Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Time to send d'Arnaud back to minors

There's something we all enjoy about watching a young ballplayer giving every ounce of his talent on the field. Whether you like their teams or not, players who go all out like Derek Jeter and Chase Utley are really hard not to like and respect because they give everything they have everytime out. And Pirates rookie shortstop Chase d'Arnaud has shown signs of being cut from the same mold.

There's no doubt his hustling from first-to-third on Neil Walker's single on Monday night was huge to winning the first game of the Reds series. And the glove save (and a beauty) in the first inning saved two runs that night as well. Remember d'Arnaud's first hit, the triple in the opening game of the Boston series. It was a fantastic spark.

That being said, he's still just not ready. His two errors at shortstop cost the Bucs' two runs in Wednesday's 3-1 loss to the Reds. He now has 7 errors in 21 games. A strong Jeff Karstens performance was wasted and a winable game now were lost because of routine defensive mistakes.

His speed is useful but his .250 on-base percentage pretty much negates it being relevant. The rookie has drawn just 3 walks in 94 plate appearances and struck out 19 times. Manager Clint Hurdle gave him enough chances to take the job while Cedeno was on the DL and he simply hasn't done it. With 25 ABs with runners in scoring position, d'Arnaud has just 1 RBI and hitting .160.

It's a nice story that he has helped give a spark but quite simply, over the long term, his 21-game sample size has shown this team has just another hole to fill. When Ronny Cedeno is promoted for the Cardinals series on Friday, it should be d'Arnaud and not Josh Harrison heading back to Indianapolis.

Harrison's can play 2B and 3B and has been an active utility infielder and posts a .266 batting avg. Brandon Wood has made just 1 error in 71 chances and has power to go along with his glove.

d'Arnaud may be a possible future shortstop for this ballclub. Future being the key word. This team is playing for the present.

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