• Juan Encarnacion

    Posted by on November 28th, 2005 · Comments (17)

    From Newsday:

    The Yankees need a centerfielder and have discussed internally a three-year offer worth about $30 million for Giles, who has primarily played the corner spots recently. But the person familiar with the Yankees’ plans said the team recently has moved down its list of prospective centerfielders and looked at its other options more seriously.

    Among the centerfielders who have been discussed, at least internally, are the Phillies’ Jason Michaels, who will likely be available, and free agent Juan Encarnacion. Free agent Johnny Damon also could be an option if agent Scott Boras lowers his asking price.

    Five months ago I wrote, about Encarnacion:

    As a hitter, he’s pretty bad. Think Tony Clark, like he was last year, and apply that. It’s not Womack-bad. But, it’s basically some HRs, lots of whiffs, few walks, and a low BA. Not exactly the FT answer to the Yankees CF needs.

    And, I’m still sticking to it.

    Comments on Juan Encarnacion

    1. November 29th, 2005 | 8:26 am

      The Newsday article is a bit behind the times. I don’t think Encarnacion is really on the radar. How about Jeter, or A-rod in CF! JoeT said it, it made all the papers!

    2. MJ
      November 29th, 2005 | 8:55 am

      I really do wish we’d stop with the Jeter in CF stuff. I’m not saying he couldn’t do it and I’m not saying that it isn’t within the team’s right to ask but I just don’t see how Jeter will be as good in CF as a natural outfielder would be or how this would benefit the team if the experiment fails. Just because Robin Yount did it once upon a time doesn’t mean that everyone should make the move. Wouldn’t it be more productive to simply find an adequate glove man, one that won’t kill you at the plate, and just let him bat 9th and do his job shagging flies? If this is a way for Cashman to get Eric Duncan the 3rd base job, I wish he’d cut it out already. The Yankees had the best record in baseball from May 7th on — we need a defensive centerfielder, a bullpen and an insurance policy on Pavano/Wright/Small/Chacon. That’s it. We don’t need to move Jeter to CF.

    3. Raf
      November 29th, 2005 | 9:10 am

      It’s just a new angle on solving a problem. And it’s a problem that can be solved in-house. I don’t see someone as athletic as either Jeter or ARod having a problem playing CF.

      It’s not everyone or just anyone making the move, it’s Derek Jeter. And it’s not like it hasn’t been done before. Murcer, Mantle, Sheffield and Raines, to name a few have started their careers as infielders. Craig Biggio put some time in CF with the Astros

      With the game the way it is nowadays, you can’t just give up outs. Which is why you won’t see Crosby in a full-time role. Also the reason you won’t see Womack as the full time CF.

      If it works out, great. If it doesn’t, shift him back to short.

    4. MJ
      November 29th, 2005 | 9:58 am

      Raf, I could respond on why I disagree — that past players’ success means nothing for the future of different players, that if the move doesn’t work, a reverse move could be just as disruptive, that no matter how gifted a player is, a spring training’s worth of shagged flies doesn’t an outfielder make — but it would turn into one of those arguments that could never be won. I will never be convinced that it’s the best move for the Yanks and I hope it doesn’t happen.

      I guess we agree to disagree on this one.

    5. hopbitters
      November 29th, 2005 | 10:35 am

      Is that solving the problem or moving the problem? That is, even if the scenario pans out and the transition is perfectly smooth, is Bubba Crosby in CF really going to be any worse than Eric Duncan at 3B?

    6. JohnnyC
      November 29th, 2005 | 10:45 am

      Eric Duncan is not a good defensive player (awful at 3rd, probably barely adequate at 1st, and below average in RF)but he is one of the best slugging prospects in baseball at 20 and already on the cusp of playing in AAA. He is not the answer at 3rd Base. I’m with MJ…let’s stop this bullsh*t, get a + defender in CF with some OB ability, a couple of reliable set-up guys, and damn bench including a catcher who can play 50 games without killing the line-up. If nothing happens to this end by the end of the Winter Meetings, Cashman will give himself the toughest in-season job he’s ever faced. I don’t think he can expect lightning (Chacon, Small, Cano, Wang)to strike twice.

