Assuming Beckham avoids that whole April-June thing that happened last year, he’s an ideal No. 2 hitter. He has plus on-base skills and good power-exactly why he should hit second. Hopefully, he won’t have the bat taken out of his hands too often to bunt-after all, isn’t one of Pierre’s greatest assets his base-stealing ability? If Beckham is allowed to swing away, the Sox lineup will have a lot more success.
The Indians made things interesting in the ninth, scoring twice off sale jerseys, who earned his fourth save despite allowing Sutton’s first home run that scored Luis Valbuena, who singled with two outs.
Second baseman Gordon Beckham is expected to improve on his rookie year and second year numbers. Catcher A. J. Pierzynski handles the pitching staff well with veteran leadership but also is consistent at the plate, often coming through in the clutch. Young catcher Tyler Flowers may start to press Pierzynski for playing time this season.
Owens never was the answer in center field, though. At best, Owens projected out to be a player like Luis Castillo-a player who did not get a ton of extra base hits, but was always on the basepaths and creating havoc. Castillo never has had a season in the majors with a slugging percentage over .400, but with the exception of 2001, Castillo has never had a season in which he has had over 400 at-bats and an OPS below .700. In his heyday, Castillo simply got on base enough to make up for his lack of power.
Jerry Blevins was even worse than Ziegler in that department: the lefty struck out his fair share of batters, but he gave up more hits than innings pitched. His 3.70 ERA still looks respectable, but Blevins was one of those players that every fan feared when he entered a tight spot.
Rodriguez himself had a chance to drive in the go-ahead run in the 11’th, yet grounded out with a runner at third. The Yankees have had to welcome him back because they have few other big bats for these clutch situations, but he missed on his first big opportunity.
If they continue to develop, the team will have outfield depth with Hawkins and also Trayce Thompson and #Jared Mitchell. Mitchell may be the best athlete in the organization. He was a two sport star in college, can run, hit, and play good defense. Another name to keep an eye out for is first baseman Keon Barnum. He is another left hand hitter with good power. But is it enough to turn around the franchise?