Last season, the Rox lost nineteen one-run road games. If they could’ve found a way to win ten of those games, they would’ve won the West. In effort to improve their success in close ball games, Jim Tracy is asking the team to be more aggressive on the base paths.
If the Rox want more speed, maybe the starting second base job should be given to Jonathan Herrera. Jose Lopez is a serviceable player, but he is a below average defensive second baseman. Herrera was solid last year. His OPS was roughly 90 points higher than Jose’s and he is a defensive improvement at second.
While Jose is below average at second, he is actually a very good defensive third baseman. Starting Herrera at second would free up Lopez if Ian Stewart fails to step up this season. If Ian continues to struggle against lefties, a platoon might be the best situation. Last season, Lopez hit nearly .280 off southpaws. Together, they would make one really good third baseman.
The Rox don’t need to sacrifice defense for Lopez’s bat. During his best season — 2009 — he only posted a .766 OPS. Over 3600 career at-bats he has a .297 on-base percentage. Last year, Herrera had an OBP of .352. I realize that Herrera lacks pop in his bat, but a .350 OBP percentage would do a lot for the team’s run production.
“We are going to encourage everyone to be more aggressive. That was a separator for our club in 2009. It was something we got away from last year. It was disappointing. I wasn’t demanding enough. I am accountable for that.” — Jim Tracy
Wilin Rosario’s recovery from knee surgery is going quite well. It sounds like he will be ready to go in April. Assuming he stays healthy, Rosario will make it to Denver this year.
The Cubs had their first dugout fight of the season. Clearly, it’s going to be another magical year at Wrigley.
The Barry Zito fiasco is making me feel a little better about San Fran’s championship.
Michael Young is a total class act. I really like that guy.