Thursday, February 16, 2006
Pitching Pinch Hitters
I'm a bit late on this, but a two way guy that stinks of Jason Marquis (or Jason Marquis stinks of, whatever), Brooks Kieschnick, for his pitching and pinch hitting ability has called it quits. [hat tip to Brew Crew Ball via Baseball Musings] Brooks had a career G/F ratio of 1.55. Marquis' G/F ratio is 1.59. neither generated much excitement from the mound. How about with the stick you ask. Kieschnick's career BA was .270 compared to Marquis' .310. Useful pinch hitters indeed. Speaking of pitchers who hit and hitters that pinch and pinchers that pitch, the PD caught a little Rick Ankiel fever today, not to mention the headline writer's shared penchant (ha!) for word play around the subject. Beat writer Derrick Goold mulled over the former pitcher's situation as an outfielder within the organization. Most telling in the story are a couple of lines from higher ups, including Jocketty, that demonstrate the organization's belief in and commitment to the 26-year-old. It seems like they intend to try and find a way for him to get through the waiver situation and get him to Memphis for playing time this year. There are lots of people out there who have doubts about Ankiel, but, as cynical as I am, I am not one of them. He's a pure athlete. He's one of those people whose natural athletic ability enables them to pick up and master almost any sport on a whim. In fact, if he tires of baseball this year he'd be a lock to make the Blues. I really believe he will pull it together enough to become a solid bench player at the very least. Think about like this, right now we are considering 28-year-old John Rodriguez as a potential starting OF this year. J-Rod's ability bloomed rather late, and he bounced around the minors until making an impression in Memphis last year. I have to believe Ankiel has the ability to play at that level. We'll see what he does in Memphis this season, but how far away can 2005's second half minor league phenom really be, on a team jammed with glorified platooners for the LF spot?