During Thursday night's game, Joaquin Arias had two runs batted in. This brought his season total up to three. Because I'm incapable of true happiness and love, I decided to make fun of this on Twitter. However, Wendy Thurm sparked an interesting conversation:
@mccoveychron Still, makes contact, is fast & can play 3 positions -- probably makes him more valuable than McGehee
— Wendy Thurm (@hangingsliders) June 19, 2015
Fast is a relative term, but I guess when you're comparing him to McGehee, yeah. Dude's a blazer.
Here's a hypothetical scenario for discussion purposes only, then. You are a GM. You also have a meddling owner who basically sets the roster for you, but after nailing down the first 24 spots, he or she turns to you and says, "You can fill the last spot with either Joaquin Arias or Casey McGehee. Your choice."
Who do you choose?
Don't be a smart aleck and go with Ehire Adrianza or something. This is a steel-cage match between Arias and McGehee. Pick one. There's a poll at the bottom of this, and you can skip down if you're so inclined.
The argument for Arias
He can run a little bit, and he's versatile. He's average, at best, at short, but he's definitely not dreadful. The trend in his offensive production is, uh, troubling.
2012: .693 OPS
But his true talent still might be somewhere in the middle, which is still at the fringes of acceptable for a utility infielder. Look, the odds aren't great that you're going to get a utility infielder who can hit. This isn't 1997, with Rich Aurilia just kinda hanging around on the bench and hitting for power. Arias is a definite 25th-man, but that's fine for someone who barely plays (16 at-bats in May!)
Also worth noting: Arias has had champagne sprayed on him a lot, and that's good for nostalgic purposes.
The argument for McGehee
Well, you know, uh ...
/sets clock ahead six hours to avoid pangs of guilt
/takes large swig of fermented beverage
... he used to be okay. Really, that's the argument. In the first half of 2014 -- just last year, dang it -- he was very good. He slipped in the second half, but he wasn't quite this wretched.
Really, nobody should be quite this wretched. His double-play pace is unsustainable AND THAT'S NOT A DARE. It's frustrating to watch him ground out over and over again, but the ball is finding gloves at a very unlucky rate. He probably is the most likely player to ground into a double play in baseball, but he's probably not the most likely player to ground into a double play in history by a huge margin, which is what he would be if he kept this pace up.
Whew. Not really selling this one. Still, McGehee has more power than Arias (career ISO of .133 to Arias's .085), even in his weird second career as a singles hitter. He can't run a lick, and he's not versatile in the slightest, but Arias's lack of playing time shows just how much the Giants have needed that versatility. As in, they haven't. With Duffy available to play short in a pinch, Arias isn't a necessity.
And, hey, McGehee has over 20 career games at second. That's kind of versatile. Cough.
I don't think it's an obvious decision, and I have an idea of how y'all will vote, but I'm leaning toward McGehee. Bonds help me, I'm leaning toward McGehee.
Vote in the poll. Settle this!