So the thing they couldn’t stop talking about during the All Star game (told you the game was boring!) finally happened yesterday: Manny Machado has become a Dodger.
If you trust lameass Twitter, Justin Turner and Alex Wood are all excited about it. They look all spontaneous about it too. Real spontaneous.
Ok, so first thing off: I’m bored of hearing about it. I’ve been hearing about it practically since the beginning of the season. Even the dude who cuts my hair was going on and on about it a couple weeks ago. I’m just glad it’s finally happened so everyone’ll shut up about it. And Machado coming to the Dodgers isn’t exactly a surprise like Sumter Henderson coming to my 17th birthday dinner was. Anybody who didn’t see it coming probably thought Bryce Harper wasn’t going to win the Home Run Derby in his gayass headband.
A hot bat joining the lineup doesn’t exactly suck and 24 home runs ain’t nothing to shake a stick at, but I’m not as excited as everyone else. (Keaton’s with me on this.) Here’s the reason: we don’t really need Manny Machado. When Corey Seager had to have TJ surgery, it looked like we might have a disaster at short. Turns out we didn’t. We have a pair of dang good shortstops…and, no disrespect to CT3, but I don’t think we’ve begun to see what Kiké Hernandez can do at what he says is his natural position. Kiké can’t hit like Machado, but the team’s proven it’s got enough depth to survive even so big a disaster as Seager going down for the season.
The long and the short of it is that we’re in first place, have the best offense in the league, and plain old just don’t need a rental shortstop. Meemaw’s got a saying for that: don’t waste your time plugging up a hole in a roof that ain’t leaking.
What we do have is a bullpen with more holes in it than a piece of Swiss cheese. They don’t suck, but they’re not good enough to win us a World Series. They’re the leaky roof that needs plugging up. The dudes in charge of the team may get to it, but I reckon a whole lot of time and energy has been put into getting Machado when it should have gone into looking for pitchers.
I think of myself as a pretty positive dude, but there’s something to worry about with Machado. Sure the offensive numbers are through the roof…but what about defense? You look at the highlights they keep showing on the Dodger Channel and he looks fuckin awesome. My idea of a great shortstop is one who’ll make a throw standing on his head…and what they show on the TV explains why Machado won those two Gold Gloves. But his defensive numbers are pretty dang weirdass this year: some are good (his fielding percentage of .980 is the best of his career)…but some are downright bad. He’s a hot mess at all the advanced metrics that involve runs saved: his defensive runs saved above average is -19 and if you project that over 1200 innings, it comes out to -27.
(If you need comparisons, for defensive runs saved above average, when they’re playing at short, CT and Kiké are a safe 0 (equal to average) and Seager was a 10 (above average) last season.)
I know some of y’all probably think advanced metrics are bullshit, but I’ve been into them since high school, when me and my buddies even made up some advanced metrics of our own. They tell a part of the story that you don’t get by looking at the regular numbers.
And those numbers of Machado’s are a big reminder that he won those Gold Gloves playing 3rd.
Y’all can probably see where this is going. Keaton told me I should like Machado because he’s another little bitch of a shortstop who stamps his little foot and has a hissy fit when he has to play another position. Ok, I totally get that. Like 100% totally lol. Thing is, I didn’t win a pair of Gold Gloves playing 3rd.
And they can’t play Machado at 3rd. Nobody’s moving Justin Turner.
I gotta like Logan Forsythe since he’s a southerner, but, let’s face it…there’s a hole at 2nd. So Machado goes in at short, and you can move Taylor to 2nd (he played 22 games at 2nd last year with a Rtot/yr of 3.) Then you can move Max Muncy back to his natural position (he ain’t built like no 2nd baseman) at 1st…and… then what do you do about Bellinger?
That’s where the trouble starts: with Bellinger, we now have six outfielders, and they all deserve to be starters. Bellinger, Kemp, Pederson, Toles, Hernandez and Puig. Ok, Puig’s on the DL, but that still leaves five guys and three positions. Those are the guys for who adding Machado sucks.
Maybe because I played the game professionally I think more about how guys feel about job security. I don’t reckon there’s any danger of Kiké being sent to Oklahoma City…but, after everyone got all excited about Andrew Toles coming up, he may be headed right back down to AAA. And he’s too good a player to lose. The Machado trade could seriously, seriously suck for him.
It just made me think of those dudes and their bigass watches. The Dodgers already have a bunch of Rolexes that tell time just great. They don’t need a Patek Philippe.