Not much to say on my end as I didn’t get to watch this game. Good win tonight, and good to see Giambi coming through with the big hit after an 0-for-5 evening. Maybe this will get him started.
I have just a few quick points:
- I don’t see why Doug Mientkiewicz is pinch-hitting for anyone. At this point, his value lies as a late-inning defensive replacement for Giambi or Josh Phelps. With his 0-fer performance tonight, Mientkiewicz has now gone hitless in this last 23 at-bats and has reached base once in his last 24. That’s dismal. No amount of great fielding can compensate for that lack of hitting.
- Meanwhile, I did indeed say Jason Giambi as a potential first baseman. Over three years ago on a baseball blog far, fara way, I wrote about split stats comparing DHs to their time in the field vs. their time solely as DH’s. In 2004, I noted that Jason Giambi hit significantly better in the field than he did as a DH. And the same still holds true. His slugging is .100 points higher when he plays the field. Maybe playing the field keeps him more focused on the game as a whole and less focused on succeeding during his one at bat every few innings. Sports are very psychological, and as Giambi continues to struggle, when will he get some starts in the field? Giambi’s bat producing at his normal level is much more important that a few runs per season saved with a better fielder. There’s no doubt about that.
- Tonight was the third game in a row in which Scott Proctor pitched. I’m just sayin’.
- Finally, good to see the bullpen throwing strikes. While burning up every reliever is never a good thing, 12 innings of shutting down the A’s is pretty damn impressive. No earned runs tonight from the pitching staff, and Farnsworth’s pitch totals â€” 16 pitches, 10 strikes â€” during his third appearance in three games is encouraging. Maybe he really did spot a flaw after all.
And finally, in very good news, Chien-Ming Wang took the mound Saturday in extended Spring Training. He went five strong innings, allowing no hits and striking out six. No word on how many ground balls he induced. Wang is now on target to rejoin the Yanks on April 24.