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RH Bench Bat / Depth (Ty Wigginton)


Mass Haas

I keep coming back in my mind to Ty Wigginton as the RH power bench bat (career OPS of about .810 vs. LHP) that can spell Aramis, Ryan, and Corey when needed and heck, even at age 35, be an emergency (note, emergency-only) option for 2B as well.

 

I did a forum search to see if he had been mentioned as an option during this post-2012 offseason, and when I saw he hadn't, thought I'd toss his name out there. Probably available for a one-year, $1.75M deal, I'd imagine.

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Not to get too far from Mass Hass topic regarding Wiggington, but I am also curious what others think of Freddy Sanchez as a potential RH bench bat? He was mentioned on MLB Network the other day and it got me curious, assuming he is fully recovered from back surgery, would he be a good fit? He could fill-in throughout the infield and he has a career OPS of .872 vs. LHP. He obviously isn't going to offer HR power off the bench, but could be a very capable hitter to plug into the lineup in the late innings.
Not just “at Night” anymore.
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I love the versatility and insurance Wigginton would bring to the team but the only problem seems to be that he plays the same positions as Gamel which would prevent us from getting a better backup for Rickie Weeks. People are concerned about Aoki against LHP (and I understand that reasoning) but is Aoki's .322 OBP vs LHP more concerning than Weeks's .309 OBP against RHP? If you can trust Wigginton to start at 2B if Weeks struggles again then this is a perfect move. However if you don't have that faith in Wigginton's defense then it elevates Bianchi's role which is something I would be very concerned about.

 

My ideal scenario would be trade Gamel for a setup reliever and replace him with Wigginton and then compliment that move with signing Adam Kennedy who had a .361 OBP vs RHP a year ago. Those two signings would alleviate my two biggest concerns for our bench (other than Segura's backup) and our bullpen would even improve in the process.

@WiscoSportsNut
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Wigginton was less productive last year than Cody Ransom.

 

Wigginton: .235/.314/.375 11 HR 43 RBI in 315 AB

 

Ransom: .220/.312/.411 11 HR 42 RBI in 246 AB

 

Ransom can still play an adequate SS as well as 3B and 2B. Even though he's a little older than Wigginton, he's in better physical shape. Ransom, despite a ton of strikeouts, did some good things as a Brewer, and it wouldn't shock me if they decided to bring him back.

 

Now as for Sanchez, he's been a starter his entire careen until injuries slowed him in recent years. He certainly can probably still hit, but would be happy in a limited bench role? Certainly with Sanchez around, Weeks could not afford a two month slump like he had last year.

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Wigginton was less productive last year than Cody Ransom.

 

Wigginton: .235/.314/.375 11 HR 43 RBI in 315 AB

 

Ransom: .220/.312/.411 11 HR 42 RBI in 246 AB

 

Ransom can still play an adequate SS as well as 3B and 2B. Even though he's a little older than Wigginton, he's in better physical shape. Ransom, despite a ton of strikeouts, did some good things as a Brewer, and it wouldn't shock me if they decided to bring him back.

 

Now as for Sanchez, he's been a starter his entire careen until injuries slowed him in recent years. He certainly can probably still hit, but would be happy in a limited bench role? Certainly with Sanchez around, Weeks could not afford a two month slump like he had last year.

 

Bringing back Ransom as the backup SS is a really good idea JB. He's pretty much useless against RHP but he can provide some thunder against LHP off the bench. His numbers in Milwaukee weren't that great but it was mainly because we were forced to play him almost everyday with the limited options we had.

 

If Aoki struggled against LHP the Brewers could get creative getting Ransoms bat into the lineup by moving Ramirez to 1st and Hart back to RF. Plus they would still have the flexibility to go out and get someone decent against RHP to back Weeks up.

@WiscoSportsNut
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Bringing back Ransom as the backup SS is a really good idea JB. He's pretty much useless against RHP but he can provide some thunder against LHP off the bench. His numbers in Milwaukee weren't that great but it was mainly because we were forced to play him almost everyday with the limited options we had.

 

If Aoki struggled against LHP the Brewers could get creative getting Ransoms bat into the lineup by moving Ramirez to 1st and Hart back to RF. Plus they would still have the flexibility to go out and get someone decent against RHP to back Weeks up.

