It's been said, many times, many ways. But our bench is dismal.
The only guys marginally doing anything intresting are Cohattenine. Unforuntaley (actually fortuntatley) only one of them play at a time.Code:NAME PA OBP SLG ISO SO Rate VORP Scott Hatteberg 181 0.367 0.462 0.186 0.0939 7.7 Jeff Conine 135 0.351 0.467 0.175 0.1037 6.7 Norris Hopper 95 0.326 0.379 0.092 0.1158 1.6 Javier Valentin 70 0.314 0.361 0.131 0.0429 0.3 Ryan Freel 196 0.313 0.363 0.112 0.1429 -1.4 Chad Moeller 37 0.222 0.333 0.111 0.2973 -1.5 Juan Castro 79 0.205 0.247 0.068 0.2152 -6.9
Hoppers blase numbers likely will go down over time. Freel's numbers are less than marginal (and this doesn't include any baserunning blunders). Javy has been marginal and is a sieve behind the plate. Moeller...yuck. And as much as I hate to pile on the Castro hatefest, he's pretty dismal. (of the position guys only Ross has a worse VORP/batting line. But at least Ross does have the abilty to hit the ball past deep 2nd base and can mow down baserunners with the best of them)
This isn't new ground here, but this is really shocking. So when Dunner, Jr, Phillips and EE are in a downturn (and they all go through cycles) there's nobody to pick them up or contribute on some level.
So enough gripeing. How do you fix this you ask?
1) Call up Votto. Use him as a bench player and spot starter. Start easing him into the big leagues. His .908 OPS over 223 AAA at bats can't hurt. So if he comes down 100OPS points? Still better than what we have. DFA Moeller. Even though he's religated to 1B it pushes Hatte back to the bench. If Hatte is moved at the deadline say hello to the Votto/Conine platoon.
2) Call up Kepplinger. Use him as bench player and spot starter at 2B to spell Bphil. If Gonzo needs a rest, or reinjures his hammy slide BPhil over and play Kepplinger at 2B. .918 OPS over 147 AAA AB's with the Bats. He's not a world beater, but I have to think he can outhit Castro. DFA Castro.
3) Ryan Freel is likely to go on the 60day DL (maybe worse). IIRC we have a PTBNL or two hanging out there. Use one of them to pick up another utility infielder. If no PTBNL remain, get one as a throw in on a deal in the upcomming trade activity. Another alternative is Marc Belhorn but I'm not real jazzed about him.
Right there you replace a collective -9.8 VORP with some guys that even if they are at 0.0 VORP would be an improvement. I'd feal much more confident with those names in pinch hitting situations than what we have now.
4) If possible you trade Javy and acquire a real backup catcher. But that's a little further down the list. I can live with Ross/Javy for now.
I know the bench isn't the highest priority right now, but it's definatley on the "problem list".