Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hasta la vista, Bengie?

Speculation's been rife this afternoon that the Giants are on the verge of a deal with the Rangers to unload the slowest player in the MLB. Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury-News has a long post about it and contends that Bengie's a good clubhouse guy (he has won the Willie Mac Award voted by his teammates twice) but I am not sorry to see him go.

Why would I say such a snarky thing? Because he's a selfish guy who refuses to take a walk or lose the excess weight. I'm not in the clubhouse so I can't possibly know his value in that respect. But it sounds like he might work out as a DH/backup catcher for the Rangers. Here's part of Baggarly's take --

Molina is a player in decline. His average (.257) is just barely south of last year’s .265 mark, yet his slugging percentage has dropped from .442 to .332. And his running is an even bigger liability if he isn’t driving the ball.

I’d maintain that he’s still a good defensive catcher, despite all the wild pitches this season. He actually had a nice run of nabbing basestealers over the last week. But I think Barry Zito said it best a few weeks ago, when asked about working with catchers. To paraphrase, he said he’s out there throwing his game, following the scouting reports, pitching to his strengths, regardless of who’s putting down fingers out there.

Clearly, we’ve reached the point where Molina’s veteran moxie behind the plate does not outweigh the overall benefits of putting Posey back there full time.

There’s little doubt the Giants can put their best offense on the field by shifting Posey behind the plate, playing Aubrey Huff at first base and freeing up an outfield spot for someone like Nate Schierholtz or Aaron Rowand, who, yes, has begun swinging the bat better.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Molina was a good Giant. I'm sorry to see him go, but it was probably time. His defense has slipped a bit and his bat has declined as well. His lack of speed on the base paths had become a serious liability. Adios, and good luck in Texas.

11:48 PM  

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