Tuesday, June 28, 2005

What role are our Role Players playing?

Baseball Prospectus's "Hit List" ranks the Mets 17th this week. Characterizing Beltran, fairly I must admit, as looking "completely out to lunch," Jay Jaffe goes on to point an accusatory finger Omar's way.

General manager must be joining star outfielder at this metaphorical midday meal, because "how else to explain a roster which features Chris Woodward playing first base and Gerald Williams drawing a major-league paycheck?"

The man has a point.

Woodward, it should be noted, has been at least adequate (.315/.357/.438) in his 89 ABs this year. Unfortunately, this is as good as he's ever been, and it's still not what you want to see from a first baseman.

His career numbers are those of a replacement-level middle infielder, yet with Mientkiewicz hurt (and perhaps even healthy), he's been manning the most offense-intensive position on the diamond.

As for Gerald Williams, he's 0-1 on the season, so you could say the jury's still out. But this is a 38 year old who, over the last three seasons, has made as little as one can make of 177 ABs, "hitting" .192/.243/.333.

I had just assumed that he was garden variety reserve player, who wasn't good but couldn't be easily and inexpensively improved upon (i.e. replacement level). He's not, and moves will have to be made before he gets a single start.

In other news, John Rocker has been released by the Long Island Ducks, after striking out 19 and walking - get this - 28 in 18 IP. Said Ducks owner Frank Boulton: "We know the talent is there, and I'm sure we haven't heard the last from John in baseball."

To that I'd say: I don't think it is, and I really hope we have.

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