Welcome to The Brewster Baseball Association (MBWBA) Forums!!!

Defeating the Baseball System since 1973!
It is currently Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:55 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:09 am 
Offline
General Manager
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 11:48 pm
Posts: 3624
Image
Where Will McNeill Play?



With all or parts of five seasons under his belt, it’s hard to remember that Lucas McNeill is still only 24 years old. On the other hand, his always-precocious manner makes it sometimes hard to realize he’s as old as 24. Of particular note for this little missive is the fact that at 24, some observers note that he’s lost a step in the field. Maybe it’s Kingsley, maybe it’s one too many beers after the last game, maybe it’s just natural wear and tear of a guy who can literally do it all, but his defensive acumen has clearly dropped this year to the point that he’s been occasionally moved over to first base to make room for Juan Arevalo.

Rumors come that the team is considering making the move more permanent, which makes sense for a few reasons. First, that current first baseman Jose Gonzalez is only a fair defensive player, and could easily slide to DH. Second, McNeill is a star who plays with abandon, and has shown the tendency to get himself nicked up. First base is a considerably less taxing position, and saves the team risk. And, finally, the Nine has an interesting set of options to follow in creating a back-up plan.

Option A is simple, just say “J.J.” As in J. J. McQuade, who could quite easily handle the role. The downside here is that this would break the fairly nice little dynamic McQuade has in playing third base against lefties, and working in as part time starter at the middle infield. It’s not a terrible downside, but it puts more pressure on lefty hitter Earl Jackson, and we’re not sure Jackson is going to be up to it, especially at his young age.

Option B is similar: slide shortstop Angel De Castillo over. De Castillo was roundly considered to be a better option at second base by league pundits, and given that he’s really only defensively average at best in the shortstop hole, there’s some reasonable likelihood he could make the shift. This would put McQuade at shortstop, and create a similar problem as option B. In addition, the fact that De Castillo can still turn a somewhat league average glove as shortstop makes his bat even more valuable in that position.

Image
Image
Option C is more interesting: LHB John Charbonneau, 22 (signed to a minor league contract in 2027), is ready at AAA, but is clearly a platoon guy. Rumors say the team has quietly attempted to trade him, but found no takers (not an unusual occurrence, it seems…). The problem here is that this would create a similar situation as the team has now, with Arevalo and McNeill essentially platooning at second. It’s fine, but if the goal is to move McNeill completely, it seems to miss the mark. Enter Bill Benson, 23 (2nd Rd. Pick in 2027). Benson is a RHB, was just promoted to AAA after a season and a half of ripping up AA pitching. Rumors are that he, too, was tossed about as possible trade fodder over recent years without creating any excitement, but he could probably play in Yellow Springs even now. Theory says he would make a fine platoon partner with Charbonneau. Both are speedy. Both have a little pop in the bat. Both can handle the defensive assignment. In addition, it fits the mold of an organization that tends to like developing home-grown talent and letting it play itself out of roles.

There are other options, too, of course. Trade for one, naturally, though the team doesn’t seem to have the farm system chips available that it would take to pull down a star-quality second baseman. Free agency is always another option, but that can get spendy and the team is clearly going to be under some financial duress in the off-season already. Then, of course, the team could chose to do nothing and live with both injury risk and a bit of rugged defense from their star as he approaches his prime seasons.

None of these last seem particularly appealing, though, which leads us back to reviewing the three options above. Where will the team go? It should be interesting to watch.

Of course, there’s this thing called a pennant chase to deal with first. So, priorities, right? Priorities, priorities, priorities.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:44 am 
Offline
League Director
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:50 pm
Posts: 2352
I feel like I remember McNeil being considerably better at second. Was was his range before?

_________________
Ted Schmidt
California Crusaders (2021-present)
Image


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:49 am 
Offline
General Manager
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 11:48 pm
Posts: 3624
He was a 7 back a few years. Dropped to 6 last year. 5 This year. He can still play the position, but it's a bit ugly.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:43 pm 
Offline
General Manager
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:37 pm
Posts: 664
Maybe if McNeill stopped chasing super models, his legs wouldn't be so tired and he could get to a few more ground balls. :P

_________________
Alan Ehlers
GM of the Brooklyn Robins
Image


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:49 pm 
Offline
General Manager
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 11:48 pm
Posts: 3624
I have to admit I'm not sure that's a good sales pitch.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:15 pm 
Offline
General Manager
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:37 pm
Posts: 664
Joking aside. While I have zero data or knowledge to support this, I feel like when a player like McNeill is playing a position he struggles at, he also struggles at the plate. Then when moved to an easier position, he rakes. I know the year I had Holden Blackwell play 1B, he set the single season BBA record for hits. I also ruined Michael Starr the year I had a bunch of infield injuries and tried to have him play SS.

_________________
Alan Ehlers
GM of the Brooklyn Robins
Image


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group