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October 02, 2005

Prevent Defense

This will never happen - or, it will happen too late - but, I'll suggest it anyway.

If I'm the Yankees, for this series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, I would install Bubba Crosby as the everyday CF and play Bernie Williams at DH. Torre has been using Ruben Sierra at DH as of late. So, switching to Bernie there is no loss.

Why Bubba in CF? I'd do it for his feet, arm, and glove - and if he hits at all, it's a bonus. The Angels have guys who are very aggressive on the bases - Figgins, Erstad, Cabrera, Guerrero, etc. - and they will not be shy about testing the Yankees outfielders. In fact, three years ago in the ALDS, the Angels first-to-thirded Bernie Williams at will and to death. That was then - now, it would only be worse.

Plus, it's a pretty big CF in Anaheim (like the ballpark in the Bronx). From alley to dead center to alley it's 395-406-395 (whereas in Yankees Stadium it's 399-408-385). If a CF is not careful out there, singles can become doubles and doubles become triples pretty easily.

With Donnelly, Shields, and K-Rod in the Angels pen, there will not be too many chances for large comebacks late in a game. It serves the Yankees better to keep the score close when they cannot have the lead. Every run that can be cut off because of good OF play will be an important run saved.

If the Yankees had a monster bat at DH, I probably would say leave Bernie in CF, hope for the best, and cross your fingers for the 3-run HR from the DH. But, again, when your DH is a 39-year-old Ruben Sierra, this move (Bernie to DH, Bubba to CF) for this series, just seems to make a lot of sense - at least to me.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at October 2, 2005 10:55 PM

Comments

Couldn't agree more.

Didn't know where to pose this question so I'll do it here. If the division was settled and it was already decided to pitch Wright today, why not let him work himself out for 100 pitches instead of pulling him in the 3rd inning and then having to piece together the rest of the game with bullpen arms? Why does Chacon get in there at all? I didn't really understand any of it. I would've preferred to have seem Wright get bombed but save the arms, even if they're crappy arms.

Posted by: MJ at October 2, 2005 11:46 PM

I think most of the guys used were guys who needed work. And, Chacon was supposed to start on Monday, but, now won't start for a while, so, they wanted him to get some work in.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi at October 3, 2005 12:04 AM

Maybe they just worked Chacon's bad inning out of him. Now he'll be set for the playoffs.

Posted by: rbj at October 3, 2005 08:48 AM

With all the AB's Sierra's been getting, I'd say you're seeing Bernie in CF, & Sierra DH'ing.

Bubba's the 4th OF/defensive replacement...

Posted by: Raf at October 3, 2005 09:05 AM

And, RBJ, that's a shame, considering how Sierra's been hitting. .235/.278/.235 over the past week, and .148/.188/.197 since the beginning of September.

Personally, I'd rather see Sierra sitting on the bench. Bubba Crosby: .182/.250/.182 over the past week, and .321/.333/.415 since the beginning of September. I know that Sierra's a "professional hitter" and a "seasoned veteran" (buzzwords meaning overrated and unproductive), but I'd go with the hotter hand that can play defense.

Posted by: Chuck May at October 3, 2005 09:30 AM

Sierra is nearly a total loss, especially facing LHP. Read Steve Goldman's nice piece on this subject over at the Yes site.

Can you believe we have a DH who has 4 HR this year? Whose OPS is in the .600 range? Yuck.

Posted by: Paul in Boston at October 3, 2005 10:09 AM

short of an intervention from the Pope, you can expect to see Bernie in CF and Big Rube at DH tomorrow night. do you expect anything less?

Posted by: JohnnyC at October 3, 2005 10:26 AM