Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Bat Giles Third

In looking at the Braves' stats from this spring, it occurred to me that Chipper Jones, at this stage in his career, might be better suited for the #2 spot in the order. He's more patient than Marcus Giles, which would give Furcal more chances to steal second. Chipper is also a switch-hitter, which would allow him to swing for the right side easily against right-handed pitchers when Furcal is on second.

In terms of power, Chipper's isolated power number (.213) was almost the same as Giles' (.211) in 2003, the last year that both of them were healthy. To the extent that spring stats matter, Chipper has fewer extra base hits in more at-bats this spring (3 xbhs in 43 ABs vs. 4 xbhs in 33 ABs). Giles is also entering the stage of his career when his power should go up, whereas Chipper is on the opposite end of his curve.

Two negatives to batting Giles third:

1. Giles is faster than Chipper, so it's better to have him on base in front of Larry Wayne rather than behind him.

2. If the Braves entertain hopes of re-signing Giles when he becomes a free agent after the 2006 season, then driving up his RBI totals is not the way to do so.


peacedog said...

You left a variable out:

3) What happens when Chipper has to bat third.

He apparently didn't like batting fourth. At all (though he didn't complain about that or playing LF in the media, and that's something; he has made comments to that effect post-move back).

What if you hit in #2 and he sulks some? Even if it isn't a clubhouse issue, his production could dip (ahem).

In that case, it's a terrible move.

Thought: Chipper's contract is coming up soon (2006 or 7 I think). He's never been good defensively, and we have young talent at the corners in the big leagues (I am a LaRoche fan, and he needs to hit against lefties more as much as I love Julio) and on the farm (Marte).

Do you move him with a year left to clear the way for the youngsters? If his performance continues to be below the excellent point it was a few years ago, it is justified. He's making *alot* of money, and if you are going to do that and be below average defensively (but by no means is he terrible), you need to stroke it. Move Chipper for some young prospects you can develop.

I love Chipper, but to tell you the truth we've been growing apart of late, and we haven't made love in more time than I care to mention. Perhaps a split in the near future is the best for all parties.

peacedog said...
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