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Time For A Change

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I've spent a lot of time ripping on Chan Ho Park this season, but I need to give the man credit where credit is due. Park pitched one of his best games in recent memory on Saturday, even if he did almost become the answer to yet another trivia question after C.C. Sabathia's blast. I'm still going to dread every moment he's on the mound, but you have to give the man credit for having a pitchers duel with Sabathia.

On a less positive note, it's time to seriously consider ending the Blake DeWitt experiment. Look at his numbers at different points in the season.

March 31st - April 26th 64 PA .255/.359/.327
April 27th - May 17th 56 PA .404/.446/.750
May 18th - June 22nd 112 PA .212/.270/.257

The idea that Blake DeWitt is a productive major leaguer comes entirely from that 56 plate appearance stretch and his first three games where he was hitting .556. Outside of those 56 plate appearances DeWitt has been a sub replacement level player on a team that desperately needs offense. You can argue that DeWitt has earned the right to have a slump but at this point in his career, he's had over three times as many bad plate appearances as good ones, and the good ones have come in a sample size so small they can be easily written off as a fluke. Anyone can go out of their mind over the span of 56 plate appearances. Jose Castillo once had a 1.276 OPS in 83 PA. Chris Shelton put a 1.716 OPS in 54 PA, and neither of those guys has done anything productive since then.

The solution isn't to put DeWitt into a platoon with Andy LaRoche, or to move him to second to replace Jeff Kent, it's to get him off the active roster. DeWitt needs to go down to Vegas, continue the development that we rapidly accelerated, and start putting in serious time at second so he can be an option for next year. If DeWitt makes some improvements, he can be an option there instead of praying Furcal's back heals or throwing a massive wad of money at Orlando Hudson. Also remember Joe Torre is completely infatuated with DeWitt, and the only way to keep him from playing is to take him away.

Blake DeWitt's stock has risen in my eyes during his time in the bigs. The big knock against him coming into this year was a total lack of plate discipline and he's greatly improved that this year. DeWitt can still be a productive big leaguer in the future, it's just that no one thought that he would be in 2008, and those predictions were entirely right.