09 July 2010

I Heart Yunel

So there are all sorts of trade rumors flying around, involving the likes of Cliff Lee.  But the most disturbing rumor, as far as I'm concerned, is the one involving Yunel Escobar.  According to MLB Trade Rumors, there are teams shopping around for the Braves' shortstop.  


Ahem.  Excuse me.  I'm not sure where that outburst came from.

Now.  If the Braves do decide to move Escobar, our All-Star bench player Omar Infante could very well be promoted to everyday shortstop.  But that takes away some very, very valuable depth from our bench.  Infante can play all three outfield positions, as well as second, short, and third in the infield.  Other bench players that can play SS include:  Brandon Hicks and Diory Hernandez.  Hicks plays SS, but he is all defense and speed.  And Diory Hernandez is not bad, offensively and defensively, but he just isn't as good as either Escobar or Infante.  Things could be worse, really, I suppose.  Moving Escobar could potentially add a big bat to the line-up (as well as a couple of prospects for the Minor Leagues), and moving Infante to an everyday position could very well pay off (RE:  Kelly Johnson and Martin Prado; aside--man.  Atlanta second basemen are way hot.  *fans self*) for us.  But the depth on the bench would be very much diminished.  AND, defensively speaking, it cannot be denied that Infante is not as good as Escobar.  

It is true that Escobar isn't hitting the way he was last season or the season before.  It's true that he is in the middle of a confounding power drought at the plate (no homeruns as of yet, and the season is already almost halfway over).  But it's just a slump.  And he'll get his numbers back.  As much as Omar deserves an everyday position, the versatility that he brings to the Braves as a bench player (whether it's pinch hitting or filling in all over the field as a utility player) is too valuable lose.  There are worse things than having strong starters and a weak bench.  But the team, as it is now, has strong starters and a strong bench.  There is really no real reason to weaken the bench just so we can add a big bat to the OF.

Soapbox Rant:  I think that the people that want to trade Yunel because he's not a "good fit" for the team are RIDICULOUS.  I'm just putting that out there.  Are you serious?  So he's upset that he didn't do well at the plate and you can see it on his face.  So he's annoyed that he got charged with an error on a defensive play.  Since when has it been a bad thing to play the game with passion?  It isn't about stats.  It's about doing the very best that he can for the team... and being frustrated with himself when he thinks he should have done better.  That could be a reason for the "pouting" and the "sulking," don't you think?  I personally want someone who plays the game with intensity.  Lest we forget, BMac is known to shout and curse after strikeouts.  And even the great Maddux would let loose a string of expletives when he missed his location while pitching.  Did anybody fault them?  No.  Because they were passionate.  hmmph.

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