Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Jim Riggleman is going to destroy my September.

And why will Riggles be destroying my September? Well, here's why.
Riggleman, on the plan for Desmond: "I'll get him some games, but as long as Guzman is healthy he'll be playing. If his foot flares up on him that will be an opportunity to get Desmond in there, but we also have Gonzalez and Orr who will be playing up the middle. I love to see young players play, but I don't ever want to take away the opportunity from the veterans who have been here all year... and disregard their efforts all year by planting them on the bench. Like I said, the at bats might be inconsistent."


"but I don't ever want to take away the opportunity from the veterans"

Opportunity for what, Jim? Yeah, these games down the stretch are real fucking critical, aren't they? What with this pennant race DC is in and all. Nope. No need to see what the kids have during real games in September, especially against the Division leading Phillies. Na... you can tell how good they are against piece of shit spring training pitchers struggling to make squads, right?


You know exactly what you have with Cristian, Jim. An average fielding SS (although he does have a little bit better range than some) who boots the easy play every now and then a whole helluva lot. He's also someone who never walks, and is a singles hitter with an occasional line drive home run.

What do you have with Ian Desmond, though, Jim? Well, Frank Robinson said he was Major League ready [defensively speaking] in 2005. Jim Bowden dropped the names Derek and Jeter when talking about him. (Of course, Frank Robinson loved Matt LeCroy so much he openly wept for the guy, and Jim Bowden was... well... Jim Bowden. Oh, and I stole those two quotes from Zuckerman over at the Washington Times Chatter blog. It really should be an everyday read, by the way.)

So, since Riggles is a moronic idiot not going to give the kid a shot to play everyday, we might as well try and compare the two with the stats we do have. I sure as hell ain't gonna hold it against Ian if he has a shitty ass September because he only gets one or two pinch hit at bats per week. No one should.

Just so you know what you get with Desmond, besides playing super duper defense, he also had a break out 2009 with the bat. He started the year in AA Harrisburg and hit .306/.372/.494 with 6 HR and 13 SB is 42 games. He then got the call to go to AAA Syracuse, and kept on raking. He hit .354/.428/.461 in 55 games there with 8 SB and 1 HR. He's not a huge power guy, but he does average a HR every 12.75 games. And, let's face it, that's way better than Goozie who averages one HR every 21.4 games. In fact, in a 162 game average season, Goozie hits 8 HR, while Desmond hits 13. (Yes, yes, and yes... I do realize I'm comparing Desmond's Minor League stats against Goozie's Major League stats. But that's my whole point. Since Riggleman won't be playing Ian, we can't even see what the fuck he can do against Major league pitching!)

So... me, personally? I like Ian's bat a little better than Cristian's, but we'll call it a wash since Cristian is hitting against Major League pitchers and all. You know... such as Manny Parra, Tim Dillard, Mat Latos, Arthur Lee Rhodes, Brian Bass, and Geoff fucking Geary, after all. (And no, those pitchers were not pulled at random. Those are the six pitchers Cristian has hit his home runs off of this year. I shit you not. All-Stars they ain't.)

Let's then use defense as a measuring stick, since Minor Leaguers and Major Leaguers both play on the exact same size infield, with runners the exact same 90 feet apart.

Desmond's 2009 defensive ratings: .943 FLD %, and an eye popping 4.81 RF/9.
Goozie's 2009 ratings? A .962 FLD % (dead last in the NL) and a very nice RF/9 of 4.52 (tops among NL SS with a minimum 100 games played).
Desmond's career avg FLD % is only .936, but keep in mind this includes his first few years in which he was learning to play the position at an elite level. Ian's avg RF/G, though, is a stellar 4.40 (again, while he was learning the position). Goozie's MLB career FLD % is .971 and his career RF/G is 4.19. Cristian's career Minor League FLD % was only .952 while his Minor League RF/G was 4.55.

(For those of you that just want to know what a great SS RF/9 and FLD % is, Ozzie Smith averaged a .978 (with three piss poor - for him- sub .970 seasons pulling him down at the beginning and end of his career). During his prime, he averaged a .981 FLD % with a single season high of .987 in both 1991 and 1987. His career RF/9 was 5.2 with a single season high of 5.87 in 1981 and 1982.)

Okay, okay... so it's obvious Ian has better range, while Cristian's fielding percentage is a little higher. But everyone knows fielding percentage is old and inadequate, right? You don't? Just do yourself a favor. Google "why fielding percentage is outdated". Sure... there are plenty of sites that pop up, but the most interesting revelation of all? This magical, wonderful, incredibly awesome blurb thrown our way by the great people of Google:

(And with that, we come back full circle to Jim Bowden. Sometimes I really do miss your Segway riding, leather pants wearing face around here.)

So, since the numbers above could be judged differently by different folks, and with Riggles apparently needing someone to draw him a picture in order to get a clue, allow me to present my argument another way.

There. That about sums it up. Now how about you play him, Jimmy Riggles? Don't make him have to twist your arm. (And by him, I mean me. And by twist your arm, I mean this.)

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