April 22, 2009

Playing time projections, revisited (part 1)

This is a short post, since I have to give a talk in an hour or so, but this was on my mind as I drove into Chicago.

We're 12 games into the season, and some playing time trends have emerged. So far, it seems that Lou is using Micah Hoffpauir as Bradley's primary backup in RF, which goes against the assumptions that most of us were using that Johnson would absorb a large number of OF starts. Additionally, Lou has entered Johnson into the game at CF as a defensive substitution when he feels like substituting, rather than Joey Gathright. By my count, we then effectively have 6 OF, and Gathright has barely been used at all.

Most of Gathright's value lies in his defense, and if Lou is not going to use him, why not just release him and call up Jake Fox? I've been pretty frustrated seeing Miles and Gathright coming up as pinch hitters, since they are not good at hitting. Fox destroyed the ball in spring training and hasn't stopped hitting since being sent to the minors. He's not as good as these numbers, but he's obviously a better hitter than those two banjo-hitting utility guys.

I'm going to post some revised projections with new playing time projections for the positional players, based on Lou's usage of Hoffpauir in the next day or two. Until then - two Cubs games for me! I'm excited for tomorrow's game especially - I have field level seats behind the plate for Zambrano's start.