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Thursday, August 19, 2004

SHEA IT AIN'T SO
As reported in the LA Times:

With Robb Quinlan out for at least a month because of a torn left oblique and the Angels still hesitant to call up power-hitting third base prospect Dallas McPherson from triple-A Salt Lake City, General Manager Bill Stoneman has stepped up his efforts to trade for a hitter, preferably a third baseman, before the Aug. 31 deadline.

...

Among the candidates who have cleared waivers or are expected to clear waivers are Arizona's Shea Hillenbrand (.301, 12 home runs, 58 runs batted in), Seattle's Jolbert Cabrera (.274, three homers, 29 RBIs), and Kansas City's Joe Randa (.275, four homers and 35 RBIs).
What do all these players have in common? Well, for one, none of them have been as good as Legs Figgins this year:

Player       AVG  OBP  SLG  OPS  EqA   ZR   WARP3  TOP**

Figgins 295 355 426 781 .283 .703 4.6 894
Hillenbrand 304 347 464 811 .267 .732 3.0 767
Cabrera 273 313 400 713 .259 .778* 2.0 728
Randa 276 341 387 728 .253 .805 2.9 699

*has only played in 11 games at third base.

**TOP is "Total Offensive Production," a number meant to
represent how many runs a team of this hitter would score.
It's maintained by Eric Walker on his website, and I include
it here to show that it's not just Davenport's system that
sees Figgins as the best hitter this year from this group.
Looking at the EqA next to the OPS shows how much Angel Stadium has hurt hitters this year, and it also reveals Chone's basestealing ability.

Out of all these guys, Hillenbrand is the best player, but Cabrera may be the best fit. He has played every position that's not catcher this year, and his career 257/305/363 line certainly betters Alfredo Amezaga's 206/263/289.

It just seems to me that going from Figgins to Hillenbrand is a step down in offense, though a small step up in defense. Do we really need Shea Hillenbrand as a defensive replacement? If we were to implement a de facto platoon between Hillenbrand and Adam Kennedy (shifting The Legs over to second against southpaws, as I have previously advocated), that would be worth it. If you're not willing to do that, look to upgrade Amezaga.

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