April 1, 2008

GUZMANIA!: Renounced & Rejected

Cristian Guzman is a terrible ballplayer (and for all I know, a terrible human being). He built a reputation as an above-average offensive shortstop on a foundation of one good year slapping balls off the carpet in the Metrodome, but even with that All Star caliber performance he's a career .263 hitter who gets on base 30% of the time and has a .680 OPS. That's not just mediocre, thats almost 100 points below league average OPS for his career.

You can live with numbers like that if your shortstop is a Gold Glove defensive whiz. With over 1,000 games at SS to evaluate, it's crystal clear that Guzie is no Mark Bellanger. At best he's an average defender, but some of the newer defensive metrics suggest that Cristian has below average range and less than ideal accuracy from the hole at short.

He's got some speed, though only a 66% stolen base success rate, well below the 75% conversion rate needed to make those bases valuable. Aside from speed he's got none of the assets you look for in a traditional leadoff man, and since he's never hit more than 31 doubles or 10 homers in any season it safe to say that if he ever had any power, it ain't coming back.

What Guzman does have is one year left on the 4-year, $16M contract he inked with GM Jim Bowden moments after the free agency period began prior to the 2005 season. So eager was Trader Jim to nab the Gooz that he didn't even wait for Minnesota to decline to offer him arbitration, thereby costing the Nats a valuable high round draft pick. That $16M contract is the primary reason Cristian has a starting job today.

FelipE6 Lopez would be a better starting shortstop, because he has "potential" whereas Guzman is washed up at age 30. David Eckstein would be a better starting shortstop (Guz can never be scrappy.) Hell, even future saviors of the franchise Ian Desmond and Smiley Gonzalez would be better choices, today, to be the starting SS for the Washington Nationals. Cristian Guzman is a blight on the roster, a melanoma on the brand-spanking new clubhouse and a general affront to all that is good and decent in America and the game of baseball. He must go, and go now.


Dave said...

Who are you and what have you done with Nate?

Watson, someone mugged Nate and took his place!

April Fools.

Harper said...

Do they award Pulitzers for blog posts?

Watson said...

Nate, it's official. You need a new Jersey.

Nate said...

After Guz leaves I'm just going to get it re-lettered as a GEICO Gecko jersey. Save up to 15% on your auto insurance!