3.06.2005

Followup on Feliz

I was reading on other sites comments about why Feliz is hyped so much as a starter, why he was given a two-year contract at such a high salary and especially when there are other corner infielders who can hit like he does, low OBP, high SLG. Then I realized that I didn't give any comments on whether it was good or not so I swiped my comments from there and put it here.

Personally, I think Sabean is hyping Feliz as a starter for one reason: to get Snow and Alfonzo to perform better, to work that much harder for each AB. Also, possibly, this could be for Feliz' benefit, stroking his ego that he's not starting but knowing that if Snow and Alfonzo performs adequately enough, Feliz is not going to be playing that much, at least at 1B or 3B, he's really only here to be a good backup and strong bench player.

Also, if corner infielders who have a decent amount of pop in their bat but never walk are easy to get, then why don't the Giants just sign one of those players and be done with Feliz? I like Feliz but if we can get someone cheaper who hits like him, then I'm for saving the bucks.

Who profiled like that this off-season that we could have gotten cheaper than Feliz? I don't recall anyone like that but I don't recall what I did last week either. Plus, don't forget that whoever they sign need to be able to play 1B and the corner OF adequately defensively and 3B pretty well. Are those types of players a dime-a-dozen? I would think not but I didn't follow the free agent market that closely at reserve players.

I was wondering why the two year deal as well. Either they are thinking of going with Feliz as 1B in 2006 or they think that having someone who would be able to perform at almost a starting role performance at LF, RF, 1B, and 3B, is a nice form of insurance for injury and/or lack of performance (especially due to age) rather than paying an insurance company such a high rate of premium that self-insurance is preferable. Or both, depending on how Snow does this year, he's no spring chicken either. That also shuts Feliz up about starting if he is getting a two year contract.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good insights, but a few points in response. Look at JT's platoon splits over the past couple of years and you'll realize that any ABs JT gets against left-handed pitching are criminal. Feliz and JT should platoon, much as they did last season. Feliz does serve some function in pushing Alfonzo, but even Fonzie knows that he'll pretty much play every day against left-handers, so I'm not sure how hard that pushing really is.

Feliz's ability to play both positions while hitting with pop is what earns him a slight premium. It's the difference between himself and, say, the Big Cat of 2-3 years ago.

Wed Mar 09, 08:15:00 PM PST  
Blogger obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Thanks for the compliment, I appreciate it.

I've seem JT's splits and they are beyond criminal - they are Neifi-nal. :^)

I didn't say that JT is that sharp. His splits vs. LHP has been this bad since probably he started in MLB but that has never stopped his delusion that he can hit LHP or that he should play full-time. Even last year he had the mind-set that he was going to be playing full-time and vest his option. I was just saying that Sabean was playing into that delusion. I'ld bet that Snow STILL thinks he shouldn't be platooned but that he can accept that the Giants are going to play Feliz a certain amount of time.

About Fonzie and 3B and LHP, no that is not set in stone, there is still Deivi Cruz, who (like Neifi before him) claimed that the Giants did not tell him that they would be looking for a better SS even if he signed (maybe they need a translator in the room or maybe they need to bypass the agent and make sure the player understands). Alou will feel the need to play him occassionally so he could log time at 3B if Fonzie hits a cold streak again.

Not that he was great in LF, but I think that being able to play it passably earned Feliz a little more premium as well.

Wed Mar 09, 09:17:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No problem, I really enjoy the site so far.

On JT, I didn't mean to imply that you were a big fan, it's just that it seemed to me that after JT came back, a decision was quickly made to platoon him. Unsurprisingly to me, he hit pretty well and justified his everyday play, but against RHP only. I guess I'm just hoping that last year's practice carries over into this year. Now, JT's option was picked up (even though the Giants didn't have to do it) and I have to think he will accept the platoon this year fairly quietly since without it, he may have still gotten his option but napkin math could prove to him how it would have hurt the team. Feliz is a different story as he is the (in some folks' minds) up-and-comer. So, the extra $$$ in my mind buys a little bit of silence from Pedro this year (even though Feliz hasn't proved to me he has the right to complain)

On Cruz, good point, I've noticed he's playing a little 3B so far this spring. Here's my question. Cruz's 2004 numbers were pretty darn good. And unexpected. But all this is for a SS. Even if he replicated that in 2005 (a big if), I haven't checked, but are those numbers worth displacing Feliz from 3B on days where he wouldn't otherwise be playing? I honestly don't know as I write this, but I think I'm going to check it out....

Just checked - Cruz 2004 AVG/OPS was .292/.752. Feliz was .276/.790. You could make an argument for including Cruz on days that Bonds was in the lineup, but to me, Feliz would win that comparison most days.

Thu Mar 10, 01:13:00 PM PST  
Blogger obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Sorry, I didn't interpret what you wrote to mean that I'm a big fan of Snow. I wrote my response because I realized that I did not make clear in my original post that I was saying that management was trying to think as if they were Snow, "OK, Snow thinks he's a full-time starter so lets hype Feliz as a starter and get him aiming to perform."

I'm hoping that the platoon stands as well and I expect it to stand given Alou's pursuit of ABs for Feliz. However, like last year, he won't be so mechanical about it, Snow WILL face some LH starters, Feliz WILL face some RH starters; for some reason Alou likes to keep people guessing.

Yes, I agree, the money buys Feliz' silence (relatively; he's usually so silent anyhow, he should be called Silent Pete :^).

What I was talking about Cruz was that he would displace Alfonzo (the situation we were discussing there was that Feliz was playing 1B against a LHP and you said Alfonzo was a lock at 3B; I said no). He actually hit way better than his career numbers would suggest so I would expect his performance to go down and by a lot. Hence the reason I had to chuckle loudly at his complaint about not being told there could be a better starter.

However, if Alfonzo is in one of his patented Giants funk (like first half 2003 and selected months 2004), Cruz could be getting the call to start instead, if Feliz is overwise occupied with 1B (or OF).

That's what I like about Alou over Baker: if you want to play, perform, I will not trust that you will eventually come back to past performance levels, if you don't like it, then perform as we expect and we'll all be happy.

Fri Mar 11, 02:11:00 PM PST  

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