By Scott Barzilla

Since the shortstop position was down in top ten list it would seem as if the trailers should be interesting. What we will see is the fact that most of the shortstops in the trailer category were injury replacements for guys that normally find their way into the top ten. Only two of the five are what we would call regular shortstops and their teams were very successful. It could be reasonable to expect them to come back to the pack.

30) Jhonny Peralta– Detroit Tigers

Fielding: 1.2

Hitting: -9.4

Running: -2.1

TRI: -10.3

Interestingly enough, the Indians traded Peralta because they didn’t feel he was good enough defensively. He is superior to Asdrubal Cabrera in that department and normally he is solid offensively as well, but he struggled last season. The Tigers still managed to make it to the World Series even though they had sub-par performances from their catchers, shortstops, and left fielders.

Delmon Young is on his way to Philadelphia, Alex Avila will hopefully be better behind the plate and we can assume the same for Peralta. That has to be scary for the other teams in the AL Central. When you can win the division even when a third of your lineup is having a down season, you obviously weren’t a fluke.

29) Willie Bloomquist– Arizona Diamondbacks

Fielding: -7.8

Hitting: -1.6

Running: -0.8

TRI: -10.2

This is not Bloomquist’s fault. Stephen Drew took his sweet time recovering from a broken ankle and did not come back until after the all-star break. The Dbacks had to platoon John McDonald and Bloomquist until Drew came back. Then, the Dbacks turned around and dealt Drew to the Athletics. It’s safe to say the move was more about getting rid of Drew than getting anything back of value in return.

The irony here is that Bloomquist is known as a jack of all trades with the glove who couldn’t break into anyone’s lineup because of his weak bat. He turned in his best hitting season ever last season, but was uncharacteristically weak with the glove. Either way, the season turned out to be normal for him and now the Dbacks are trying to rebuild with Cliff Pennington and Didi Gregorious.

28) Clint Barmes– Pittsburgh Pirates

Fielding: 12.2

Hitting: -20.6

Running: 0.1

TRI: -8.3

The Pirates are an interesting study in value. They were in contention in 2011 and 2012 before the trade deadline and right after, but faded down the stretch two years in a row. Thus far, they have had trailers at catcher (Rod Barajas) and now with Barmes. Barmes will stay because he is very good defensively and they are banking on the fact that he cannot be this bad offensively two years in a row.

Barajas has obviously been replaced and they have spent the past two deadlines upgrading around the diamond. If they can get even mediocre performance at a couple of key spots they could end up surpassing the 80 win plateau for the first time since the first George Bush was president.

27) Rafael Furcal– St. Louis Cardinals

Fielding: -4.7

Hitting: -6.8

Running: 3.2

TRI: -8.3

The Cardinals are in a pickle. They gave Furcal a contract extension before the season and he was doing okay through the first half, but he fell off a cliff in the second half. Meanwhile, Pete Kozma supplanted him late in the season and was actually a positive impact performer. In many ways, Kozma’s performance helped propel the Cardinals into the playoffs and into the NLCS.

So, the Cardinals have to decide whether to continue with a player that is clearly in decline or put an expensive player on their bench and go with the youngster. If you go with Kozma you will likely fare better, but having a player tied into a long-term contract is obviously going to zap their ability to shore up their roster in other areas.

26) Paul Janish– Atlanta Braves

Fielding: 4.0

Hitting: -12.1

Running: -0.1

TRI: -8.2

The Braves shortstop situation was bizarre last season. Tyler Pastornicky was the opening day shortstop and almost certainly would have eclipsed Jhonny Peralta as the bottom trailer if he had garnered enough plate appearances. Then, Andrelton Simmons flew in as a breath of fresh air. He would have been the Gold Glove shortstop in the National League had he been able to remain healthy.

Enter Paul Janish. Janish actually had more plate appearances than both and so he registers as the regular shortstop. The position really belongs to Simmons and all indications are that he could be a top ten shortstop as soon as next season. Janish may or may not stick as a utility infielder.

Scott Barzilla

Scott Barzilla is the editor in chief at hardballchat.com. He is also the author of four books, including The Hall of Fame Index. The Hall of Fame Index was nominated for the Sporting News Award for statistical innovation in 2011.

More Posts - Twitter

Filed under: SABR

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,


Readers Comments (0)