clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

In (Almost) Support of Lyle Overbay

I had this idea where I would be like, "Must be nice, reading about the Giants having interest in Lyle Overbay from your smartphone. Back in my day, we didn't have smartphones. Nosiree, Bob."

And you'd be like, "Who's Bob?"

And there would be lulz.

Because that's funnier every time you hear it. In ten years, someone might stumble upon this and wonder what in the hell that opening passage is about. Don't bother looking for me to explain it. Because I'll be on the moon after flying there with a weather balloon I got with points, sucker. Yes, I did.

Point being, Lyle Overbay has been a Giants acquisition that we've been expecting for years. Here's a post from early 2011 that's opens with Overbay fears, and then moves on to rotation depth. Turns out the answer was Ryan Vogelsong. For couple years. To lead the league in ERA. But not one of us even mentioned his name because we are ignorant pig-people who don't understand baseball. It happens.

Overbay. This is about Overbay. And reportedly, the Giants are somewhat interested. Don't laugh. Remember how we were all afeared about a Ryan Ludwick signing this offseason? He's hitting .260/.328/.541 this year with 19 homers. He'd fit quite well with the Giants. Heck, the team would still have Tommy Joseph. So maybe we should all just go to sleep and let the veterans wash over us.

A better fit for the Giants would be a right-handed first baseman, but there aren't a lot available. They're either terrible or spoken for on contending teams. Maybe the Giants could get Jesus Guzman back. Pretty sure they wouldn't bother, nor would I imagine the Padres would just give him away. The Giants signed Xavier Nady, too, and he's still a threat. To the Giants, sure, but he's still a threat.

Which brings us to the hypothetical question of the day: Are the Giants better in theory with Overbay? That is, would you rather have Overbay on the bench instead of Huff? Without question. Would you rather have Overbay instead of Pill? The handedness makes this a trickier answer -- Pill hasn't done anything against lefties in the majors, but he did show substantial platoon splits in the minors.

I lean Pill. But then I read something on FanGraphs that hinted the Dodgers have the most to gain from getting Overbay. They're right. James Loney is terrible, and Overbay would be perfect for the Dodgers. So if the choice is Pill/Huff with Overbay on the Dodgers, or Overbay taking the Pill/Huff memorial spot, I'll go with Overbay.

It is 2012, and I am suggesting that Lyle Overbay might make sense for the Giants. If you had that in the McC drinking game, you should just start chugging the Everclear. We'll tell you when you're done.

Except there's one catch to this simultaneous upgrade/roster-block: Bruce Bochy would play Overbay every day. Without question. Regardless of Belt's mini-bounceback. Regardless of those small-sample platoon splits, which may or may not be a fluke. Overbay would play every day.

On the surface, that might not be the end of the world. Overbay was hitting well this season before his release, and he's a career .271/.354/.439 hitter, compared to Belt's .248/.346/.386 line this year. There are players who were never good options, like Nady, and there are players like Overbay, who might have something left.

The funny thing about those numbers, though, is that Belt put them up in AT&T Park. Overbay didn't. So after the adjustments, you have to give the edge to Belt. For all his ups and downs, for all of the struggles and the digital ink that's been e-spilled, Belt is having a season that's about as good as the average Lyle Overbay season. Add in the fact that a 24-year-old has a chance to improve, whereas the 35-year-old is likely to decline, and it'd be obvious who should start.

To us. Bochy would start Overbay, though. It doesn't matter if you love Bochy or dislike him, you have to concede that if he gets Overbay, he'll think he's getting a starting first baseman. That's the way the ol' rascal thinks, by gum.

It almost makes sense, and then it falls apart at the end. It's not a big loss. But it'll be annoying when the Dodgers sign him because he can actually improve that team.

The important thing, though, is that I made you think of that horrible AT&T U-verse commercial, and we got to laugh at James Loney. Good times. Good times.