Friday, December 14, 2012
Posted by el duque at 6:31 AM
DH to be named
We can debate whether Ichiro or Gardner should lead off. Hopefully, one hits during the spring and makes the question moot.
So... the issue: Who is our DH - particularly our RH man, because we're weak as cooked spaghetti from that side. There's talk of Scott Hairston - and I'm all for signing people -- but considering our starvation diet, I'd hate to think we give Hairston the two-year contract that we refused Russell Martin. Unless Grandy delivers in a deal, we're stuck with the Andruw Joneses and Raul Ibanezes of the world.
As the Master says, Raul is cool. If he accepts a one-year, I don't see how we can say no, from a public relations standpoint. If he wants two, well, I would have to invoke the Russell Martin rule, (See above.)
Which leaves us with the RH. Folks, I have talked about Ronnier Mustelier in the past. Last year, when the Traveling Wilkes Barres came to Syracuse, he was the only position guy in the lineup I wanted to see. In my two games of watching, he never showed a bad at-bat.
Listen: He's 28. On the Yankees, that's jailbait. They signed him out of Cuba two summers ago. He vaulted through the system, Alfredo Aceves-style. If he hadn't tweaked a gonad last August, he might have gotten a cup of coffee in the Bronx.
He's hit everywhere he's played. At Trenton last year, he was murdering the league - .353 in 25 games, with a home run streak just starting - when they promoted him. He went to Scranton, batted .303 with 10 HRs in 89 games. (Batting averages last year in the IL were not that high, so .303 is pretty good, and 89 games is enough of a sample to negate being once around the league.) He's now hitting well in winter ball.
He was signed as an infielder, but he's got a Luis Sojo body, and he plays OF. He could probably fill in at 3B in a pinch. Are we going to send him back to Scranton, Cervelli-style?
Of course, if he craps the bed in spring training, none of this matters. But in a time of self-inflicted austerity, when we're walking on thin ice at catcher, why not take a cheap gamble at DH? I just would hate to see another Andruw Jones in our lineup: A guy too expensive to bench, who homers every two weeks, making us think he's finally turning the corner, but he never does. Last August and September, Andruw Jones absolutely killed us. This year, he's in Japan.
This year, let's not sign someone and award him a spot. Let's put the position up for grabs, because I think Mustellier has deserved a crack at it.
Listen: What do I know about hitting and DHs? Nothing. I'm a fan. But I do know this: If you keep churning has-beens and rewarding them for what they did on other teams, five and 10 years ago, you get nowhere.
Last year, we got nowhere. I proudly nominate Ronnie.