Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Melancon And The Infinite Sadness Of Life Without Papelbon

Jed Lowrie has been traded. The Red Sox sent him and KyWhy--Kyle Weiland--to those future American Leaguers, the Astros, for pitcher Mark Melancon.

Part of me wants to be pissed that we are trading guys away in a fruitless search for finding the next Papelbon, ending up with a mess of wannabes while Pap steamrolls to the Hall of Fame.

But the thing about Lowrie--he may have reached the point where he's done all he can. And we know about his injuries. So when I think about it from the perspective that we're really not losing too much (though I'm not saying Lowrie's definitely done by any means), well, it's just another bullpen arm we're getting and that's a good thing.

And if you look at Melancon's 2011, you see a really awesome thing: He didn't give up a run in September, as the Astros' closer. Hardly any hits, either. You also may remember him from the 2009-2010 Yanks, where he pitched alongside Aceves in their future-Sox 'pen.

Ugh, just ugh. I look at it this way :

Do I want :

a) Melancon and Punto
b) Weiland and Lowrie

I'll take (b) every day and twice on Sunday. Lowrie can hit and field multiple positions, I think Weiland would be a better AL East reliever than Melancon eventually, and they're cheaper too. Turrible job BC.
Punto ain't that bad, and does what you said Lowrie does.

Punto vs. Lowrie is just a battle of utility infielders since we're going with Scutaro at short, and in the Weiland vs. Melancon race, at least Melancon has proven himself as a closer, albeit for a very short time. I'm more pissed that we're in this situation than what we're doing about it. If that makes sense.
Punto can't hit. Jed Lowrie hit 47 doubles in the minors one year. He's one season removed from a season (albeit limited playing time) with a SLG% over .500.

Meanwhile, Nick Punto has never had an AL season where he's come close to Jed Lowrie's career OPS.
But aren't they just going for "guy who can play anywhere"? And I could see him being Alex Cora-ey, and starting to make the casuals say "he should start," not realizing that just because you hit .400 in limited at bats for three months, it doesn't make you a star or even a starter.

And while I can see Lowrie suddenly becoming what we always knew he could be over in the NL, well he was probably never gonna do that with us, since Scutaro's already the SS anyway. Let's just hope Scut doesn't have a season-ending injury while Jed pulls a Freddy Sanchez and wins NL batting crowns.

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