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Food for Thought: Platoon at 3rd Base?

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Just some food for thought for today. Here are the 2011-2013 OPS splits (in the format of vs. LHP/vs. RHP) for the following four players currently on our 40-man roster:


Grant Green: .847/.782

Luis Jimenez: .786/.824

Tommy Field: .798/.778

Chris Nelson: .854/.910


Clearly none of these numbers have translated (yet) to the Big Leauges but would the Angels be better off with a platoon at 3rd base in 2014?


Can a platoon of say Grant Green and Chris Nelson provide an OPS over .800+ next season?


What about Luis Jimenez's leadership and energy? Would it be better to have a platoon of Field (higher OBP) and Jimenez (probably better defense from the both of them)?


Should we just try to acquire a good 3rd base prospect or an established 3rd baseman in trade?




For the record I'm okay with a platoon of any of the above and wouldn't mind giving someone like Nelson, who hasn't seen consistent playing time in the Majors, the opportunity to run with the position if he does well in Spring Training. If we do trade Aybar then I'd like to see the best defensive 3rd base option manning the position if possible or trade for a more defensively inclined 3rd baseman.

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In before, "if that is what we are trotting out there at third base to start the season then this offseason was a failure"


True statement tbh. However since pitching is the main priority, I don't mind having a platoon that isn't a complete black hole offensively. Something about the old adage, "It can always be worse!" springs to mind when considering the alternatives.

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How about let Green and Jimenez battle it out and sign Youkilis to give us coverage at 3B/1B/DH.  Sort of like a Quinlan.


I'd have no problem having a guy like Youk as an insurance policy.  I know he is an ex-Red Sock, but my hate for him has lessened over the years. 

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I'm less concerned about offense at 3B at this point.  After all, Callaspo was basically useless offensively.  He made tons of contact but rarely ever hard enough to do anything with.  His OBP was so-so, batting average wasn't good, didn't show any extra base pop and wasn't a runner.


It was Callaspo's glove and dependability that gave him enough value to play everyday.  You knew you'd have a good defensive 3B that didn't need to spend a bunch of time on the DL with him. 


I'm confident that across a full season, Grant Green will post better numbers than Callaspo did in just about every category, but the question is, can he defend at 3B?  So far, it doesn't seem likely but we'll see.  As for Lucho, I think he'd be extremely similar to Callaspo with a bit less OBP and more XBH.  


Either way, I'm really not concerned with 3B.  Whoever we put there won't be terribly worse or better than Callaspo was.  It was a good trade Dipoto made that sent him to the A's.  We offloaded some money, opened up a spot for youngsters, got a promising, useful player in return and really didn't lose any production value. 

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I honestly have next to no confidence in any of the internal options. Nelson sucks all around, Jimenez can't hit, Field's "upside" is utility guy, and I'm not particularly confident that Green can handle 3B.


I do think there's a very good chance we end up stuck with some combination of those guys(possibly except Nelson, since he would be getting a raise), with maybe an Eric Chavez type thrown in, though.


Depending on how much else the lineup loses and how much the pitching staff is improved, I guess they can live with suck at that position though.

Edited by jshep
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Not sure why you think Lucho can't hit Jshep.


Last season was hit first taste of the major leagues and he hit .260 with considerable extra-base pop.  He did particularly well in August and September.  On top of which, he came through in the clutch.  .300 w/RISP, .366 with men on, hit .400 in high leverage situations, .323 in medium leverage situations.  


He also hit well at every stop in the minors. 

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Oh come on, you can't be serious with that analysis of his major league performance. It's entirely based on cherrypicking and useless sample sizes.


He hit .260/.291/.317. That would be a .608 OPS(not that I love OPS in general, but I think it does the job well enough here). That's not even particularly close to what Alberto Callaspo did, and I do believe you referred to him as "basically useless offensively".


That really underscores the whole "He hit .260" thing and he hit a whole 6 doubles, 0 triples, 0 HRs in 110 PA. That is most certainly not showing "considerable extra-base pop". That is more like J.B. Shuck level "pop".


And his August consisted of a whole 3 games started. His September was a whole 7 games started. So while he did hit well in those starts, you're talking about a week and a half of playing time.


He hit .300/.318/.300 with RISP. In a whole 22 plate appearances.


Although I guess if you want to take some comfort from strong performances in minuscule sample sizes with men on, or high leverage spots, or medium leverage spots largely aided by much higher batting averages than I would hope anyone would think is legitimately sustainable, be my guest.


And I didn't buy into Jimenez in the minors either. He put up solid enough numbers, but I was never particularly fond of his approach at the plate and even less fond of his utter lack of plate discipline.


He did show a good glove in his time in the majors, and that was neat, but considering I've been skeptical about his bat working in the majors for a long while, I'm going to wait until he actually does something in the majors to show that he can hit major league pitching before I buy into it. And nothing you just presented constitutes proving he can hit major league pitching.

Edited by jshep
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Mike Trout's first taste of the majors he hit .220.  Bourjos, .204.  Aybar .250.  Callaspo .238.  


Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying he's better than any of them, but this helps illustrate the fact that hardly anyone hits major league pitching from day 1.  


Bourjos was 23 when he came up, in the minors he had a career .291 average and the knock in him was that he didn't hit for power and didn't walk enough.  Aybar was 22 and had a career .310 BA in the minors and again, the knock on him was plate discipline.


As for his extra base pop, small sample size but he was paced to hit 30+ doubles across a full season's worth of AB's.  He hit 40+ regularly in the minors and showed the ability to turn on the ball against MLB quality competition.  


Luis Jimenez CAN hit.  He can also field.  He'll never be an all-star, in fact I don't even know if he'll ever be anything more than a league average 3B, but he is a legit MLB 3B and wouldn't be any worse than Callaspo was. 

Edited by ScottyA_MWAH
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I have no idea why I still like Lucho - I just do. I shouldn't, but I do. He was horrible offensively but his glove is ++.

Probably a 2 WAR player based on the glove alone. I dunno.

he's fun to watch.  he plays hard and is enthusiastic.  it's how most people imagine they'd play the game or how they'd want their kid to play.  He's like Trout except much less talented. 


I could see him putting together a couple of serviceable seasons as a poor man's Juan Uribe.  Who is like a poor man's Adrian Beltre.  In other words, Lucho is like  Adrian Beltre, but homeless. 

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The Angels should not invest one dime in the China dolls, Youkilis and Chavez. It is money down the drain for an asset they do not need from third base and that is offense. Putting those two DL queens on the bench just means Scioscia will go with the veterans instead of a platoon which will land them either of them on the trainer table that much quicker.


Just stick with what is in house and put the emphasis on what lost more games last year than anything else: pitching. The Angels can certainly generate last season's offense (the Angels ranked 5th in OPS in the AL) but cannot survive another season with their pitching (leagues 5th worst ERA).

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Here is a weird idea.  What if you moved Ebar to third?  When players start losing a step, that seems like the natural migration.  His arm is plenty strong for third, but his range isn't what it used to be, which would also be good for third.  

I think it's too early to make that move. Aybar has been a well above average defensive SS for quite a few years now. Last year was a down year for him but he was still right around league average. 

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I'd wait a year, as Aybar was hurt early on in 2013 and that may have factored into his down season (1.7 WAR after back-to-back 4.0 WARs in 2011/2012). 

He will be in high demand by teams like the Cardinals though (Kozma's -0.2 WAR), because of his club friendly contract (3 years remaining for some $28 million).   It's a steal next to Andrus' contract, that's for dang sure. 

Edited by Angel Oracle
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