Monday, March 17, 2008

Team Depth Part 2: First Base

A word on "team depth:" I don't mean organizational depth. "Team depth" refers to players that can contribute in 08. For example, Beau Mills had a nice spring. I think he might be the real deal, but he doesn't factor into team depth because he won't be major league ready this year.

Again remember that injuries can happen in a moment but failure takes time.

First Base: One place where we lack our depth is "the slugger," and first base is a traditional place to put a slugger. We have Garko here. I like Garko and think that he hasn't had his career year yet. He is Mr. League Average. I don't think that he will ever hit 40+ homers. He is a good player but can't replace Hafner.

I think it is 50/50 whether he is a injury or failure risk. If Garko goes down, the options are limitless. First, V-Mart is going to get some ABs at first, healthy Garko or no. Blake can play first. In fact, if Garko goes down, my bet is Blake moves over and takes first. Marte is practicing at the position. Carroll can play first. There are lots of options here.

And we will save Hafner......for the interleague games. My basic position here is that the major league team could absorb these ABs. I don't think we have a clear "first baseman in waiting," but I think that we get equal ABs with various combinations present major leaguers.

On the farm: Ryan Mulhern. Scouts aren't high on him, but he hits homers at ever level that he has played. Think Jeff Manto. Can't replace Garko. but won't make you think that Garko was the linchpin. Again, think Jeff Manto.

Next: Michael "Always Injured" Aubrey. What do we get here? Did you see the nickname? Once upon a time, people thought he had talent. He is in the last of his option years. Don't be surprised to see him at some point. Be surprised by any results. Really, he has been injured that often.

UPDATE: Aubrey had a very good spring. But he needs to both rake at AAA and stay healthly, ttfc remains skeptical.

Next: Jordan Brown. Brown is not major league ready. He enters the season post-knife. But if he develops, he could be a possible second half replacement. I think that he hopes for Garko's career. Good but not great.


LargeBill said...

Doesn't really play into the depth question, but I don't like it that Hafner has not played any 1B this Spring (unless I missed it). Not that he should be a regular with a glove, but playing the field now and then would avoid him being that rusty in interleague play.

ttfc said...

No one really knows why Hafner slumped last year. But last spring, he worked hard at first base. This spring, it is all hitting all the time. I am sure he taken some grounders, but I think everyone is more concerned with his hitting.