Counterpoint: Kids Belong at the Kids’ Table

Brendan, you throw the baby out with the bathwater, distracted by something shiny, Hannah Montana loving, Change we can believe in reactionary. (I re-wrote that ten times, I simply cannot compete with the Lionel Ritchie burn but, luckily, I am the editor so, I can put your face on Lionel’s body as payback…boom). Why go to the kids before we know what we already have?

Sure Desmond Jennings is slaying it at AAA, and yes, Jake McGee appears to be pitching better than he was during his Major-League cameo at the start of the season, but how do we know that performance will translate to the big leagues? Remember Bobby Smith? He is one of the greatest AAA players of all time (every time Chuck LaMar fell in love with Bobby’s performance at AAA we’d call him up and he’d boot a ball at third and look at two third strikes…it was brutal but you could set your watch to it). Remember Dan Johnson? That guy hit like .976 at AAA. How’d they work out?

Here’s what we do know. We know we have an underutilized middle infielder in Sean Rodriguez already on the big league roster. Why are we going to prospects before we know if S-Rod can cut it every day? We know that Ruggiano has shown signs of life and we know Sam Fuld has proven to be a plus defender. Why go to Jennings (who was totally underwhelming last September…as most rookies are) before we know if the Ruggiano/Fuld monster can keep us in the hunt? (Did I really just defend Justin Ruggiano? What the hell is going on? How many questions can I use in a row without making a statement?).

In the end, the jump from AAA to the Majors is gargantuan. Ultimately, some of these prospects are going to work out and some are not going to work out. But, I don’t think the time to find out is while we have a fighting chance to win this division or the wild card. The roster as currently constituted is hanging around. Let’s say we get through the next 11 games without disaster and even make up a few games in the standings on Boston or New York. That is the perfect opportunity to test one prospect at a time. Maybe you start with Jennings, because leftfield is the biggest liability. Then, if you can stand the temperature of the pool, you come back with Gas Can McGee. By then, we’ll know where this season is heading anyway.

Stay away from fads and prospects until you’re sure. Otherwise, you’re going to be showing up to the yard looking like an Abercrombie just threw up on you. (Is Abercrombie still hip? Am I old because I don’t know? Am I old because I just said hip? Am I closing in on the record for rhetorical questions? Isn’t this annoying?).

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