2009 Player Previews - Luis Rivas
Note: this was supposed to be posted yesterday, but I had too much fun with the rant that I'd written. Colin was supposed to write about Neal Cotts way back on Friday, and he's supposed to write about Chad Gaudin today. He assured me he'd write about both via an Email ... so stay tuned.
For all I know, he may not even be on the roster now (have I mentioned how much I dislike following Spring Training) and he certainly won't break camp after Spring Training is over. Instead, I'd like to take this time to talk more about the guy who probably will make the team as the backup middle infielder: Andres Blanco (or maybe Bobby Scales).
But first, a little on Rivas:
- A career .257 hitter, at the age of 23 Rivas was the regular starting shortstop for the Minnesota Twins.
- He has since spent most of his time bouncing around between the Majors and Minors. Last year, he only played in the Major Leagues, batting .218 in 206 at bats for the Pirates.
- Lawdy, he sucks.
This Spring Rivas is batting .231 with no extra base hits. If he's still on the team, it's only because of how desperate the Cubs are to find a backup who can play the left side of the infield.
A better option might be Bobby Scales (GROTA edict: if he makes the team, he must be referred to with an exclamation point after his name. ie: Bobby Scales! got a hit today) Scales has never been called upon to play in the majors, but in 10 minor league seasons he's batting .285. He has modest power and base stealing skills. Most importantly, Bobby Scales can play first, second, third, the outfield, and he's even played shortstop a bit.
His primary competition for the role is Andres Blanco; a guy who's played shortstop and second base with a few tastes of third. In 226 career major league at bats, the lamer Blanco (as compared with Henry) has a .252 AVG. He has no power to speak of and modest speed.
Between the two, I'd have to pick Scales and not just because he has an awesome name. My reasoning is this: versatility. While Scales has never played shortstop a ton, his time playing third and second has convinced me he can play the position in the middle. Besides, in every year of his minor league career but one, Scales has outhit the career averages of Blanco and Rivas.
If only I'd been more accurate in thinking ahead back when I scheduled this post in late February. Ah well.