Nats moving Guzman to second base next year?

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Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the Nationals are considering moving shortstop Cristian Guzman to second base next season in an effort “to improve their middle-infield defense.”
Aside from a few random appearances at designated hitter, Guzman has played shortstop for every inning of his 10-year career, making 1,223 total starts there. His defense has never been great and at 31 years old the Nationals now view his glove as a clear weakness with one season and $8 million remaining on his contract.
According to Ladson, “they have been alarmed that Guzman is having problems going to his left on ground balls” and “interim manager Jim Riggleman believes a foot injury” is to blame. Ultimate Zone Rating pegs Guzman as 2.0 runs below average in 106 games this season after grading him 3.4 runs below average in 136 games last year, so numbers-wise there hasn’t been a big change.
Ladson speculates that the Nationals would leave Guzman alone if they’re able to sign a veteran second baseman like Orlando Hudson this offseason, but barring that will “try to find a defensive-oriented shortstop” or turn to prospect Ian Desmond. Desmond never showed much promise offensively prior to this season, but the 23-year-old former third-round pick has hit .328/.400/.477 with 21 steals in 96 games between Double-A and Triple-A this year.

Sandy Alderson thinks Tim Tebow will play in the major leagues

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Based on his track record so far I don’t think Tim Tebow deserves to play in the major leagues on the merits. Not even close. But then again, I’m not the general manager of the New York Mets, so I don’t get a say in that.

Sandy Alderson is the general manager, so his say carries a lot of weight. To that end, here’s what he said yesterday:

Noting the Tebow experiment has “evolved” into something greater, general manger Sandy Alderson on Sunday said, “I think he will play in the major leagues.”

To be fair, Alderson is pretty up front about the merits of Tebow’s presumed advancement to the bigs at some point. He didn’t say that it’s because Tebow has played his way up. He said this:

“He is great for the team, he is great for baseball, he was phenomenal for minor league baseball last year. The notion that he should have been excluded from the game because he is not coming through the traditional sources, I think is crazy. This is entertainment, too. And he quietly entertains us . . . He benefits the Mets because of how he conducts himself. He’s a tremendous representative of the organization.”

I take issue with Alderson’s comment about people thinking he shouldn’t be in the game because of his background. Most people who have been critical of the Tebow experiment have been critical because there is no evidence that he’s a good enough baseball player to be given the opportunities he’s been given. I mean, he advanced to high-A last year despite struggling at low-A and he’s going to start at Double-A this year in all likelihood despite struggling in high-A. If he does make the bigs, it will likewise come despite struggles in Double-A and maybe Triple-A too.

That said: I don’t mind if they promote Tebow all the way up as long as they’re being honest about why they’re doing it and aren’t trying to get everyone on board with some cockamamie idea that Tebow belongs on the baseball merits. If they do put him in the majors it’ll be because he’s a draw and a good promotion and because people generally like him and he’s not hurting anyone and I can’t take issue with that.

That’s basically what Alderson is saying here and if that’s the case, great. I mean, not great, because Tebow in the bigs will likely also mean that the Mets aren’t playing meaningful games, but great in the sense of “fine.” Baseball is entertainment too. No sense in pretending it isn’t.