Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Verducci Q&A 

SI's Tom Verducci's mailbag column this week includes a Ranger question...

Can someone please explain to me why the Texas Rangers continue to bat Alfonso Soriano leadoff? This makes no sense. He'll be lucky to have an OBP of .300. His speed was the only attribute that fits the lead-off mold, yet he won't run because of his hamstring.
-- Paul Macaluso, Longview, Texas

I wish I could give you a reason I believe in the move, but I'm not sold on it, either. The explanation I got from them in Spring Training was that his OBP is less of an issue when he's hitting 50 doubles and 30 homers. In other words, he's getting into scoring position as much as a singles-hitting guy with a .360 OBP. (Their thinking, not mine.) I guess Michael Young is their best leadoff guy, but he's a very good situational hitter and they like him hitting with runners on. I still expect Soriano to be traded for pitching help by the end of the season.

I think Verducci is spot-on there. Batting Soriano in the leadoff spot -- where his lack of OBP is magnified, and the value of his power is minimized -- makes no sense to me, either. I think the other reason behind the move, though, that Verducci doesn't mention is that Soriano apparently feels more comfortable hitting in the leadoff spot than the third slot.

I'd rather see Soriano hitting fifth or sixth, personally, but as Verducci points out, there is no true leadoff hitter on the team. And like Verducci, I expect Soriano to be dealt -- whether for pitching, or for something else -- before season's end.

in a while i think ruddy yan can be a serious canidate for leadoff. Ruddy has the speed and CF presence that the rangers need.
Or what about Andres Torres for lead off?
Bad blood is boiling and the Ray's should light up the Sox tonight with Shields on the mound against goofy Masterson. I'm not much of a better but this game looks like easy money at -150 with the way the Fins have been hitting. Sports Odds

It feels good to be back.

And I think almost all of Devil Ray Town will agree with me when I say that this time is probably somewhat sweeter.
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