NORICHIKA AOKI, CF
Don't get me wrong. Putting a dubious LEFT fielder out there into center field can be fun. But every rose has its thorn. Also, every 1-0 loss which is caused by a misread fly ball has a downhill roll through a blackberry patch.
I counted four balls hit to Aoki, one being the blundered popup to center. The other three of which he had "surrounded" from East, West, and North. Dr. D is hardly a defensive purist, but it's hard to believe this is the franchise that didn't believe Michael Saunders could play CF.
Obviously, Smith Cruz and Gutierrez are CF debit card swaps that are going to be rudely declined by the home plate ump. You're left a starting center fielder, King Leonydas, that actually has to be subbed out to Cheney if you tire of his impending 50 OPS+. If you want to even rest Leonydas for one game against a Chris Sale, you've got a mondo extreme "bat-first" center fielder (Aoki) who is a league-average 103+ hitter.
Funny thing, though. The other day they had a TV graphic up, the 5 best OPS's in the game last year, left hand batters against left hand pitchers. It had Votto, Harper, Hamilton, some other guy and ... Nori Aoki. He spotted them 15 homers apiece and still caught 'em coming around the turn.
|Batter vs LHP, career
|ichiro lite (Aoki)
You probly knew that already, but it completely changed the way Dr. D felt about this lineup against AL West lefties. All of a sudden Dr. D realizes, with a start, that we're bristling with Grade A weapons from this side of the batter's box. Pity the fool David Price. We will carry his head through the city on a truncheon.
FIZZLER: LOGIC AS A CONCEPT
Since Dae-Ho Lee made the club, we hear a torrent of (hopeful) comments to the effect that Adam Lind will get more vs. LHP at-bats than anybody thinks. Oh! So we'll have a 24.5 man roster in which the 0.5 player specializes against LHP's ... for 127 at-bats on the season. Dr. D feels his stomach do a slow roll to the left as that KFC begins waging a cage match against the resident oatmeal.
Too much information? And our wonderfully "inclusive" track record with Johjima - Petagine - Lee - Iwakuma's-first-spring is not?!
FIZZLER: DONN ROACH
Was roughed up for two singles on Friday. As against this, his agent had nothing to put on the other side of the ledger but 3.0 IP, 0 BB, and 4 K. The Mainframe had a freeze and had to re-boot, because when Friday's game was inputted, it grokked
- A slow 12-6 curve with sharp late break that locked knees. Fister-, Sele- type yakker
- A funky little 85 MPH changeup that batters couldn't hit whether it was located low or high (NO idea why not)
- Hitters oddly swinging through Roach's supersinker even when it was stomach level (and when it sunk below the knees it was death on a stick)
- 4 grounders, 0 fly balls, 4 strikeouts in 9 outs
"What would be his strikeout pitch?", we had asked. "Yes," was the Friday reply. Even the sinker dove so much that they swung over the top of it. Something is weird here. Dr. D may not yet know what it is, but he can assure you it is weird. Get Roach out of here before he messes with our 2-lefty concept.
SIZZLER: U CAN'T TOUCH THIS Dept.
For the one and only Mariner who has showed us anything lately,* grok the D-O-V Mainframe.
*that's tongue in cheek, Matty. :- )