Position Problems

Congrats to wezz over at Major League Baseball: Through the Eyes of a UK Red Sox Fan for getting the answer to yesterday’s trivia. The question was Which pitcher holds the major league record for most grand slams allowed (10)? The answer was hall of famer, Nolan Ryan.

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So the World Baseball Classic is officially underway, yet two teams have position problems. The USA and the Dominican Republic.

United States of America

Who is going to be team USA’s closer. There are so many options. So I decided the best way to decide would be to look at every candidate.

-Brian Fuentes

The main reason that there is a hole hear is because of him and Joe Nathan. Nathan decided to skip the classic while Fuentes said he will only participate if the USA goes on to the second round due to family issues. Fuentes just signed with the Angels this offseason. Fuentes was a three time all-star with the Rockies. Odds 4-1 The fact that he will not be in the first round opens up the door to someone else but he could become the closer in the second round.

Heath Bell

Bell does not have much experience at closer. His whole carer he has been a setup man and because Trevor Hoffman signed with the Brewers he became closer for the Padres. Bell only has two saves in his five year carer. Odds 25-1 Bell might work for the Padres but he will not work for team USA.

-Jonathan Broxton

Last season the Dodgers had two closers, Takashi Saito and Broxton. Now that Saito signed with the Red Sox Broxton is the Dodgers only closer. Broxton can bring some heat and is a gamer. He handles the pressure great. Odds 7-1 The only thing that hurts his chances are the fact that he does not have as much experience as some other guys on the team.

-J.J. Putz

Putz is a great choice. He has experience which this team kind of lacks. He knows how to handle pressure and can throw heat. The Mets have a gift with Putz because now they have three all-star closers. Billy Wagner, Fransisco Rodriguez, and Putz. Odds 3-1. Putz is a lot like Broxton just Putz has more experience. It is very possible that team USA will switch off between Fuentes and Putz. 

-Brad Ziegler

You probably remember Ziegler. I mean he tossed 39 scoreless innings last year in a row as a rookie! Ziegler has a slight advantage because he throws sidearm and it is possible that some players from other countries have never seen a sidearmer pitch. The one thing that seems to kill everyone’s chances is experience. Last year was Ziegler’s first. He pitched in 47 games with eleven saves. Odds 10-1 Ziegler is very promising but I just do not think he is ready just yet to be the closer in the WBC.

Dominican Republic

All right I am sure by know that you have all seen that A-Roid will not be playing in the WBC due to a torn labrum in his hip. So that opens third base up. So here are his possible replacements.

-Adrian Beltre

Adrian Beltre is the only other third baseman on team Dominican Republic’s roster. Last season he made fourteen errors at third and won a Golden Glove. He also has a good bat. In 2008 he hit .266 with 25 home runs. Odds 6-1 The fact that he is the only other third baseman helps him a ton.

-Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano is a second baseman for the Yankees and has played a total of zero games at third base. He has a .982 carer fielding percentage at second though. His bat is decent. Last season he hit .271 with fourteen home runs. Odds 25-1 He has never played a single game at third which just ruins his chances. He he was faster or had a better glove I might make the odds 15-1 but he would still not get the job.

-Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez is a regular shortstop and has played zero games at third base. The three things that help him though are his glove, bat, a wheels. Ramirez made only twenty-two errors last season at shortstop. His bat is great too. In 2008 he hit .301 with 33 home runs, and 67 RBI’s. The last thing that helps him is he is fast. He stole 35 bases last year. Odds 8-1 I really have nothing bad to say about him but he just has not played at third base.

-Jose Reyes

Jose Reyes is the shortstop for the Mets and is another guy who has played zero games at third base. Reyes though has a great glove. He made only seventeen errors at shortstop in 2008. He is a great contact hitter and his .297 average kind of proves it. Reyes also stole 56 bases last season! Odds 17-1 Reyes has all the tools of a third baseman but just doesn’t have enough power in my opinion. He also will probably be the starting shortstop.

-Miguel Tejada

Miguel Tejada is the shortstop for the Houston Astros and has played one game of third base back in 1999 with the Oakland A’s. Not a single ball was hit to him though. Tejada did not have the best season ever last year but did manage to hit .283 with thirteen home runs, and 66 RBI’s. He also stole seven bases. Odds 4-1 Tejada played third in a game against the Cardinals and did not make an error. 

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All right here is today’s question. “Who is credited with being the first fielder to wear sunglasses at his position.”

Hint- His last name is the first name of a NFL star

Photo Credits

-Sorry guys no photos this time. Extra the next few days, I promise.

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7 comments

  1. juliasrants

    I see Puntz being the closer for Team USA and see Beltre or Tejada filling in at third for Team Dominican Republic. Don’t know who wore the sunglasses – just know my son’s coach wouldn’t let him wear them!

    Julia
    http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

  2. ohy22xd

    Nice review of the players! Personally, Heath Bell should just be a setup man. I mean, I’m going to see him close for the Padres during the whole regular season! It will be great if he becomes a closer for Team USA though.. And Caroline, I agree with you!
    http://hyunyoung.mlblogs.com

  3. scofid

    It is unfortunate that Joe Nathan couldn’t make a go of it, but I agree with your choices/odds. I like Broxton’s make up, but I don’t think he’s ready to be “the guy” for Team USA. As for third on the DR team, I’d prefer to see Adrian Beltre win the job. It should be fun watching Team USA play later today.

    Scott
    http://fotr.mlblogs.com

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