Friday, February 20, 2009

2nd base competition aka Johnny Giavotella when art thou?

Royals fans are hoping (and expecting) Giavotella to lock down the 2nd base job for a decade, unfortunately he's about three years away so instead we will be treated to the epic battle between Willie Bloomquist and Alberto Callaspo. I'm gonna go ahead and toss Mark Teahen out of the equation, the guy is trying to learn the position and is set to play for Canada in the WBC and though they agreed to let him field some ground balls at 2nd he is going to be playing 3rd base. This puts him at a severe disadvantage and one he won't be able to recover from. (I don't think Orlando Hudson is going to happen either, maybe if Moore hadn't signed Farnsworth.......)

So that narrows it down to Bloomquist versus Callaspo, defense versus offense.

Greg Schaum, host of Baseball This Week on 610 sports, says Bloomquist has "ridiculous range". If Mike Jacobs (or Billy Butler for that matter) is their 1st baseman then whoever is playing 2nd base is going to have to cover more territory than if say Teahen or Gload were there, and no I'm not calling for either one of them to play 1st base. I'm just saying Bloomquists range will come in handy on groundballs that Jacobs or Butler can't get to. Offensively speaking Bloomquist is below average but not without some useful skills. He will take a walk and steal some bases but he had just one extra base hit last season while amassing a .285 slugging percentage. The .377 OBP was nice but unexpected as it was fifty-five points above his career mark of .322 (his minor league OBP was .337, like I said unexpected), he most likely will be unable to repeat that.

Callaspo, on the other hand, has demonstrated serious on-base skills - .361 last season in 234 PA's including a line of .330/.371/.423 in his last 27 games. Defensively he has made only one error in 59 career games at 2nd base but that is more a product of limited range than flashy glove work. The guy can flat out hit and personally I would love to see what he could do with 600 plate appearances.

I think they probably will end up splitting time with Bloomquist getting the nod when Hochevar and Ramirez pitch due to their groundball tendencies. This would eliminate the need for TPJ as Bloomquist could still back up Aviles at shortstop.  And really anything that keeps TPJ off the roster is a good thing.

And in case anyone has visions of Tug Hulett (.394 minor league OBP) manning the position I asked Keith Law if Tug was someone Royals fans could get excited about, he sent back a one word message - no!


  1. Was there a need to even mention TPJ?

  2. Well if Bloomquist wins the 2nd base job KC will need a backup SS.

  3. Bloomy reminds me of david eckstein, the owner of 2 world series rings. Give him a shot trey.

  4. Jeff I know you like Callaspo but the guy is scum, I bet he is cut before the all star break.

    Teahen needs to be the 2B, he is not too tall.

  5. Hey Jeff, yeah I know they'll need a backup. I was just asking because I had just ate breakfast when I read that, and it all came back up. :)

  6. Oh sorry then , I forgot the natural reaction to TPJ's name is even less pleasant with a full belly.

  7. We need good people more than talented baseball players on a baseball team? It's not the UN.