Saturday, August 16, 2008

Paul Lo Duca, Dallas McPherson Wandering Desert

There's nothing better to awaken a hitter like wandering in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights, if former major leaguers Paul Lo Duca and Dallas McPherson are any indication.

No sooner than being cut by the Nationals for lack of productivity, the one-time Dodgers star catcher arrived at Triple A Albuquerque with a flourish, knocking out 11 hits in his first 26 at-bats for a .423 average. If Lo Duca keeps it up, he should gain some attention from Marlins front office executives, who are carrying him as a deep reserve during the ongoing pennant race.

But not necessarily.

The Marlins have been content to let McPherson -- the former Angels third baseman of the future -- waste away in the minors all season; this despite his 40 homers, three triples, 17 doubles, 70 walks and 91 RBI in just 399 at-bats.

Run production in the Pacific Coast League must be somewhat discounted, as the desert air tends to inflate offensive numbers. Moreover, McPherson also has been held back because he is playing behind Jorge Cantu, who is in the midst of a career year playing third base with the parent club.

Playing in Albuquerque, McPherson labors under the terms of a minor league contract, a distinct discount from what he would be paid if called to the majors. The team, however, reportedly has denied that money is a consideration, despite the fact that McPherson might have come in handy from time to time throughout the year, most notably when a designated hitter was needed during interleague play.