Monday, June 18, 2007

WiR: Off the Subway, Back on Track Part II

Week 11: June 11-17, 2007

Player of the Week: A tie, this week, between the slugger, Alex Rodriguez (.429/.480/.962, 3 HR 10 RBI), and the groundball machine, Chien Ming Wang (2-0, 1.72 ERA in 15 2/3 IP) and the Captain, Derek Jeter (.478/.538/.739). I wish there was enough room at the top that runners-up Hideki Matsui (.429/.500/.619), Mike Mussina, and Andy Pettitte could share room on the dais. Everyday Scottie Proctor and Batting Practice Luis Vizcaino both had good weeks. Heck, a few more like this, and Vizcaino might even lose the nickname, "batting practice."

Dregs of the Week: Hard to find dregs in a week like this...but we always do, somehow. I love Melky Cabrera, but weeks like this (.105/.190/.105) are pure murder. With Johnny Damon suddenly old and achy, there's no sending Melky down, but he's just brutalizing this team with the bat. Speaking of old and achy, Damon's not doing much to hold down the DH slot, or put himself in the running for some games at first base (.176/.222/.353) until he's ready to play the outfield again. But then again, who needs a firstbaseman when Miguel Cairo (a non-Dregs .300/.364/.400) is rocking the house? It's not heartening that Josh Phelps is now buried alive (7 PA this week) and that the one trade possibility that's been mentioned is perhaps my least-favorite player, Shea Hillebrand? I guess that's a heaping helping of Cairo coming up!

Story of the Week: Rumors of a pinstriped demise this season have been greatly exaggerated. No, it's not like we're suddenly in contention for the division title (despite the panicky declarations of Bill Simmons on his new podcast, the Red Sox are still playing fine baseball--what on earth are you guys worried about?). But there's a glimmer of hope for the Wild Card, if the boys can hold their stuff together. The X-factor now will be trades, but I'll admit that it's hard to imagine any serious exchanges involving the Bronx Bombers. Here are a few trade options in the 1B/DH vein, listed from worst to best in your humble author's opinion:

Hillebrand (31): Pros - Relatively young, can play 3B, likely to be on waiver wire soon, not Miguel Cairo; Cons - he whines about playing time even when he's hitting well, hasn't hit well for several years now.

Mike Sweeney (33): Pros - Was a decent righty hitter as recently as two years ago, has expiring contract, would likely come cheap; Cons - Old, fragile, no defensive position, doesn't hit.

Miscellaneous Spare Parts: These are guys like Mike Lamb, Dmitri Young, Ryan Klesko who could stand at first base and have been hitting a little in the senior circuit. Pros - Likely to come cheap; Cons - Likely to have us back digging through the discards pile again a few weeks later.

Todd Helton (33): Pros - After an off year, is hitting again, actually a good defender at first base; Cons - At 33, is on the wrong end of the defensive spectrum, and is still owed about $70 million from 2008-2011. That's a lot of cheddar, specially for a guy that's had back trouble.

Adam Dunn (27): Pros - In his prime, can play OF as well as 1B, deadly serious power; Cons - The Yankees likely don't have the chips to get him, barring throwing away the Tabata/Hughes future, despite "ability" to play first and left, is a natural DH, also very, very likely to be a whipping boy to the New York media if acquired.

Mark Teixeira (27): Pros - Rakes from both sides of the plate, young, plays first base well; Cons - Again, the Yankees don't have the chips to get their hands on him, without mortgaging the future.

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