Time/PI notebook watch: Borders, Bloomquist may get more and more of the playing time (Borders, presumably, until he stops hitting, Bloomquist, relative to Wilson Valdez, is probably a better choice anyway).
This leads to a problem we saw in yesterday’s game: because the bench is so thin (and bad), if Bloomquist is the 4th outfielder, playing him at shortstop means that if they need a replacement OF, they either have to move Ibanez out of the DH slot (forcing the pitcher to bat) or move Bloomquist into the OF, and Valdez takes over at short. If you pinch-hit for Bloomquist, it’s Ibanez or more juggling that ends up with someone in the outfield who shouldn’t be there.
I know that seems like another of the more trivial problems of the team, and it is — it doesn’t matter if they can’t easily sub a left fielder in if they’re down by 8 — but it’s a good example of how carrying 12 pitchers and having such an inflexible bench hampers the manager, and the team’s, ability to adapt.
We’ve seen Reed start to hit lately, but even the balls that are dropping are part of a pattern: he’s been pulling almost everything to right field. If you look at his MLB.com hit charts, you can see there’s a huge skew, to the point that you could take the left-fielder and play him shallow behind first-and-second or play really shallow and then shift the infield heavily.
Players can be productive like this, but the problem will come if this is an exploitable flaw in his swing. If teams find that he can only ground out weakly on pitches in, where he can’t get the bat around, that’s all he’ll see.
Reed was my pick as AL Rookie of the Year. There’s still time, but I’d feel a lot better about this if he was hitting to all fields. Or even two fields.
(on mid-season trades for pitching)
Just as in late July if Barry Zito, Kip Wells, Kevin Millwood, Jason Jennings and Joel Pineiro are available.
That’s an interesting thought, but thie requires a team to look at Pineiro and see something they can fix and something worth an expensive two-year gamble. I don’t see anyone taking that unless he shows he can be consistent with his new lower velocity and that he can do well with it. If a team’s going to deal for pitching help, they’re going to be looking for help, and probably someone who can fit in the first three slots of the rotation if they head towards the playoffs.
Remember Ryan Anderson, the 6-foot-10 “Little Unit” and former no. 1 pick of the Tigers? The Brewers recently signed him out of an Arizona independent league, and he had a four-strikeout inning debut