Talking Baseball

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Posted by Dave on Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Troy Glaus and His Henchmen

The word has hit the streets, Troy Glaus is possibly out for the season. This is the same Troy Glaus that boasts an AL-best eleven home runs (only the anomalous Steve Finley can claim more). And yes, these are the same Anaheim Angels with six players on the DL. That DL list now includes Glaus and Garret Anderson, the perennial pick for the most underrated player in baseball - a contradiction for anyone except the majority of baseball writers. With the loss of those two, and set-up man deluxe Brendan Donnelly, the Angels would seem to be in serious need of some help.

The standings would disagree, however. The Angels currently enjoy a 2.5 game lead over the Rangers and a 4.5 game lead over the Athletics. Sure, the A's are still waiting to make their late-season surge, but the Angels are doing pretty well for themselves. Still, Glaus' loss will be painful and a continuation of their division-leading play seems unlikely. Don't believe me? The numbers suggest that Glaus has already produced more than 2 wins.

So, who are the Angels to turn to? Mike Scoscia has intimated that Shane Halter, Chone Figgins, and Alfredo Amezaga are all candidates. I linked all three, but really, only one link is worthwhile. Knowing Scoscia's traditional style of management, Halter will see the majority of playing time at third because he's the only one that has logged a significant amount of time in the Bigs.

Let's hope that this isn't the case, however. Suffice it to say that Halter's has "achieved" a career OBP of .306. That's actually worse than my favorite whipping boy (that's two articles for the price of one, folks), Aaron Rowand, an impressive feat. It would seem that a combination of Jeff DaVanon and Chone Figgins at third would be optimal - but it remains to be seen how well Figgins can handle the hot corner. Even with Chone's (pronounced Shawn, by the way (where do parents get these names?!)) deficiency in the field, however, I would prefer never to see (fettucine) Alfredo at the dish.

There is another solution, however: Dallas McPherson. This player wouldn't be just a stopgap like Figgins, DaVanon, or Halter. This player could bring some serious talent to the table. Baseball America recently deemed McPherson the 33rd-best prospect in MLB - not Mauer material, but incredible nonetheless. Last year, he posted .314/.426/.569 for the Angels' AA-affiliate, the Arkansas Travelers (Watch out! They're going to get nomadic on you!) and has posted a .301/.373/.491 thusfar. Not shabby at all.

Here's the kicker though - this guy made Randy Johnson look bad. How is this possible? Courteous of Baseball America, we have this anecdote:
Last season, he shot himself in a finger with a BB gun and didn’t skip a day. After returning from a bulging disc that sidelined him for most of April, he ripped nine home runs in 14 games, highlighted by a double and home run against a rehabbing Randy Johnson. When Johnson beaned him in his third trip to the plate, McPherson stared him down and then stole second.
If ever I wanted to deviate from my sabermetric foundation, it is now. This guy practically embarassed one of the best pitchers of our time. Granted, it was during a rehab start, but this is simply awe-inspring. Oh, and don't forget the apparent truth that he is impervious to BB pellets or a bulging disc. Take a look at this guy's picture for heaven's sake:

Dallas McPherson can only be described as Panache Personified.

Even still, it seems McPherson's probably still a year away, at least. His numbers have declined in AA thusfar with increased experience. This does not bode well going forward, to be sure. Still, Dallas has the elan to be a good replacement down the road for the aging and ailing Troy Glaus. For now, unfortunately, Angels fans will have to grin and bear the play of Chone Figgins at third - or Shane Halter if Scoscia behaves sub-optimally.

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