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If you don't undestand that Buck likes Izzy at SS...


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Without even taking power into consideration, Izturis is already 17 to 27 times on base behind an "average" SS. So unless he's between +17 to +27 plays with the glove, he's below average, and I don't think anybody thinks he's that type of impact with the glove. I think even the people who are really high on his defense would put him in the +5 to +10 range, and I think most metrics have him right around average. As El Gordo told us he's +0 through Fielding Bible and his UZR/150 is 2.1 this year.

Add power into the equation and he falls behind even further. Izturis has a .325 SLG for his career and an anemic .280 SLG this season. The average 3-year SLG of all MLB SS is .387.

I was curious, so I quickly put this together for SS. I arbitrarily chose players with 300 or more at bats this season.

Bases/PA = (H+2B+2*3B+3*HR+BB)/(AB+BB)

I multiplied that by 600 to approximate a reasonable season total.

Top5

Tulowitzki - 369

H. Ramirez - 319

Furcal - 309

Drew - 298

A. Gonzalez - 295

Bottom 5

Eckstein - 223

Theriot - 218

B. Ryan - 211

Jo. Wilson - 202

C. Izturis - 187

Notables

Peralta - 274

Hardy - 266

Betancourt - 256

F. Lopez - 245

Vizquel - 245

Barmes - 243

Bartlett - 243

O. Cabrera - 241

In very basic terms, if I'm reading this correctly, Izturis would have to be ~54 outs better than Cabrera defensively over a full season to be considered his equal.

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I would go for it. Chris Nelson - repairing old draft karma, among other assets...

Yes we might see the O's as contending next year; they are also not done rebuilding.

Bringing in a rookie, on the other hand, makes less sense if you look to Machado (or Givens) as the long-term solution at SS. I haven't seen that "problem" brought up here yet but it is relevant.

I don't see the fact that the Orioles have drafted a SS in high rounds the past two years as a reason to hold off on trying to obtain someone such as Nelson if they are ready to hit the big time in 2011. There is no downside to having organizational depth at any or every position. What's the worst case scenario - in 2013 the Orioles have two MLB ready shortstops in the minors pushing for playing time with an established but not yet arbitration eligible incumbent? Give me that problem any day.

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I don't see the fact that the Orioles have drafted a SS in high rounds the past two years as a reason to hold off on trying to obtain someone such as Nelson if they are ready to hit the big time in 2011. There is no downside to having organizational depth at any or every position. What's the worst case scenario - in 2013 the Orioles have two MLB ready shortstops in the minors pushing for playing time with an established but not yet arbitration eligible incumbent? Give me that problem any day.

Good points and I agree wholeheartedly. So, Nelson would be my choice for 2011.

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I think this thread is amazing....but typical of OH when it comes to armchair managing. None of the managers we've had were good enough for them. Mazzilli, Perlozzo, Trembley, Samuel were all bashed for numerous reasons, but the one that always stuck out was their lack of ML managing experience.

Then the gods finally bless us and we get Buck Showalter. His selection was almost unanimously praised, and he has (miraculously?) led the Orioles to a 26-15 record since his arrival.

But despite this, there are those who have begun questioning some of his in-game decisions (myself included), and others who question why, when and where he is using certain players; this despite the explanations Showalter freely offers when asked.

Now we have the Izturis factor, a SS who Showalter obviously sees as an asset to the team, and suddenly the armchair managers scream that Showalter doesn't have a clue; doesn't know what he is doing; and question his ability to judge players abilities.

Like I said.....amazing!!

This team will get better under MacPhail and Showalter. In fact, it already has.

I think it's quite a leap to go from questioning Izturis' place on the team to where you're going. Buck said nice things about one of his players when he did some good stuff. I don't even begin to interpret that as Buck has signed up for 650 PAs of a .550 OPS in 2011.

I interpret that as Buck knows how to motivate the team he currently has.

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I think it's quite a leap to go from questioning Izturis' place on the team to where you're going. Buck said nice things about one of his players when he did some good stuff. I don't even begin to interpret that as Buck has signed up for 650 PAs of a .550 OPS in 2011.

I interpret that as Buck knows how to motivate the team he currently has.

This was my interpretation of his comments as well. And for anyone listening who might be wondering how to get the attention of the manager in a good way, this would be a good clue to pay attention to. Just think how great it would be to have a ballplayer doing these things AND hitting at a .750+ OPS while playing good defense at SS? Till then, it would be good to see everyone on the team playing smarter baseball than they were doing so often before Buck came along. If praising Izturis for what he does right instead of shining a spotlight on his well-known offensive deficiencies sends a message through the organization of how things are expected to be done, then who cares if it causes a lot of discussion on OH about whether or not Buck wants Izzy as his everyday SS next year?

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I think it's quite a leap to go from questioning Izturis' place on the team to where you're going. Buck said nice things about one of his players when he did some good stuff. I don't even begin to interpret that as Buck has signed up for 650 PAs of a .550 OPS in 2011.

I interpret that as Buck knows how to motivate the team he currently has.

I won't disagree with this, except to say that Showalter has praised Izturis on several previous occasions, not just this one time. Perhaps I'm reading more into it than is actually there, but when listening to what Buck says about Izturis, and how he says it, I come away with the impression that he is endorsing him...and perhaps is willing to sacrifice some offense for good defense.

And yes...... of course that doesn't mean Showalter wouldn't ask MacPhail to go after what he feels is a better SS in the off-season.

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This was my interpretation of his comments as well. And for anyone listening who might be wondering how to get the attention of the manager in a good way, this would be a good clue to pay attention to. Just think how great it would be to have a ballplayer doing these things AND hitting at a .750+ OPS while playing good defense at SS? Till then, it would be good to see everyone on the team playing smarter baseball than they were doing so often before Buck came along. If praising Izturis for what he does right instead of shining a spotlight on his well-known offensive deficiencies sends a message through the organization of how things are expected to be done, then who cares if it causes a lot of discussion on OH about whether or not Buck wants Izzy as his everyday SS next year?

Great comment. When Buck praises a player for good defense and smart play, he is accomplishing 2 things. First, he's making that player feel good about what he accomplished and did well. Second, he's telling everyone else on the team that he's paying attention to defense and the little things, and these things are important.

I hope, for example, that Andino will see Buck's comment about the way Izzy raises his hand to call for the throw on a comebacker back to the mound, so that the pitchers knows who is going to take the throw. That is a tiny little subtlety, and as Buck said, a lot of guys don't do it. I've noticed on pop-ups that Andino doesn't do a good job of making clear that he plans to take the ball, and he also tends to catch the ball as it is going over his shoulder, as opposed to taking an extra step back and squaring up. Not only does that make the catch a little harder, but it makes it less clear to the other fielders what his intentions are. Andino has very good defensive tools, in my opinion, but he has some bad habits that a guy like Showalter will get him to break, if Andino's around here long enough.

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