Thursday, April 26, 2007

Willie Mo Pena... Mo fielding, Mo Hitting?

First off, Congrats and way to go Josh Beckett, 5-0 record. Only 2 other Red Sox pitchers have gotten off to a 5-0 start in April: The first was the Great Bambino Babe Ruth. The second was the Great Pedro Martinez in 2001. Great company to be in, Josh. All that work on those sliders and change-ups seem to be working so far in '07. Way to go. Keep it up and people are going to be whispering "cy young" when you're not looking...

So Willie Mo is the hero tonite, gets the grand slam to put the Sox up for good against the Orioles. This is the same Willie Mo that got booed profusely against the Jays, because he is too slow to catch a fly ball more than 15 feet away from him, with 2 outs, costing us 3 runs.

My mind isn't made up about this guy yet. Its a Jekyl and Hyde kinda thing.

On the one hand, when he connects, his power makes Papi look like a minor leaguer. There is some awesome potential. He doesn't just hit a homer, he shoots a rocket. Its nice to know that there is some extra power on that bench, in case we need it.

But on the other hand...

It's great that he can hit a homer, but it seems he's only capable of hitting fast balls down the middle. Sliders, curve balls, sinkers = STRIKEOUTS. Throw him anything other than a fastball, and we likely see a K or a popup. Last look, his batting average is somewhere around .176. Yikes, that's horrible. You can argue that he just needs more exposure, more at bats, more experience. While this may be true, combine his inconsistent offense with his less than stellar defensive ability, and his name in the lineup is a gamble. I'll be honest, when the bases were loaded, my husband and I both looked at each other and said, "Do you pinch hit him?" I thought since there was only 1 out, maybe keep him in and then pinch hit for Dustin Pedroia, since he isn't a power hitting guy; at least hope for a deep fly out by Willie Mo which could result in one RBI.

This is why Tito makes a 7 figure salary as the Red Sox Manager, and I write a blog on my own free time. I was wrong again; I never thought Willie Mo was going to hit a grand slam.

I am not ready to insist that he becomes an every day player. Let him lick his chops. Help us out from time to time, so JD Drew can get the rest he needs to remain healthy, and be that fill in for what is becoming Coco's plague of injuries. Give Papi some time when he needs it, and DH now and again. But this corner of Red Sox Nation hasn't seen enough consistency to warrant his being at the plate each and every day.

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