-reference, Willie have never played a game at SS, at the major league level.

flo-B-flo
03-01-2005, 04:02 PM
In a word...no.

Lip My answer.

RKMeibalane
03-01-2005, 04:29 PM
This almost sounds like a move that Jerry Manuel would make. That alone is reason for Ozzie to leave Willie on the bench, and only to use him at second base when Iguichi needs a day off.

Jabroni
03-01-2005, 04:37 PM
This almost sounds like a move that Jerry Manuel would make.:jerry
**TINKER TINKER**

kevingrt
03-01-2005, 04:52 PM
To go along with the other 90% of the people... in a word

No...

OEO Magglio
03-01-2005, 04:58 PM
To go along with the other 90% of the people... in a word

No...
Woah, where have you been lately??

soxwon
03-01-2005, 05:37 PM
I dont get it-iguchi is a natural ss, who will play 2b for us
harris is a 2b why would he backup ss

Jabroni
03-01-2005, 05:38 PM
I dont get it-iguchi is a natural ss, who will play 2b for us
harris is a 2b why would he backup ssIguchi WAS ORIGINALLY a SS but he had shoulder surgery in 2000 and moved to 2B.

mcfish
03-01-2005, 06:05 PM
This almost sounds like a move that Jerry Manuel would make. That alone is reason for Ozzie to leave Willie on the bench, and only to use him at second base when Iguichi needs a day off.What about when Uribe needs a day off? That's what this is about. Someone one the roster has to be able to play SS besides Uribe. It could either be Wilson Valdez or Harris/Iguchi - freeing up a roster spot for someone who would be better than Wilson Valdez.

Daver
03-01-2005, 06:15 PM
To answer the original question in this thread.



No.

champagne030
03-01-2005, 06:21 PM
You have a good memory. According to Baseball-reference, Willie have never played a game at SS, at the major league level.

i just read (within the last couple of days) in a local paper (cubune, sun-times, or herald) about willie last playing SS in the baltimore minor league system....i'm headed out the door for the bulls so i'll look for it later if nobody comes up with the article.....

Jabroni
03-01-2005, 06:28 PM
i just read (within the last couple of days) in a local paper (cubune, sun-times, or herald) about willie last playing SS in the baltimore minor league system....i'm headed out the door for the bulls so i'll look for it later if nobody comes up with the article.....Hmm, I wonder. I'm pretty sure he played 2B and CF in the Orioles' farm system.

Jerome
03-01-2005, 08:58 PM
YES! That means Uribe can split time with Crede at third, giving us one very versitle infield.

If we go for speed like everyone wants - Iguchi, Harris, and Uribe

If Joe actually learns how to hit a baseball - Iguchi, Uribe/Harris, and Crede

That is a decent infield. Not spectacular, but no glaring weakness either.

champagne030
03-02-2005, 08:47 AM
Hmm, I wonder. I'm pretty sure he played 2B and CF in the Orioles' farm system.

i probably didn't think enough of the statement to realize they could mean he played one inning because i thought he was an all-star 2b that season, but here it is.......http://www.dailyherald.com/sports/sox.asp?intID=3840841



"The reserve infield job is about all that's open in the Sox' training camp, and Willie Harris, Pablo Ozuna and Wilson Valdez are vying for the spot. Harris, supplanted as the starting second baseman by Japan's Tadahito Iguchi, needs to play shortstop to win the competition. Harris hasn't played the position since 2001, when he was at Class AA Bowie in the Orioles' system."

SOX ADDICT '73
03-07-2005, 12:00 AM
A really positive article about this topic on the Sox website today (THIS IS A NEW ARTICLE FOLKS, 3/6/05, NOT THE SAME ONE THAT STARTED THIS THREAD):

http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20050306&content_id=958709&vkey=spt2005news&fext=.jsp&c_id=cws

I know, I know, it's just a Spring Training B game. But I pray this is the answer to the only real question mark on this team!:)

JKryl
03-07-2005, 12:11 AM
Yes, if necessary, he can give it a shot. But, come on guys, this was just a what if article. No need to get our shorts out of order.

SOX ADDICT '73
03-07-2005, 12:18 AM
Yes, if necessary, he can give it a shot. But, come on guys, this was just a what if article. No need to get our shorts out of order.
The ORIGINAL article at the top of this thread is the "what if" article. The one I just posted a link to describes Willie's experience at SS during a game against a squad of minor league players TODAY.
Finally, with one out in the bottom of the fourth, Harris was tested. Micah Schnurstein hit a chopper just to the right of Harris, who came in a couple of steps, grabbed the baseball on a nice hop and fired across the infield to first baseman Casey Rogowski for the out. Harris also turned a double play on Brandon Allen's fifth-inning ground ball to Valdez at second and made the catch and tag on an attempted steal of second.
Not only did Harris handle the position flawlessly, but also truly looked as if he belonged. For good measure, Harris stole three bases and showed great support for his teammates in a relatively meaningless game, even giving Rogowski a pat on the back, in between loud laughter, when the big man fell around third while trying to score from first on a double.
"I actually had some fun out there," said Harris, who has played 142 career games at second base and 105 in the outfield. "Playing shortstop, you feel like you are the best athlete out there. That's the way I felt today. I felt good over there.
"With some more work and getting more ground balls, the more comfortable I get, the better off I will be. I know it's a tough position, but by playing it today, it didn't feel that tough to me."
There are some distinct defensive differences between second and shortstop. Harris found turning the double play easier as a shortstop because the play was in front of him. As for the longer throw, the 5-foot-9, 170-pound Harris needs to use his feet a little more and get the ball over with his momentum. Balls hit deep in the hole focus more on using the arm. But Harris believes his arm is strong enough to do the job.
His improved attitude is as encouraging to me as the fact that he felt pretty comfortable there and made some good plays.

santo=dorf
03-07-2005, 12:31 AM
I like how he stole three bases. Where was that last season? :?:

SoxxoS
03-07-2005, 12:32 AM
It doesn't look there are many other options out there...and his attitude are there...so if he keeps it up he might work IN A PINCH. I am sure KW will be working the phones if anything better comes along (Graffanino).