Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Why I'm Less Worried About Pods Than You
Well, that is a little unfair. I do not really know how worried you are about Pods. You may be a Twins fan reading this, and you are cackling at Pods' .038 (1 for 26) start. But I am definitely less worried than most Sox fans.
I would be worried if Podsednik was striking out a bunch. He isn't. He's only struck out 3 times in 26 at bats, meaning that he is at least making contact. That strikeout rate is actually a bit below his career average. While he has only put the ball in play hard a few times, he is putting it play. He is not lost at the plate, flailing at pitches out of the zone and taking strike three. While the BABIP theory does hold as true for hitters as it does pitchers, the hits are going to fall for Podsednik. When a few fall, I would presume that Pods will starting bunting for hits again, as well as being ultra selective at the plate. Pods may not hit .290 this year because of the poor start (it's 5% of his at bats, roughly), but I wouldn't be surprised if he hit .280-.285 when all is said and done. If he gets on base at a .350 clip, he'll be valuable from the leadoff spot again this year.
On the other hand, Brian Anderson has 8 strikeouts in 18 at bats. And, despite the fact that he has four hits (good for a .222 average), he really has looked lost at the plate. His swing looks a little long and loopy, and he doesn't look like he can catch up to a good fastball right now. Brian looks like he could use some work with Greg Walker.
The really bad news is that if Anderson and Podsednik don't come around, there really aren't many good options in the organization. Sweeney is promising, but he'd be very stretched by a trip to the majors - he's very young for AAA already. Jerry Owens hasn't shown that he's ready for major league pitching, either. The outfield problem would likely have to be resolved by going outside the organization -- meaning that Brandon McCarthy's future with the organization could depend on how well Pods and Anderson hit the rest of the way.