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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Bellhorn & Blum


There would seem to be little place for it on a roster, given the limitations already inherent in selecting 25 players with whom to begin a season.

And yet it would appear that the Padres will carry both Mark Bellhorn and Geoff Blum, a matched pair if ever there was one. Switch-hitters who have demonstrated the ability to play every infield position passably, either would represent the consummate utility infielder.

Most winning teams have a guy like this. Winning teams seldom have two of them, however.
Each man can be used as a pinch hitter and spot-starter, as well as a replacement for an injured starter for a significant stretch of time. This is the sum of their value.

What the club lacks on the bench is an infielder who can be used as a late-inning defensive replacement, or as a pinch-runner. Blum and Bellhorn do not suffice in this area.

In addition to these guys, we've got Eric Young, who at least can play centerfield (sort of) and pinch-run, but who is an otherwise similar player. I honestly don't know what the hell the Padres are doing.

My suggestion is to try to trade Blum, as Bellhorn is better (he reaches base far more often, and has more power). That failing, release him. Release Young, as well. There are dozens of guys in the minors who can do these jobs for the league minimum. Release Klesko, too. Give Adrian Gonzalez the first base job, and cross your fingers.

On second thought, it's probably better to keep Blum, release Vinny Castilla, and install Bellhorn at third. Release Doug Mirabelli, too, and find out where Doug Gwosdz is. He'll come cheap.

Release Dave Roberts, too. He's the only one of the three Dave Roberts's who've played for the Padres who won't be cracking our Top 100. That should tell you all you need to know about the guy. I'll take my chances with Ben Johnson, or Terrmel Sledge.

Sledge, for sure. He's got a funny name, and we all know how far that took Top Padre #184, Archi Cianfrocco.

Did I miss anyone? Are there any other players who should be released?!?!

Didn't think so.


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