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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Bill Conlin: Rollins in the Cards

I once had a fleshy Conlinesque druncle who’d freak out whenever I’d flick juice-less, hence disposable, boogers his way at the dinner table. Strange man.

When I’m King of the World . . .

Manager Mike Scioscia likes to run. He has a lineup filled with rabbits, including Erick Aybar and two of the game’s fastest players in outfielders Peter Bourjos and Millville’s Mike Trout, 19.

With that kind of speed in front of him, if Trout is ready to lead off or bat No. 2, Pujols might drive in 150 runs.

Ah, but what has the Pujols signing done for a Rollins re-signing that seemed close to dotted-line time until the Angels surfaced as the “Mystery Team” that had been lurking in the shadows while the Cardinals and Marlins tried to wrap him up? No doubt it will get him a fourth year and a better price from the Phillies. Or, horror of horrors, the Cardinals, who just saved themselves $250 million, go all in and decide to upgrade their shortstop situation with the best infielder out there? Could happen. Be very afraid.

When I’m King of the World . . .

Phils will dive into the deep end of the International talent pool just to see what it’s like . . .I’m talking a big, expensive, defecting Cuban five-tooler like Yoenis Cespedes, who is said to be the centerfield equivalent of 106 mph power arm Aroldis Chapman. They say the 26-year-old has the opposite-field power of Vlad Guerrero and the size and running speed of No. 1 prospect Trout. And all he wants is $30 million, a bargain considering you don’t have to pay a “posting” bounty to Fidel Castro, the way suitors for Japanese phenom Yu Darvish must pay the Nippon Ham Fighters just for the right to negotiate with their gas-pumping righthander.

Repoz Posted: December 10, 2011 at 02:25 PM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals, international, japan, phillies

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   1. The District Attorney Posted: December 10, 2011 at 07:03 PM (#4012546)
With that kind of speed in front of him, if Trout is ready to lead off or bat No. 2, Pujols might drive in 150 runs.
Actually, looking it over, it struck me how unimpressive the Angel offense is. I realize Bill Conlin is unaware of the following fact, but if a man isn't good at getting on base, he should not be batting in front of Albert Pujols, even if he steals bases (so he can be on second base rather than first base, since Albert Pujols hits mostly singles, and won't get pitched around with an open base; or perhaps he can get caught stealing, in front of Albert Pujols.) If Trout is a good major league hitter at the age of 20 (which would require him being on the team at all, to start with), then ok, you have a leadoff hitter. But there's still no one exciting to hit 2nd. And if Kendrys isn't going to be a factor -- which is sure what it's sounding like -- then you've got a mediocre righty hitting behind Albert, which is worst possible scenario. The batting order basically is a bunch of guys who ideally would be hitting 6th or 7th. Pujols is going to be walked intentionally and semi-intentionally a hell of a lot, and I don't think he's going to drive in a ton of runs either.

Now, the Angels have really great starting pitching, and it's inevitable they'll get more from '11 Iannetta and Wells than they did from '10 Mathis and Wells, so I'm not saying they're doomed. But it sure isn't a powerhouse offense, especially compared to Texas.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: December 10, 2011 at 10:49 PM (#4012718)
Abreu still gets on base and still runs pretty well (21-5 in SB) and slotting him into #2 (against RHP) in front of Pujols would be wise.
   3. The District Attorney Posted: December 11, 2011 at 12:35 AM (#4012792)
BTW, Furcal back to the Cards, so Conlin will probably not have to experience what he believes would be the greatest catastrophe of our time, Jimmy Rollins leaving the Phillies.
   4. The District Attorney Posted: December 11, 2011 at 03:05 AM (#4012958)
Abreu still gets on base and still runs pretty well (21-5 in SB) and slotting him into #2 (against RHP) in front of Pujols would be wise.
Maybe, but ultimately, can you play him?

? Bourjos and Hunter are presumably playing regularly.

? If Trout is going to be to the solution to the leadoff issue, then he obviously has to play also.

? So now you're left with Kendrys, Trumbo, Wells and Abreu to split one position, DH. (I think we can rule out Trumbo to 3B as being a pipe dream.) It's hard to imagine this playing out such that Abreu is the regular. Wells is not old, has had a good career and makes 900 bazillion dollars. They're probably not gonna nail him to the bench. Trumbo is 26 years old, just missed 30 HR/90 RBI last season and was the Rookie of the Year runner-up. They're probably not gonna nail him to the bench either. Kendrys, as mentioned, is the only possibility for you to have a cleanup hitter who gives Pujols any protection (and I'm not talking "get better pitches to hit" protection, I'm talking "not get IBBed 50 times" protection.) I don't see the Angels deciding that getting a .350 OBP out of the #2 spot is enough to outweigh all that.

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