Sunday, January 25, 2009

More on Teahen versus Crisp

I never know how to respond to comments (whether to respond in the comments thread or inflate my post total), so I'll do this in the form of a post.

Jeff (and thanks for the active readership--I like what y'all do at Royally Speaking), I hear what you're saying completely. I do think that the Royals might be looking at trying to get DeJesus into more situations in which he is hitting with runners in scoring position, as for most of the year last year he was amongst the league's best with runners on base. So while DeJesus may be a better lead-off hitter than Crisp, the Royals may be better off hitting DeJesus second or more likely third, even though he doesn't have the base-clearing power that one might want from the third spot in the lineup.

You do make the sound point that Teahen and Crisp were roughly the same offensively, with Crisp flashing a little more speed (although even that may be neutralized by Teahen's Larry Walkerian skills on the basepaths) and Teahen a little more power. While the offensive ratios may be comparable between Teahen and Crisp, the defensive disparity couldn't be more drastic. Do we really want to sit through another year of Mark Teahen trying to get his bearings while reading fly balls? If I had to hold my breath that much again this season, I would probably have had an aneurysm.

As for the contractual implications that the Ramon for Coco trade carries with it, I understand your argument insofar as the club control over Ramirez for four more years is concerned, and I would be inclined to agree with you in theory. Ramon Ramirez did cost the Royals very little in the first place (a player to be named later, who of course ended up being the mercurial--at least in terms of his performance on the mound--Jorge de la Rosa), and to turn around and net a player with a track record of moderate success a lot longer than the one solid year that Ramon Ramirez put together at the K does not bother me that much. The other key is that it is a club option, not a player option, so assuming Crisp does perform well, they get two years of great defense on the left side of the outfield even if the offensive numbers Crisp puts up do not differentiate themselves much from Teahen's potential stat line.

We, as fans, do tend to focus slightly too much on offense, and I do think that Crisp's glove (which Bill James insisted was otherworldly in 2007) sets him apart from Teahen. If the Royals can still find a way to pry a Mike Fontenot-type player from a team like the Cubs for Teahen (or in our wildest dreams, Jose Guillen), then the point is probably moot, but I still like the idea of Teahen being relegated to a utility role if only for what it says about the club's growing depth.


Jeff said...

I was aware that it was a team option but that seems like a lot of money to be paying for league average to below league average production. I totally get where you are coming from though and I guess if he puts up a .300/.350/.420 line then I wouldnt have a problem with KC exercising the option and I will happily admit to being wrong about the trade.

Thanks for the kind words about RS, I enjoy your blog as well.

Jeff said...

One more thing I should have mentioned and is a wild card right now, but if Teahen can play a passable 2nd base and gets the majority of the playing time there well then you are looking at Crisp vs Callaspo and given Callaspo's lack of a ML track record and personal problems then I think Crisp wins that and it makes KC a better team (provided Teahen duplicates to his 06,07 OBP, which I think he will).