Monday, July 21, 2008

Ray Durham trade

There seem to be a lot of people against this trade and I can't imagine why. The two minor leaguers we gave up were unlikely to ever see time in a Brewers uniform.

Durham's On Base Percentage so far this season is higher than any other member of the team (it's .385). He's a better option off the bench than Joe Dillon, who was sent to AAA Nashville when we acquired Durham. He's a switch hitter, giving us a valid left-handed option off the bench. He's a veteran and he didn't cost much. It's no blockbuster Sabathia trade, but I think it's a solid-enough move.

His OBP is .050 points higher than Rickie's. This is a bit of a no-lose situation. Best case scenario, Durham keeps his BA and OBP as high as they are and he becomes a guy we can't ignore at 2B and in the leadoff position. Worst case scenario, we have a left-handed guy to come off the bench and pinch hit.

A few tidbits I picked up off

Durham's OPS (on base plus slugging) against the Cubs is 1.129 and against the Cards is .924.

Between the Cubs and Cards, they have 1 (count them one) left-handed starter in their rotations right now. Having Durham really opens things up for us.

The best part of this trade is how much talking Ned has done to say that Rickie is our guy, he's our second baseman, nothing's changing.

It feels like while Ned is stubbornly sticking with Rickie, Doug Melvin is forcing his hand and going above him to make the situation more urgent. Like Melvin knows we can't win with Rickie in the leadoff and though Ned is talking the talk, Melvin's walking the walk.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought some of Ned's quotes were hilarious:

“I wouldn’t say he has underachieved,” Yost said.

“He has never been a .300 hitter (in the majors), so who says he is underachieving?

“He’s working his way up. He’s getting better in all phases of his game. For me, he has never underachieved because he never achieved up here. How can you say he has underachieved?”

“Nobody comes at the same time,” Yost said. “Everybody comes at their own (pace). Those other guys still have a lot of things to be done, to get better at.

and from another article:

"I will not, probably, right now," Yost said. "Rickie's doing fine. I'll play Ray a couple days a week, maybe. We'll see how it goes. I'll take it day by day.

"I don't know what I'm going to do," Yost added. "We'll find out when it happens."


"He just finds a way to help you win baseball games," Yost said. "Either by scoring a run, getting a big hit every now and then, stealing a base, taking a way to set something up. A lot of things go on that don't get noticed with Rickie that helps us win games. Everybody looks at solid numbers and says, 'How can you do this?' But he helps you win games."

Yost called the Weeks critics "people that don't know anything about anything." He did concede that there is plenty of room for improvement.

"He's going to get better," Yost said. "But he's never been a .300 hitter, ever. So who says he's underachieving? He is working his way up there. He's getting better in all phases of his game. For me, he has never underachieved because he has never achieved up here [in the Majors]."

“Rickie has yet to begin to scratch the surface of what he can do offensively,” Yost said. “It’s more promising than it is frustrating. He helps us win ball games now, so there’s not a lot of frustration involved in it.”

“It’s not like it’s, ‘Come on, Rickie, do something.’ He does something every day. A lot of it just goes unnoticed.”

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