Thursday, March 30, 2006

Manager's Choice Boosts Josh Willingham's Value

Florida manager Joe Girardi's decision to split catching duties between Josh Willingham and Miguel Olivo only serves to make Willingham even more valuable as he will still qualify at catcher but also in the outfield, and perhaps the infield, as Girardi commits himself to find ways to keep Willingham's bat in the lineup. Expect Willingham to top 500 AB no problem. Willingham has hit a homer in nearly every seven AB this spring while maintaining a more than .450 average, following up on last year's .324 average with 19 homers in 219 AB at Triple A Albuquerque. Olivo, who brings unusual speed and a fine arm to the catcher's position continues to struggle offensively, as he did for the White Sox, Mariners and Padres, batting only .150 for the spring.