Sunday, June 22, 2008

Dallas McPherson Passed Over Despite 23 Homers

If ever there was a golden opportunity to give slugger Dallas McPherson even a momentary return to the majors, it would have been when the Marlins were in need of a designated hitter while visiting Oakland for interleague play.

Yet McPherson -- switched from the outfield back to third base for Triple A Albuquerque -- was rejected again, despite his hitting another pair of home runs during the past week to lead the Pacific Coast League with 23, with an outstanding .300 batting average.

The Marlins continue to look at McPherson and other callup candidates, if for no other reason than to find players who can help reduce the team's .976 fielding percentage, worst in the majors, and number of errors, now at 65, second only to Texas.

Ironically, McPherson's primary rival is corner infielder Jorge Cantu, who has a hot bat but leads the team with 14 errors. Cantu's fielding alone would seem to be enough of a reason to give McPherson a shot, but McPherson has 11 errors for Albuquerque, though the total may be misleading as those miscues came when McPherson was learning a new position in left field.

It will be interesting to see whether McPherson's number of errors are more tolerable now that he has moved back to third base, and whether the move will raise his value. If not, indications are McPherson will continue to labor in obscurity until an injury or the September roster expansion changes his outlook.

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