I don't mean to dampen your mood, what with all the Cody Ross excitement and all (we totally have another outfielder, everybody!), but the Scutaro trade has left us in a bit of a bind. We knew going into this trade that we were essentially creating a large problem to chip away at another problem. Although, we all expected the Sox to announce the signing of Roy Oswalt, not Cody Ross.
But it's not until you take a deeper look at the problem we just created in short that you really begin to question this trade. And Eric Seidman of fangraphs.com has done just that. Brace yourselves:
In approximately 30 percent of his career plate appearances, Aviles has a very good .350 wOBA against lefties, compared to a .307 mark against same-handed righties. However, those career splits include his rookie 2008 campaign, when he hit .325/.354/.480, put up a .360 wOBA and posted a +11 fielding mark. Suffice to say, he hasn’t come close to those stats since, and his 2009-11 numbers are more indicative of his expected output.
Essentially, the Red Sox have two shortstops that can’t hit, and only one that can field. Plus, the good glove belongs to a 34-year old part-time player that hasn’t played over 100 games since 2009 and hasn’t spent more than 500 innings at the position since 2008. The Red Sox offense will still produce well, especially if Carl Crawford regresses, but it isn’t yet clear that the trade-off of the shortstop position for Oswalt is beneficial to the team. This isn’t a traditional platoon in any sense of the term, and it’s hard to envision how this tandem will pay dividends over the course of a long season.
Replace "Oswalt" with "Cody Ross" and the outcome is even worse. The only positive to come from this is the "PuntoViles Platoon" nickname Seidman created. I'm on-board with that.
In fairness, the Sox aren't looking for a triple-crown candidate to fill in at short. The offense will take care of itself. They just want a solid contributor on offense and a competent glove in the field. I think the PuntoViles Platoon can provide just that.
But I still don't believe the Sox made this move to go after Ross. Unless they plan on shipping Kalish off for some pitching help, and plan on getting creative to fill the void in Right next year and beyond. In fact, Jose Canseco has thrown his name into the ring, tweeting that he'd like a tryout with the Sox. He's only 47. Surely he has 3 or 4 good years left in his syringe (badum tss!).
Whatever Cherington's plans are, they certainly can't end with Cody Ross. But if you need me, until the curtain is pulled back and his master plan is revealed, I'll be over here scratching my head.