First, thank God Felix pitches today. We could really use our ace today in hopes of stopping this skid. It’s rare to ever have a must win game in April, and today is not that, but it’s close. 1-5 would be a horrible start, especially considering these are games against division foes. So, on to the post.
Through the first 5 games, our offensive numbers are staggering. 15 runs on just 19 hits and a collective team average of .194! Now, obviously the team won’t average 3 runs and 3.8 hits per game all year long, but how much better can we be? Are we just looking at an awful offensive team like last year? That thought is definitely starting to creep in, despite having 97% of the season still to play. Which leads me to this…
Please, go get Jermaine Dye. This is becoming a no brainer in my opinion. Between these two players, who fills a greater need for the M’s?
Player A hits for decent average but without power, and is a great chemistry guy.
Player B has a good bat and can hit for power and play outfield if needed.
Player B is the obvious choice. Now, the casualty for signing Dye, in my mind, has to be Mike Sweeney, who in this comparison is player A. Perhaps you keep Sweeney and drop Byrnes, but Byrnes provides speed, a good glove, and some bat, which is just what you want from your 4th outfielder.
I realize this team needs offense and Sweeney was swinging a good bat in spring training, but this team needs a power threat whose best attribute is something other than team mascot and chemistry expert. Really, the only scenario where keeping Sweeney makes sense is if the team is playing well, roles are defined, and the clubhouse atmosphere is exceptional. This was the case last year but at some point if you are serious about contending, you can’t afford 2 bench spots for a platoon DH, (Griffey and Sweeney) especially when neither can play defense. Again, you could get away with this last year, but that was when the team was just trying to play .500 ball and bounce back from a 101 loss season, and was not too serious about contending.
I’d keep Griffey over Sweeney because Junior has a little more pop, and he may be needed to keep Bradley happy. Plus, Sweeney’s contract is league minimum. Also, watching Tui play first base just fine the other day tells me Sweeney won’t ever see the field, and so clearly his only role is to platoon at DH with Griffey.
With only a 5 game sample, it’s obvious that offense will be the Achilles heel of this team. Our pitching and defense will be fine, and this being the case, I think you have to take whatever money you were offering Washburn, and offer it to Dye. Sweeten it by a million or whatever is required. I realize Jermaine Dye isn’t the missing piece to a World Series contender, but it is a start, and he gives us a better shot at staying in the race until June/July when we are finally healthy. This just makes too much sense to me. It’s not even worth waiting a week to see if Sweeney stays hot, or our offense suddenly starts averaging 6 runs a game. 2 designated hitters who can do nothing but platoon is too restricting for a team trying to make a run. Jack, go get Jermaine!