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Monday, August 13, 2012

Is Ben Zobrist The Rays’ New Everyday Shortstop?

Ben Zobrist is back at shortstop again tonight. Is Ben Zobrist going to be the most-days shortstop for the rest of the season?

  Even though it is his original position, there is a reason Zobrist was moved away from shortstop. He is a dependable glove, but he lacks the range necessary for that position, and has posted a negative UZR at SS in his career (gives up more runs than he saves). But let’s face it, he is not going to be any worse than what the Rays have been throwing out there. And Zobrist is going to be much better at the plate than Sean Rodriguez or Elliot Johnson. On top of that, Joe Maddon has a ton of other options at second base and in the outfield. So look for Zorilla to remain at shortstop for the rest of this season, at least on most days…YES

Thanks to Edgar.

Repoz Posted: August 13, 2012 at 10:40 PM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rays

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: August 14, 2012 at 12:11 AM (#4207753)
This year to date, b-r dislikes Johnson and puts Rodriguez average. On the other hand, it rates Johnson well above-average last year and Rodriguez average at SS (in less than a season's worth). But Zobrist has been scary bad -- -17 in 118 starts -- and he hasn't played it regularly since 2008. That said, I'm willing to believe Zobrist's bat makes up the difference but ...

What are these other options at 2B? OK, Keppinger is hitting well but never known for his glove and is just a career 96 OPS+. Ryan Roberts is 92 for his career.

I understand that Zobrist to the IF allows them to keep Joyce, Jennings and Scott all in the lineup (not awe-inspiring but better than the 2B/SS) but my gut tells me they're better off using him to fix the 2B hole rather than the SS hole and keep Keppinger in the super-sub role. Or just get Scott's bat (279 OBP) out of the lineup with Kepp.
   2. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: August 14, 2012 at 12:27 AM (#4207765)
If Zobrist can get 5 starts at SS, I'll be happy.
   3. Jim Wisinski Posted: August 14, 2012 at 02:41 AM (#4207806)
Zobrist is likely to get a lot of starts at SS until Keppinger cools off, especially once Longoria is playing the field regularly again.

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