An Appeal for Action
The M’s lost a tough 3-2 game last night, wasting a good performance from Miguel Batista and a chance to really put some distance between themselves and the A’s in the wild card race. They lost because they didn’t hit. Chad Gaudin, while enjoying a career year, is not a shutdown starting pitcher. Playoff teams have to be able to score more than two runs against the guy.
We’ve talked about the team’s glaring problems preventing runs many times, but now, it’s time for the organization to admit that they have some issues scoring runs as well. This offense is still good, but it could be better. Since June 12th, a stretch of 22 games, the team has hit .270/.332/.382 and scored just 90 runs. There’s been a significant shortage of power, especially lately, as the team has hit 1 home run in the last 8 games.
The M’s have gotten comfortable with being able to win despite having some holes in their line-up, but that needs to change. If the organization is serious about giving Detroit and Anaheim a run for those two playoff spots, they have to put the best players on the field everyday.
There is no longer any justification, beyond ignorance or outright stubbornness, for Jose Vidro to be the everyday designated hitter. Against right-handed pitching, he’s inferior to Ben Broussard in every way that matters. He’s hitting for a lower average, getting on base less, hitting for less power, hitting into more double plays, and generally being an outmachine at the top of the order. Even if you’re going to ignore Adam Jones, what’s the justification for Vidro playing more than Broussard? He strikes out less? The team has struck out 402 times, fewer than any other major league club.
This team does need not a DH who doesn’t strike out – they have seven other guys in the line-up who don’t strike out. It’s okay to not break the all-time record for fewest strikeouts. Really. What they need is a guy who can hit the ball over the wall. Ben Broussard can do that.
Broussard should be in the line-up every single game a right-handed pitcher takes the field. Stick him at first when Richie Sexson is banged up (like, uhh, he is now), and stick him at DH when the team is at full strength. There’s no reason that another game should go by with a right-handed pitcher on the hill and Ben Broussard on the bench.
Get over Jose Vidro’s batting average. He’s still living off his .318 April. Since May 1st, he’s hitting .275/.349/.329, a .678 OPS that would be disappointing for a backup catcher. For a starting DH, it’s embarrassing.
You made a mistake when you traded for Jose Vidro last winter. Buck up, admit it, and put him on the bench.
Contend or attempt to justify a horrible trade through stubbornness. Those are your options. I vote for A.