 

Ransom was so terrible: quite respectable in the field but completely worthless with the bat outside of a bit of pop. Striking out nearly 50% of his Brewers ABs and batting well below .200 = a good idea? I'm not sure it's a good idea at all even if 10 better/affordable options sign elsewhere. Heck, I'd still take Bianchi over Ransom every day of the week and I'm NOT in love with Bianchi being on the 2013 roster.

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Bringing back Ransom as the backup SS is a really good idea JB. He's pretty much useless against RHP but he can provide some thunder against LHP off the bench. His numbers in Milwaukee weren't that great but it was mainly because we were forced to play him almost everyday with the limited options we had.

 

If Aoki struggled against LHP the Brewers could get creative getting Ransoms bat into the lineup by moving Ramirez to 1st and Hart back to RF. Plus they would still have the flexibility to go out and get someone decent against RHP to back Weeks up.

 

Ransom was so terrible: quite respectable in the field but completely worthless with the bat outside of a bit of pop. Striking out nearly 50% of his Brewers ABs and batting well below .200 = a good idea? I'm not sure it's a good idea at all even if 10 better/affordable options sign elsewhere. Heck, I'd still take Bianchi over Ransom every day of the week and I'm NOT in love with Bianchi being on the 2013 roster.

 

I'm not saying send him up there and play everyday but when you compare him to our previous backup SS's (Izturiz and a broken down Counsell) he isn't that bad of an option. He at least has some redeeming qualities with his ability to hit LHP.

 

.195/.297/.327/.624 vs RHP

.264/.340/.563/.903 vs LHP

 

I struggle to find anything Bianchi brings to the table besides playing for cheap.

@WiscoSportsNut
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I think it would be a lot more useful to look at his career L/R splits, since he didn't tally that many PAs last season

 

v. RH: .207/.305/.364/.669

v. LH: .242/.312/.447/.759

 

At this point I'd much rather go with Bianchi to backup the MIF if a LH/SW backup isn't available (since Weeks & Segura are obviously RHBs), and keep looking for a corner IF/OF RH backup bat. Ransom is old enough that he should be expected to be getting worse with each season.

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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Without having looked over the FA list recently, I have to think there are far better MIF backups available than Cody Ransom. Izturis & Counsell were also about totally worthless with a bat in their hands by the time their Brewer tenures ended, so I'd hardly consider them a worthy measuring stick for Ransom . . . and other than Ransom having a bit of pop (which virtually disappeared the last month or so) in the limited times he actually hit a ball into play.

 

I say this each winter: I believe your top reserves (primarily the 4th OF & 5th IF) HAVE TO BE players capable of starting 100 games for you & performing at least nearly as well as you'd expect a starter to. Given the gaps we've had in the middle IF over the past 2 seasons, I think it's worth the investment to pay $2-4M/year for a starting-capable top IF reserve (think: Jamey Carroll) when the alternative is trotting out offensive "dreck" like Izturis, Counsell, & Ransom.

 

(note: "offensive" in the last sentence meaning "pertaining to hitting a baseball," not "guilty of offending")

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I think it would be a lot more useful to look at his career L/R splits, since he didn't tally that many PAs last season

 

v. RH: .207/.305/.364/.669

v. LH: .242/.312/.447/.759

 

At this point I'd much rather go with Bianchi to backup the MIF if a LH/SW backup isn't available (since Weeks & Segura are obviously RHBs), and keep looking for a corner IF/OF RH backup bat. Ransom is old enough that he should be expected to be getting worse with each season.

 

Those splits aren't bad for a backup SS and the 246 AB's he had a year ago were the most he's had in his career by a very wide margin. He showed he has legitimate power against LHP knocking out 6 HRs in 89 ABs a year ago. I'm all for finding a LH or switch hitting backup middle infielder but the market isn't exactly flush with those options. You have Cesar Izturis and Stephen Drew who's looking for a starting job.

 

I can understand the rationale behind the moves you want but the problem with finding another Corner IF/OF backup RH bat is that they would be in direct competition with Gamel and would be buried behind 3 of the best RH bats in the league. Gamel would have the 1st crack at playing simply because of being a LH hitter so It doesn't seem like a situation that many guys would be signing up for.

@WiscoSportsNut
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I think Jeff Baker is a guy who'd be a nice addition to the Brewer bench. He's a career .296/.344/.498 hitter vs. lefties, and has shown he can handle a bench role in the past. Plus he's very versatile and loves hitting in Miller Park where he's hit .404/.456/.596 in 57 PA.
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