Veteran Presents

Bengie Molina’s spring stats: .378/.425/.568, one home run, four doubles in 37 at-bats.

What this means: Means? Are you serious? Spring stats don’t mean anything. If Molina has even a .325 on-base percentage at the end of the year, I’ll get this tattooed on my back.

Aaron Rowand’s spring stats: .452/.538/.613, one home run, four walks in 31 at-bats.

What this means: Come on. It doesn’t mean anything.

Aubrey Huff’s spring stats: .385/.467/.718, three home runs, four doubles in 39 at-bats.

What this means: Seriously, just stop. If Molina, Rowand, and Huff all substantially improve their performances this season, I’ll be the first to call for Hensley Meulens’s induction into the Hall of Fame. Maybe then the 183 Meulens rookie cards I have will become hot commodities. Until then, let’s just remember that spring stats don’t mean anything.

John Bowker’s spring stats: .288/.356/.577, four home runs, six walks in 52 at-bats

What this means: Mark DeRosa should fill in for Freddy Sanchez, which would open the starting spot for Bowker. He’s earned a spot with his play this spring, which proves that his AAA numbers aren’t a fluke.

Buster Posey’s spring stats: .400/.429/.550, one home run, three doubles in 40 at-bats.

What this means: Bengie Molina is just a waste of our time. Buster Posey is the Jeff Speakman of the prospect world. Catchers who can hit .400 just don’t come along every day, and Posey needs to be in the lineup.

I hope this helps.

Point: none really. I kind of just wanted to point how Molina, Rowand, and Huff were raking while simultaneously acknowledging that it didn’t mean anything. Spring stats only mean something when you’re already partial to the player, which is why Bowker and Posey are obviously getting cheated out of starting jobs. But it brings up this comment starter:

Of the three veterans hitting well so far – Molina, Rowand, and Huff – for which one do you hold the most optimism? Note that for the purposes of this discussion, an absence of complete pessimism is considered optimism. My devil’s advocate case for each:

  • Molina was quoted as saying that maybe he should be more patient, a novel idea that usually does elude major leaguers until their 13th season.Maybe he'll make strides in this area.
  • Rowand looked at pictures of his stance throughout the years, and determined that he was doing even more of a pronounced spoiled-college-kid-backpacking-across-the-world-using-toilets-in-remote-parts-of-Morocco batting stance than he’d been using in the past. And he did have a good year in, uh, let’s see, 2007. Maybe he’s back.
  • Huff was good as recently as 2008. Because that makes me feel better, I will completely ignore his 2009. Once I do that, he doesn’t look that bad. If Huff were to hit for his career averages – .282/.340/.472 – he’d be one of the better Giants first basemen since the halcyon days of J.T. Snow. If you completely ignore that Huff apparently fields like his fingers are stuck together with delicious taffy, it’s not hard to hope for some decent things from him.

If I have to choose between the three, I'll give the best odds to Huff, only because I haven't watched him for the past three years. That makes the non-pessimism slide down the gullet a little easier.

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