From Andrew Baggarly’s blog:
Got it. So for future second base options, the organization has:
- A 23-year-old in Fresno who has a little pop, and who currently has a .400 on-base percentage in AAA
- A 26-year-old, currently on the DL, who sports a career .327/.391/.458 minor league line even though he was moved quickly through the high minors
- A 27-year-old with game-changing speed and atheism-inducing defense who responded to a much-deserved demotion by putting up the best numbers of his minor league career
And the future options at shortstop:
- A 25-year-old minor league free agent with a career minor league line of .255/.331/.325, who was so far off the Giants’ organizational depth chart at the beginning of the year that the club preferred to rush two shortstops from A-ball rather than play him
- Approximately 28 players who have never hit at any level of professional baseball
Obviously, the Giants’ first priority should be to test Burriss out at second base. Really, I can’t see anything wrong with that idea. Why have three question marks vying for the second base job when you can have four? Why have minimal depth at shortstop when you can have no depth? My revised depth chart for 2009:
Kevin Frandsen, vice-second base
Eugenio Velez, lieutenant second base
Travis Denker, center-right second base
Emmanuel Burriss, second base general
Jose Castillo, trans-positional infield specialist
Ivan Ochoa, back-up shortstop
Orlando Cabrera, starting shortstop (4 yr./$30M)
Wait, no. Maybe Vizquel comes back. Wait, no. Maybe Ochoa hits .270 for the rest of this season and is handed the job next year. Wait, no. Maybe it’s David Eckstein who gets the big money deal. Wait, no. Maybe the Giants trade a top-ten prospect for Edgar Renteria after the Tigers pick up his option.
When you look at it like that, you can see why the Giants are reluctant to try Burriss out at short for the rest of the year. There are just too many good options for the shortstop position next year. The good options are just leaking out of the organization. Here’s a popular joke going around the Giants’ front office:
Person B: Who’s there?
A: A good option for the shortstop job in 2009!
B: Aiiiiieeeee! Not another one! Oh god, no!
A: I’ve become one of them! Barricade the doors! Save yourself, youafargengggrrrreeaackccccckkkk (note: Person A’s skull was crushed when was overrun by a stampede of good shortstop options)
B: I’ll never forget you, Person A. I’ll nevafurrggggrrrrraaaall (note: several good shortstop options came in through the front window and killed Person B for sustenance, as there are just too many of them to feed using typical resources)
It’s all in the timing, that joke. So I, for one, whole-heartedly approve with the Giants’ plan for Emmanuel Burriss:
- Bring Burriss up after 62 at-bats above A-ball, and sit him on the bench for most of the entire season.
- Make him learn a new position at the major league level, just to make sure he doesn’t get a whole lot of defensive innings at shortstop. Make sure the new position is crowded, too, just so he doesn't really play a whole lot.
- Order red, white, and blue bunting for playoffs.
I’m in. The handling of Emmanuel Burriss proves that the Giants have a plan, and it all fills me with just gallons of liquid confidence.