Tuesday, October 25, 2005

On Kahrl and Victor

Last week Christina Kahrl (who I'm a huge fan of) got a couple of questions about the Mets first baseman or lack thereof in a chat she did on BP. She indicated that she thinks the Mets should give Victor Diaz the job. I like Diaz. I was a proponent of him as Major Leaguer before the season and I still am. However, I think she's giving his bat more credit than it deserves. He's got a very good bat for a second baseman, but he'd be overmatched as an everyday corner infielder.

On the season he hit .257/.329/.468 in the Show. That would make him a pretty subpar first baseman. However, it would make him an excellent 4th outfielder/pinch hitter. The presence of Mike Cameron in right field (should he be able to recover fully from his facial surgery) means that the Mets are one of the few teams that don't need anybody who can cover center field on the bench. They can just slide Cameron over into Beltran's spot and insert their backup into right field. Diaz is pretty bad in the outfield and could not cut it as a center fielder, but he isn't going to embarrass himself on a corner.

Another thing to mention is the fact that the Mets are one of the teams that most need a 4th outfielder who can hit. Cliff Floyd played in 150 games in 2005, but his career record tells you that's not likely for the foreseeable future. He's injury prone and always have been. Now he's entering his mid 30's, when that kind of thing is likely to become worse. The Mets need a backup plan for him, and that means they need to keep Diaz free to be that backup plan.

So just as long as they don't overpay and do something stupid like taking on the majority of Jim Thome's contract, give an overpriced, long term contract to Lyle Overbay, or give away Lastings Milledge or Yusemiero Petit, they should go out and get a real first baseman. A player like Overbay would be a big upgrade on what they got from the position last year. Diaz is fine as an outfield reserve and primary pinch hitter, but he's overmatched as a regular first baseman.

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