Monday, June 13, 2011

Why Colby Rasmus Should Never be Traded


Dan Moore writing at STLMag.com makes the case for keeping Colby.

Tony has a problem with Colby and as a result makes Colby is miserable. TLR is a dick to those he doesn't like and he has no patience for young players who aren't tough has nails. Colby is immature and plays a role in bringing these problems on himself. Tony, and many fans would love to trade Colby for a veteran pitcher or center fielder or whatever. But here's the thing: Colby makes $443K this year and forget Albert, if you want to have Hollidays and Carpenters and Wainwrights on your team and you're not the Yankees you have to have Colbys and Jays and Greenes and Craigs.

Here's how Moore puts it,
But before you suggest the Cardinals trade him for Heath Bell or whoever the latest veteran of note is ahead of the trade deadline, remember this: Whatever you're convinced Colby Rasmus can't do, it would be impossible for the Cardinals to find a center fielder capable of his production at any price, let alone from a player who hasn't reached free agency.

Worried about Rasmus's strikeouts? His on-base percentage is still .359, good for third on the team behind Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday. Worried about his effort? His six triples are second in the National League, and in 2010 he was worth an estimated seven runs just from the extra bases he took on unsuspecting outfielders.

Rasmus will always make awkward and underwhelming plays in the outfield, and he'll always strike out too much, but when it comes time to measure his actual value that's so much window-dressing around the runs he creates for the Cardinals and the salary at which he does it. Trading him for Heath Bell would make the Cardinals worse and more expensive, and all in the name of games that are briefly and subjectively less frustrating to watch.
TLR has become a dinosaur in the post steroid era, still trying to make up for poor fielding with home runs. TLR prefers aging overpaid veterans, who invariable roll into September out of gas. Just look at the Cardinals teams the last 10 years and compare their regular season record with their playoff record. Look at Cincinnati last year.

Baseball is changing back to a style that doesn't rely on home runs so much as manufactured runs 1 and 2 at at time -- what we in Saint Louis call 'Whitey Ball'. If Colby played for anyone else he'd steal 40 bases a year.

So before you jump on the TLR bandwagon to run Colby out of town, remember that if this season isn't Tony's last in St Louis, next season will be and the next coach might be willing to actually invest some coaching effort and patience in Colby to turn him into the 40/40 player he could be with a little TLC.

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