Sunday, July 6, 2008

Manny Short-Handed, Again

I don't want to make too much of this. But...

Why on Earth was Manny once again playing with an injured player on the active roster today? Why wasn't Dukes on the DL with Casto (or whoever) in his spot? Is Columbus to Cincinnati too far to travel?

Maybe Manny has another option than to play LoDuca at first, and maybe the error that allows the winning run to score doesn't happen. Maybe Casto, the left-handed bat, gets the clutch hit off Cordero.

In the end, it doesn't make that much of a difference. What's one more loss on our way to 100? We probably didn't deserve to win anyway. But are we really going to wait until these kinds of things are happening in the heat of a pennant race? And is it too much to ask that we play with a full deck, if nothing else just for pride?

And one other thing, about these injuries. Yeah, we've had bad luck. But we did in fact start the season with a larger than advisable number of injury-prone guys.

Will Carroll at Baseball Prospectus does a health rating system that looks at usage patterns, injury history, and a bunch of other factors and rates every team's starting lineup and rotation by injury risk. Greens are low risk, yellows are moderate risks, and reds are major injury risks. When he did the column in February, he projected us to have 6 reds in our opening day lineup: Johnson, LoDuca, Hill, Guzman, and Patterson (Perez wasn't rated, but you betcha he would have been a red). Just 3 teams, the Giants, Blue Jays, and Rangers had more. And two of those reds were backed up by reds, Estrada and Young.

I bring this up now after reading Bowden's quote today in the Post, "It's one thing if it's older veterans, but all of our 23-year-old kids--Zimmerman, Milledge, Hill, Cordero--they're all in their low-or-mind-20s. It's very rare, and it's unfortunate." OK, Zimmerman, Cordero, and Milledge I'll grant you are bad luck. But Shawn Hill?? Who does he think he's fooling?
  • Quick additional note: Looks like Ladsdon left the game a little early: "All the Nats' scoring came in the third inning."

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