Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hernia, Left Fielder?

We're told that Fizzleman wants to find more playing time for Anderson Hernandez, so he's going to try him out in left field.

What to say about this? Right now, we have probably the second best position player in the organization, Elijah Dukes, toiling in AAA because there isn't playing time for him in DC. And on Sunday, Hernia's debut in left, Riggleman had Willie Harris at second.

The net loss of value in playing Hernandez in left and Harris at second is hard to underestimate. Harris is one of the better defensive left fielders in baseball. His career UZR/150 is 18.9, meaning he's nearly 19 runs better than the average LF over the course of a full season. Meanwhile, he's a -0.9 UZR/150 second baseman. Over the course of a full season, that 19.8 run differential would be worth almost 2 full games.

Hernandez is a +8.9 UZR/150 second baseman. In left? Who knows. Let's be generous and say that despite his total lack of experience in the outfield--he's never played an inning in the outfield in the majors or minors ever--that's he's no worse in left than Adam Dunn, who's a -12.1 UZR/150 LF. Felipe Lopez was a -41.1 LF in his adventurous stint out there for the Scats last year, so I'm probably being overly generous. That's another 21 runs lost, another two games.

Of course, Fizzleman isn't going to play Hernia in left and Harris at second every day. I'm just projecting out the folly over time to show how bad the choice is. And right now, he's got Harris playing mostly in the infield, where his value is mostly nil, and to even consider compounding that by putting a second baseman in left is just nuts.

Do it once as an experiment during a blowout, fine. Let's hope it doesn't happen again.

5 comments:

Michael said...

Through 42 PA's, Dukes has a 1.040 OPS playing for the Chiefs. Maybe we could try sticking him a second...

If Riggleman wants to play around and see who can play what position, at least do it with guys who can swing the bat.

Deacon Drake said...

Riggleman worked very hard to make the Cubs and Padres bad. He has to be even more creative to make the Nats worse.

Ben said...

Maybe this is an indication that Riggleman thinks he is going to need back up in left field. Maybe if two of Dunn/Willigham/Johnson get traded.

Hope springs eternal.

Anonymous said...

Steven,

No need to over react here. First off the date is wrong here. AH is not that good at 2nd Base in the real game of baseball (not the excel brand you play on the computer). Second all Rigs is doing here is trying to keep AH's head in the game and in hopes they can trade him hoping people recall what Plop was able to do for the Cards. It will not work but that is the hope. AH will not get a meaningful inning in LF if any at all.

Brian noted he is trying to find out why Dukes is no longer playing at AAA......my guess is he has rubbed Foli the wrong way with late arrivals and lack of Hustle and the lesson is being learned where it should, Minor League Baseball.

Steven said...

@Ben--That's what Langerhans was for!!!

@JayB--In your rush to disagree at all costs, you missed that I said Hernia is a below average 2b.