Thursday, February 24, 2005
Bellhorn? Who could ask for anything more
To continue with the good news, Schilling took the mound for the first time this spring. He was dissapointed with the results, but Francona and Dave Wallace were encouraged. And there's not a mention of pain.
Second Base -Is Mark Bellhorn the second best hitting second baseman in the American League? The casual fan will tell you no. He struck out too many times! His average was too low! He didn't talk as much as Kevin Millar! Of course, as in many cases, the casual fan is wrong. According to his 37.6 VORP he's second only to Alfonso Soriano. If you want to go by RC/27, Bellhorn was the AL's top option. His .264 average won't turn any heads, but a .373 OBP from second base is more then anyone has a right to ask for. And 17 home runs is a hell of a number from that possition. So he definately was one of the best in the game last year. Will he repeat it? 2004 was only the second time that Bellhorn had a starting job and both years he put up good numbers. The problem is when he wasn't starting. He put up some really bad numbers then. Bellhorn has the skills to put up some good numbers and those skills aren't just going to go away. He has a good eye and when he sees a pitch he likes, he can hit it hard. It'd be pretty easy for Bellhorn to repeat what he did last year and give us another solid year.
Bellhorn is likely to give us another solid season, but we didn't do much to upgrade our depth. Pokey Reese gave the Sox 244 at bats split between 2B and SS and oh, what horrid at bats they were. I don't care how good the man's defense is, when he bats .221/.271/.303, he shouldn't have a job in pro ball. Needless to say I wasn't exactly crying myself to sleep when they didn't bother to resign him. The problem is that we went out and got a guy who's bat isn't much better, but can't compete with Pokey when it comes to using the glove. Last year Ramon Vazquez also failed to break the new Mendoza line by putting up an OBP of .297. Even his career numbers of .262/.334/.344 aren't too impressive. But at least he has versatility. And we got him and Jay Payton for our fifth outfielder. So I can't really complain. I just hope that Bellhorn stays healthy this year.