Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Players Blocked by An Inferior Player

Baseball Analysts have a short list of position players that are being blocked from playing regularly by an inferior player.

It is unfortunate how many managers are willing to give playing time to a seasoned veteran on the downside of his career rather than giving his younger, often more talented players the opportunity to prove themselves.

This is the kind of situation the Twins faced early last season when playing Juan Castro over Jason Bartlett. It is also the same situation they face this season by giving Ramon Ortiz a spot in the starting rotation over younger options like Glen Perkins, Scott Baker, Matt Garza, and J.D. Durbin.

Take a look at the projections of all five pitchers:

Ramon Ortiz
ZiPS 8-12, 5.25ERA, 163IP, 1.47WHIP

Matt Garza
ZiPS 13-10 3.88ERA, 160IP, 1.31WHIP

Scott Baker
ZiPS 10-10 4.45ERA, 170IP, 1.33WHIP

Glen Perkins
ZiPS 6-9 5.13ERA, 135IP, 1.49WHIP

J.D. Durbin
ZiPS 4-5 4.86ERA, 100IP, 1.56WHIP

Garza and Baker are clearly projected to do much better than Ortiz for considerably less money. They will also be given invaluable playing time which will mature them as pitchers and help them improve.

Perkins and Durbin are not projected to do much better, if at all, than Ortiz. But they are two good prospects, Perkins especially, that should be given a chance over a $3 million pitcher who will be lucky to post an ERA below 5.00.

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