Thursday, December 28, 2006

Should DeRosa Start At SS ?

There has been much consternation concerning the health and the dismal offensive numbers of Ceasar Izturis. We hear all about his gold glove year, but that was 2004. Back in the day, an all glove no hit SS was the norm. However, in today's baseball world, shortstops are expected to produce at the plate. Maybe not like an A-Rod, but at least league average.

With little Ceasar's nagging health issues the past few years, it seems that a hard look for a replacement should be one of Pinella's top priorities this upcoming spring training.

As the Cubs roster lays out this spring, I think it's safe to assume that R. Cedeneo is a long shot to even make the big club, let alone start.

That leaves M. DeRosa and R. Theriot. Now we know, though based on a small sample, that The Riot looks just fine at 2B. Can he handle SS? Maybe, but DeRosa, who has been initially slated to start at 2B, actually has played more games at SS than he has at 2B. So let's take a look at some historical fielding data for Izturis and DeRosa.

The career fielding data is broken down for both players based on (ZR) Zone Rating (# of outs made/ # of chances) and (RF) Range Factor (Put Outs + Assists divided by 9 divided by innings).

Izturis 859ZR 440RF 580Games
DeRosa 837ZR 487RF 137Games

As you can see their fielding numbers are quite comparable, and when you compare their offensive numbers, it appears to be a no brainer. Moving DeRosa to SS also frees up 2B for The Riot to prove he can handle the job. If The Riot doesn't produce in spring training, you can always plug Izturis back in.

The Riot also adds much needed speed to the lineup and would give the Cubs a dynamic one-two punch at the top of the order, while at the same time eliminating the weak hitting bat of Izturis.


In a nutsack said...

This thinking also puts Little Ceasar's glove on the bench. That could be a viable defensive option in the later innings of a game. This could definitely boost Izturis's value to the team.

Clute said...

Izturis would still get his starts as DeRosa's versatility will definetely be used elsewhere to spell others like Ramirez or even The Riot.

The point is the team could use a little more speed and having two basestealing threats at the top of the lineup could produce a lot of havoc.

With Izturis's weak bat out of the lineup, it gives the Cubs the option to insert Pie's bat at the bottom of the order.

You also have to consider that if Jones is traded, the Cubs lineup would be a lot stronger with The Riot at the top and Pie and the bottom of the order, than Pie and Izturis both at the bottom of the order.