Game 109, Red Sox at Mariners
Batista vs Beckett, 1:05 pm.
1. Ichiro, DH
2. Vidro, 2B
3. Guillen, RF
4. Broussard, 1B
5. Beltre, 3B
6. Ibanez, LF
7. Jones, CF
8. Burke, C
9. Betancourt, SS
There are a lot of things I could point out that don’t make any sense about that line-up, but I’m going to focus on the one that could kill the M’s today – Jose Vidro playing second base.
Jose Lopez has been a terrible hitter since April. He’s stopped hitting for power, still has a lousy approach at the plate, and hasn’t improved a lick since he came up from Tacoma 72 years ago. He’s frustrating to watch and a problem at the plate.
But here’s the deal – Jose Vidro was traded from the NL to the AL for a reason. He can’t play the field anymore. Never a great defender, he’s now the middle infield version of Adam Dunn. His knees are shot, his range is totally gone, and he’s a significant minus defensively. Even if you’re the worlds biggest Vidro fanboy, you have to be able to watch him fail to move on easy groundballs and realize “hey, that guy shouldn’t be paid to use a glove.”
Miguel Batista is on the mound. He’s a contact pitcher with groundball tendencies. He’s facing an offense that can put up runs in bunches. He’s opposed by a guy who will finish in the top ten in Cy Young voting. And to support him, we’ve given him the worst defensive left field alive (non-Manny division) and the worst defensive second baseman alive to hang out next to the below average right fielder and first baseman. This should go well.
The Mariners do not understand the value of defense or how to appropriately measure it. Sticking Jose Vidro at second base is yet another shining example of this organization’s inability to realize that catching the ball is a big part of run prevention.
On a day when you expect a lot of balls to be put in play, you make a bad defense even worse. This is the team we root for.