Time to stop and smell the DeRosas
November 6 2006
Mark DeRosa appears to be a possibility for the Phillies at third base next year. Here's a look at what DeRosa and the two guys the Phillies used most at third last year did offensively during 2006:
DeRosa was clearly the
best offensive player of the group, hitting .296 in 520 at-bats with the
Rangers while hitting 13 home runs and driving in 74. It was by far the
best year of DeRosa's career, before 2006 he had never hit more than eight
home runs or driven in more than 31 runs in a season.
The question about DeRosa's numbers aren't about his time with the Rangers so much as the rest of his career. Here's what he did with Atlanta between 2002 and 2004:
Prior to the 2005 season DeRosa had gotten 975 at-bats and hit 17 home runs and driven in 99 runs. He had slugged .400 just once in his career. In 2003 he on-based .316 and in 2004 he on-based .293.
DeRosa became a free
agent after the 2004 season and signed with the Rangers in January of 2005.
And all of the sudden his bat came to life. In 2005 he got just 148 at-bats
with Texas but slugged eight home runs while posting a 243/325/439
line. If you combine his numbers for 2005 and 2006 he's hit 21 home runs
and 45 doubles in his last 668 at-bats.
There isn't much question about why his numbers got so much better with the Rangers. He started to crush left-handed pitching. Last season he hit 342/394/589 against lefties and a less impressive 278/342/404 against righties. He got many fewer at-bats in 2005, but was downright bad against righties, hitting 191/265/315 while hitting 322/412/627 against lefties. Before he got to Texas he didn't bang around southpaws with nearly the same prowess, however. In 2004, for example, the year that he got his second-most at-bats, DeRosa hit just 233/292/291 against lefties and 242/294/332 against righties.
The question you have to have about DeRosa is not just whether what he can do is hit lefties, it's also whether what he can do is just hit lefties in Texas. It would be unfortunate for the Phillies if they do land him and that proves to be the case, what with not playing in Texas and whatnot.
The good news about DeRosa is that his numbers against lefties last year were good, and his numbers against right-handed pitching still represent an upgrade over the current options at third. You have to think that if DeRosa is being considered for third by the Phils that he's just part of the solution. One of the things that's curious about the Phillies, however, is that at the end of last year they seemed to have a guy that could hit left-handed pitching and play third in Jose Hernandez, but several times down the stretch they went with Nunez against a lefty anyway.
No action in the AFL or the series in Japan.
Todd Zolecki clears the air about whether or not Pat Burrell ever rejected a trade to Baltimore. He also throws the name David Weathers into the ring as a possible reliever that may appeal to the Phils. The righty Weathers turned 37 in September and and threw to a 3.54 ERA in 73 2/3 innings with the Reds this season. He saved 12 games and has 41 saves in his 16-year career.
Akinori Iwamura will be posted today, allowing teams to bid on the right to negotiate a contract with him. So we'll soon see how much interest the Phillies have -- I think it's likely the answer is less than some other team.
Gary Sheffield apparently has a list of teams he'd prefer to be traded to, and if Philadelphia's on it, mums the word.