Wednesday, April 19, 2006

What to do, what to do ...

Now that we've discovered that Wily Mo Pena is not quite as polished in the outfield as we had hoped, what are the options? I will say that there is evidence that Wily Mo is becoming more patient at the plate (although, there is a difference between facing Casey Fossum and say, Bartolo Colon), but (at least this is my interpretation), he is frigid in the field. Seemingly scared or something. He hesitates. He misjudges. He's too anxious. At least he isn't throwing the ball into the infield, Knoblauch style.

I accept what Theo did in the trade with Arroyo. I'll never love it, but it is what it is. I also accept that Wily Mo needs a lot of major league at-bats in order to blossom. To be whatever he's supposed to be (I am sure that Theo has gant charts the size of Texas, projecting his growth down to the tiniest detail). Offensively, bringing him into the lineup is a risk, but it's the kind of risk that we can afford. We did it with Pokey Reese and his defense was so incredible, it was totally worth it. The difference here is - Wily Mo is struggling defensively and this could cost the Red Sox in close games. So, he becomes a liability in the outfield. too. That's like a double risk with no upside. Apart from the potential one, which we've seen little evidence of to date. I don't mean to sound impatient, but I think we need some kind of damage control. Or plan B.

It's not Wily Mo's fault. He's trying his best. I'm sure that there's nothing this kid wants more than to light it up in a big way. But it takes time. And I'm not sure that his defensive skills are going to sharpen overnight. I think he should be sent back to the minors. It's not fair for him to have to deal with this pressure if he isn't ready. He should continue to work on his fielding and plate production in an environment that won't negatively impact the Red Sox. He's been signed to a major league contract, though, so can they send him down? I honestly don't understand how that all works. But, there's got to be a solution in here somewhere.

And please, don't tell me that it isn't all that bad. Don't throw your numbers at me and say, "But look at how he compares to so-and-so. It's not far off." That would mean that you haven't been watching the same games as I have. And comparing him defensively to someone isn't necessarily fair unless Pena's offensive numbers are compared to the same person who is somehow managing to escape criticism.

6 Comments:

At 12:59 PM, Blogger Paul said...

I think the Willy Mo Pena pickup was poor. They had to do something to replace damon though. Oh well, I enjoy watching the Red Sox lose :-p

 
At 1:11 PM, Blogger 01245 said...

Nationals fan? Yeah, good luck with that.

Damon's replacement was actually Coco Crisp.

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

They all can't be that quick. After all, this is still April. (wink)

 
At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Steve said...

Hey!
I actually have an answer to your question... Can he be sent down to the minors even though he has a major league contract? Yes. A buddy of mine that I work with played minor league ball and he said that when you play in the minors and you get called up to the majors they call it "going to have a cup of coffee". Once you have your cup of coffee, i.e. sign the major league contract, you hold on to that money, even though they may send you back down to the minors...Basically the front office can do with you what they will.

 
At 4:39 PM, Blogger 01245 said...

Hey, Steve - thanks for the info, buddy.

 
At 3:24 PM, Blogger BS Memorial said...

Wily Mo Pena cannot be sent down to the minors without passing through waivers first.

He's on the big club to stay.

 

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