Originally Posted by M2
I assume you recognize more than a slight disparity in those sample sizes. Heading into last season, Mike Trout had a career .605 OPS vs. RHPs. Obviously Paul is no Trout, but I don't advise holding a player's breaking in struggles against him.
And my point still stands: there are RHPs you do NOT want Ryan Ludwick starting against. You do not want Chris Heisey starting against them either. That's a pointless substitution that completely fails to give your team the added platoon advantage it should be seeking in those games.
Choo does nothing in terms of giving the Reds a LHB off the bench. It doesn't matter where the bench LHB plays (though the Reds need two OFs on the bench, one bench OF is lousy planning), as long as he can hit. Again, Handsome Jack is not up to the task. The team absolutely must have a capable LHB who can come off the bench to face tough RH pitchers late in a game.
So, if not Paul, then who? You've yet to come up with a single viable alternative.
Xavier Paul is 28 before opening day. He's long past breaking in. He had one decent season with less than 100 PAs and a BABIP of .379. In 2011, at age 26, (no young kid) he had 262 PAs, with a still high BABIP of .333, his OPS was a whopping .638 (.697 in 233 PAs against RHP). I'd just use Hannahan as the LHPH. Last season's small luck driven sample doesn't do much to make Paul a better choice.
The Reds don't need to cut Paul. Use the DL and keep him around. If the make-up of the roster proves to be a problem, make a change. I just don't let a career AAAA guy who had what amounts to a decent BABIP driven month create a "no room on the roster" situation that would prevent bringing Rolen back. I'd say the chances of Paul proving to be more valuable in 2013 than Mike Costanzo or Willie Harris was last year are fairly low.
Funny that you mention small samples. People are getting pretty carried away concerning Xavier Paul based on a pretty darned small sample. As for covering all the positions, Frazier's vesatility makes that a non-issue IMO. Frazier can play LF or RF same as Paul (who can't play CF) and with 2 of the 4 OF being LH and the other two usually being better against RHP than LHP, he may be a better choice anyway. I don't really see when you'd choose to give Paul a start.