James Dixon on the possible trade market? Wow, the firesign-O-Meter went through the roof on that one, forget the Bipser-O-meter. I even had a possible trade proposed and a pretty good one I think. I hesitated a long time before submitting it though. After a while and quite a bit of thinking I decided to pull the offer. Why? Because Dixon would have the same problems in Sand Cat land maybe even worse than in Anaheim, it's the ball park. Surely Anaheim isn't throwing the season away yet? So I decided to do a deep analysis of the team. I hope Anaheim doesn't mind.
C - Frank Martin: Maybe not the greatest, but decent enough for a starter. Has few starts and rarely plays though.
C - Cesar Trevino: Gets much of the work. Is good enough to be a starter or a backup as he is very good defensively though his stats don't show it. His hitting isn't all that bad either.
1B - Esteban Santos: Hits really well for a non-power guy but defensively I am not sure I would use him.
2B - Bob Stewart: 2B, really? Here is a problem, 5 year player that shows he can hit well but is no where near a 2B.
SS - Al Borchard: Not the greatest glove defensively but good enough. Doesn't hit well.
SS - Vic Mercado: Has the glove but not the range. Hitting has been disappointing this season so far.
3B - James Dixon: Great 3B in anyones mind. Hitting is a disappointment though. That could be because he is in the wrong batting slot or it's the park. That is why I am very hesitant.
3B - Gerald Stargell: Adequate backup to 3B. Doesn't get enough playing time.
RF - Dweezil Milligan: Good hitter but a very marginal RF and the defensive stats prove this. He can and is improving but will be very slow.
CF - Kyle Ramirez: Not a great hitter and a little disappointing at the plate to me. Defensively has the range but the glove isn't good enough but adequate.
LF - Pedro Candelaria: Currently the best player on the team for consistent play.
DH - Jim Adkinsson: Hard pressed to use him in other way.
How to fix this may not be viewed well but this is what I would do.
1. I would move Dixon to 2B, he has the defense to play the position very well. He might have problems at the beginning but I doubt it.
2. I would move Mercado to take 3B, defensively he should be fine also.
This is where things will meet with a little resistance I think.
3. I would move Milligan to 1B.
4. I would move Stargell to RF.
And this is where the big resistance will come in even for me.
5. What to do with Santos is a big problem. He doesn't play 1B well enough but hits well. So far he doesn't show any defensive improvement this season. Sending him to the minors will hurt him more than help. It would be dependent on whether or not I thought Bart O'Halloran would be a better player to have on my ML roster but not as a 2B, a 1B/RF/LF instead. Zip Capra is not an answer btw.
6. If Martin isn't going to be the starting catcher, then I would replace him with Pablo DeSoto and bring him in during the late innings (7th on). Or have Soto start for a while and use Trevino as the backup the same way to rest him a bit.
7. After all those moves there remains one little problem, no backup for SS or CF. The answer lies in Brian Dunston at AAA, but I would leave him there until he is really really needed or someone hits the DL.
Trevino's fielding stats are not matching his ratings IMO, so either he is tired or pitching has a problem or both. The SB vs CS ratio looks good but I think could be better. The errors are also a little higher than I would expect. Both could be caused by a weak 1B and 2B.
After checking out the pitching staff, some of them might be victims of circumstance from the fielding department. Though I might try Greg Nieman as a starter for one of the under-performing starters, he could easily get to the 5th inning plus as a starter but his MPC would be 75 at the upper limit. I see some control issues with a couple starters but they have enough ratings in other areas to cover the tracks. I don't see anything in the minors that would help this season in the pitching department as most are not ready for the ML. I really find the pitching staff able to do their job well overall.
Last thing I looked at were the last few box scores. Dixon batting first? I can understand why, but to waste a power guy in the 1st slot because of his speed. Your not a running team, so try him in the 3rd slot. Yeah, he does walk a lot, but if he walks, someone has to hit him in and that isn't happening. Leave that job to the remaining power guys. Might seem like a whacky idea, try Mercado in the 1-slot.
Overall analysis: I think the changes I suggested would stop the minus plays and the error rate will drop for this team. The defense would improve tremendously and help the pitching staff be better. Will it make them a playoff team, that is another question I cannot answer. Only being 8 games out there is still a chance. However, the run differential is 40 to the bad and we are 59 games into the season. So some of the give up bleeding has to stop to be better. Has the bad defense given up 40 runs? I kind of doubt it, but I can imagine 50 percent of them has.