I took a look at our current normal starting line up guys compared to the rest of MLB (AL and NL). What you see below is the ranking of our guys, sorted by VORP decending (150PA's).
At first glance it's not a totally dismal picture. 4 of the 8 are top 10 in all of baseball (this is offense only, obviously). Hatte just missed the cut, Edwin is in a sophmore slump and likely to rebound next year and while Ross sucks canal water at the plate he's likely to produce something (albiet a small something) over time by crushing mistake pitches and throwing out baseruners.Code:MLB POS Rank YEAR NAME AGE OBP SLG ISO VORP EqA C 28. 2007 David Ross 30 .251 .407 .211 -3.0 .217 1 11. 2007 Scott Hatteberg 37 .409 .493 .175 19.1 .297 2 9. 2007 Brandon Phillips 26 .323 .480 .205 17.0 .270 3 22. 2007 Edwin E. 24 .353 .391 .121 6.3 .263 SS 19. 2007 Alex Gonzalez 30 .295 .443 .195 5.5 .247 LF 5. 2007 Adam Dunn 27 .356 .549 .291 22.7 .296 CF 9. 2007 Josh Hamilton 26 .371 .543 .264 18.5 .298 RF 3. 2007 Ken Griffey Jr. 37 .390 .568 .282 30.8 .315
However, looking forward things start to get murky quick.
1B: Hatte is having a carear year. He's 37 and counting on this for a 3rd year would be foolhardy at best. Sell, sell, sell. But will Votto fill the void or flopola. Better get him up here toute sweet now so April 2nd, 2008 isn't his first at bat. If Votto flops...?
3B: I'm assuming EE rebounds from his extreemly slow start. But if he doesn't.....? Not to many folks in the pipeline.
SS: I can live with Gonzo until a lot of other problems are adressed. But if he is injured? Janish? Keppinger? (gasp.....) Castro?
RF: Love Jr. Love his stellar year. Love that he's finally healthy and enjoying himself. Love that he's chasing down 600 HR. Counting on him (1) being healthy in 2008 (2) producing the same numbers in 2008 or (3) even being with the team in 2008 is also foolhardy. If he's gone I'm assuming you slide Hamilton over and start Freel in CF ? Yuck.
CF: Hamilton...feal good story. I think we are starting to see a pattern. Will his body be able to withstand the riggors of an MLB schedule? He may be in tip-top shape now, but will all of those years of chemical abuse prevent him from playing a full year? If he goes down you start who in CF? Hopper? Freel? Hardly a long term soultion.
LF: Dunn. I hope we see him back in 2008. I also hope he doesn't start a slide towards Kevin Maas implosion around then. But if he is traded or his knees start to give out? Who goes into LF and gives you those sorts of numbers?
Of corse all of the other teams face the same issues. I'm not aware of any MLB team that has a all-MLB ready AAA team stashed away. But the cubbard is pretty dang bare here, and Wayne's had the benefit of mostly healthy players.
I don't want this to be a doom & gloom post (I doubt I would be accused of that anyway). But being slow, the lightbulb just went off in my head that Wayne has a serrious mountain to climb. There is a nice core of youth to build around, but Wayne has to be basically perfect in any moves he makes in the next 3 weeks as his margin for error is nill.
And none of this adresses the pitching, which is what's really bringing us down.