Wednesday, March 29, 2006

DL: Duffman will start over Nate Dogg

Littlefield announced today that Duffy, rather than McLouth, will be the Bucs' starting CF (for now, at least).

Littlefield said Wednesday that Chris Duffy is still in line to be the Opening Day starter in center field, despite the emergence of Nate McLouth this spring. "Right now, Chris Duffy is the starting center fielder and we're going to go in that direction," said Littlefield. "I don't think either guy has a solid position on a job. Both of them have got to continue to work hard to establish themselves as big leaguers. Neither one is an established big leaguer, but we have very high hopes for both of them."

This disappoints me. I think the defensive difference between Duffy and McLouth is wildly overrated, while the offensive edge is unquestionably Nate's. On a team whose offensive futility last season was largely a result of not having a productive everyday center fielder, this is just a stupid move. Duffy will hit .275/.300/.400 and torture us in the leadoff spot.

Because of this news, I hope the brain trust sends McLouth to AAA. The man clearly should be playing every day, even if in the minors. I'd much rather him get consistent ABs there than pass out gatorade in the big leagues.


Blogger Billy said...

Glad to have your contribution, Zeke--keep 'em coming.

Not exactly a strong endorsement from Littlefield here, I would say. After his 0-for-5 today (did he flinch when he faced Schilling?), Duffy is batting .226 to McLouth's .333. If Duffy does join the team and then continues to struggle, I don't think Tracy and Littlefield will wait too long before summoning Nate from AAA.

5:17 AM  

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