    7. Raf
      November 29th, 2005 | 10:54 am

      MJ: All I’m saying is that is has been done before. There’s precedent. This isn’t anything new. And I applaud Torre and Co for at least considering it as an option, because it shows me that they’re thinking. There’s not much on the trade front and there’s less on the open market.

      hopbitters: That’s assuming Duncan gets the 3b job. Personally, I don’t think he’s ready. Who knows, maybe the Yanks sign/trade someone to fill whichever position is vacated, be it CF, SS or 3b

    8. hopbitters
      November 29th, 2005 | 11:05 am

      I see what you’re saying now, Raf. If they can’t pick someone up for CF, but can get a decent IF, I’d be OK with the move. Or at least giving it a shot. I’m not comfortable with Duncan at, well, at the major league level.

    9. November 29th, 2005 | 11:06 am

      Whoa, that took on a life of its own. I was simply reporting what Joe Torre said. Didn’t mean to hit hotspots. None of the articles ever mentioned Duncan. He’s nowhere near ready. In fact, I think if another team wants him they can have him. I’ve seen him play and I’m thoroughly unimpressed. Jeter or A-Rod in CF is being discussed internally by Yankee leadership, that’s what’s reported, and Joe Torre said it out loud. Neither has been approached about it, yet. I’m a little tired of having guys that don’t play multiple positions. The younger, more athletic teams have their guys play all over the field, as long as they are hitting.

    10. Don
      November 29th, 2005 | 1:30 pm

      Most players mentioned above as having been moved to OF did so in their early twenties at the latest (other than Yount I believe). Not after spending ten (10) years at SS in the major leagues.

    11. Raf
      November 29th, 2005 | 4:58 pm

      Most players mentioned above as having been moved to OF did so in their early twenties at the latest (other than Yount I believe). Not after spending ten (10) years at SS in the major leagues.
      =====================

      It shouldn’t matter. I’m sure Jeter can play a better CF than say, Bernie, Burnitz or Berkman

    12. Don
      November 29th, 2005 | 6:23 pm

      Just about anybody can play a better CF then Bernie or Burnitz.

      But you’ve never seen Jeter play CF so you cannot be sure.

    13. Raf
      November 29th, 2005 | 9:47 pm

      But you’ve never seen Jeter play CF so you cannot be sure.
      ================

      You cannot be sure that he can’t hack it out there either. The difference is between finding out, and not knowing at all. I’d be willing to take that chance. It’s a win-win situation. Nothing to lose.

      Anyway, I guess they can throw bags at $$ at Brian Giles, and let him or Matsui play CF

    14. Don
      November 30th, 2005 | 2:37 am

      Nothing to lose? Really? Go into spring training with nothing in CF but hopes that Jeter will pan out. There’s no way this is a win-win situation from where you or I sit.

    15. Raf
      November 30th, 2005 | 10:00 am

      Nothing to lose? Really? Go into spring training with nothing in CF but hopes that Jeter will pan out. There’s no way this is a win-win situation from where you or I sit.
      ====================

      Pfft. The current plan has Bubba Crosby as your full time CF’er.

      Are you telling me that between now and spring training that Jeter can’t work on being a passable CF’er? Do you honestly believe that come spring training it would hurt Jeter to take a few fly balls in center? Given the defensive spectrum, CF is “easier” to play than SS. There is nothing to lose in trying.

      What do you think should happen? Give Kenny Lofton another shot? Sign Jeromy Burnitz on the cheap? Sign Giles and hope either he or Matsui can hack it in CF?

    16. Don
      November 30th, 2005 | 2:05 pm

      Pffft. Ain’t happening unless Jeter himself asks to do it.

      And regardless of your machinations it isn’t a win-win situation. There’d be a hole at 3rd as a starter.

    17. Raf
      November 30th, 2005 | 3:02 pm

      And regardless of your machinations it isn’t a win-win situation. There’d be a hole at 3rd as a starter.
      ===============

      And from the looks of the market, it’s easier to find a SS or a 3B than a CF’er. Lowell was just traded, Cirillo resigned with the Brewers. With the addition of Lowell, the Sox have a surplus of 3b’ers. San Diego has Sean Burroughs blocked by Castilla. As for SS, there’s Furcal and Nomah on the market for starters. And that’s just off the top of my head.

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.