Tuesday, February 07, 2006
“His [Alex Gonzalez] career sub-300 OBP would kill potential big innings night after night. Last season’s offensive game plan and this coming year’s appear to be the same: everyone get on-base (a.k.a. don’t use up one of the 27 outs) to give Manny and Ortiz as many possible appearances with ducks on the pond.”
Gonzalez will likely be as piss poor in 2006 as the Sox # 9 hitters were in 2005. Mark Bellhorn and friends hit 246/318/343 last season. After clubs figured out that Bellhorn can’t hit anything above his waist, he sucked it up the # 9 hole last season to a tune of 205/308/336. Gonzalez will not be the reason the Sox won’t score 900+ runs in 2006 that honor likely falls to Mike Lowell, who needs to regain his 2002-2004 form to match Bill Mueller’s 2005 production.
Regardless, the Gonzalez signing is still very questionable with the Sox fly ball pitching staff and the internal options. The transaction got the “kick me while I’m down” status when the Sox designated Roberto Petagine for assignment. Petagine only hit 327/452/635 including 20 HR in only 266 at-bats in AAA. He should have gotten the chance to win the backup job at first instead of the Sox handing it over to J.T. “no bat” Snow. Petagine deserves a shot somewhere (Minn., Florida), but the most troubling part is that this was preventable. John Flaherty should not have been signed! He was doubly redundant in December with Shoppach and Ken Huckaby already in the fold (it is even worse now with Josh Bard). Plus, there was not an extra spot on the 40-man after Tony Graffanino accepted arbitration a few days earlier. The Sox could not afford the “luxury” of a third no-hit backup catcher. It again gets back to the Sox making questionable 40-man roster decisions.