Sunday, September 27, 2009

Look for Alex Rodriguez, Hideki Matsui to Sit

With the Yankees clinching, look for manager Joe Girardi to find situations in which to rest Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Hideki Matsui, Jorge Posada and others for a game or three, or to let them hit the showers early in non-critical spots.

The rest may do them good in preparation for the fall schedule, but it will cost them plate appearances and potential production in the short term. Likewise, if and when the Angels and Tigers clinch, expect similar sitting spells for Vladimir Guerrero, Magglio Ordonez and others.

Of particular importance, will be missed starts by established pitchers in favor of aspiring youths. Most pitchers can stand a day off this time of year.

Indians Eye Michael Brantley for 2010 Outfield

Various reports coming out of Cleveland see rookie Michael Brantley surpassing 2005 first round pick Trevor Crowe for the starting spot in the Indians 2010 center field.

The problem with Crowe is not so much that he has underperformed -- which he has -- but that Brantley has excelled, hitting nearly .340 in a limited trial, with a .576 onbase percentage against lefties, even though Brantley bats left handed.

Brantley also has shown considerable potential defensively, though his performance has been marred by a few youthful gaffs.

Brantley's door opened a crack when Victor Martinez was traded to the Red Sox, and Ryan Garko to the Giants, effectively halting the experimentation with rookie Matt LaPorta in left field. LaPorta is all but assured of claiming the starting first baseman's job.