Sabermetricians are often told to get their heads out of their spreadsheets and to watch some baseball. The people who say that sort of thing often defer to their own eyes or the eyes of scouts when it comes to analysis. Then you read stuff like this story from Andrew Marchand at ESPN New York in which scouts are said to prefer Derek Jeter over Jose Reyes — and in one case Hanley Ramirez — at shortstop right now and you wonder what they’re smoking.
I’ll give Jeter durability over Reyes right now. But that’s all I’d give him. In no way, however, would I select Derek Jeter over Jose Reyes if I had to put together a team for the rest of 2011. And apart from the scout that Marchand spoke to, I’m not sure who would.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.