What to do with Bellhorn? Plus, Sox sweep Reds

Bellhorn is now 0-4 in tonight’s game with his average down to .235. .235 in the middle of June! Does anyone realistically think that Theo will do anything with Bellhorn? I’m just dissapointed that he and PapaJack have been unable to fix his hitting woes. [THE WELL(S) IN THE HUDSON RIVER comment by Mike]

Good question, Mike.
Mark Bellhorn, since arriving in Boston, has been a lightning rod for his one weakness, the strikeouts. It has plagued Bellhorn wherever he has gone, and it’s a daily topic of conversation (derision?) around these parts. Even the Mark Bellhorn detractors admit that he strikes out too much, but attempt to use the Double Play rule to justify it. Two things. First off, I would rather a guy strike out 90 times, with 20 double plays, 20 extra hits, and 50 outs (including sacrifice bunts, flies, and grounders) than strike out 180 times with 0 double plays. Second, even Bellhorn’s defenders admit he K’s too much. That says something.
Mark Bellhorn (not including last night’s game) is hitting .240/.353/.362. He has 72 strikeouts on the season. By contrast, a second baseman who has been on the block since October (and could very well be on the block again) is hitting .337/.390/.438 with 11 K.
!!!
Obviously, said second-baseman does not have a good OBP differential, but hello, it’s 40 points higher than Mark Bellhorn. Bellhorn also does not have much power this year while said second baseman (okay, so we all know it’s Placido Polanco) has some thump and is hitting .337! A clear upgrade, and one we should have moved for. We should still move if Polanco is on the block.
But, but, but … we have more pressing needs!
Yeah, but what if none that’s out there whets our appetite? Or the GM demands too much? Should we a) stand pat, b) give up too much for a middle reliever or c) improve elsewhere?
Of course, Theo’s first goal must certainly be to shore up the bullpen, but what if nothing out there whets his appetite? He still has to improve this team somehow, and Renteria isn’t going to be shown the door. The only person aside from the pitching staff that could be improved is Mark Bellhorn.
And this was also a pressing question in the off-season.
It’s not like Bellhorn has been facing great hitters. As a matter of fact, his Quality of Opposing Pitchers rests at .245/.323/.390.
Hey, guess who has faced the hardest pitchers in a batting helmet for the Red Sox? Matt Clement! Okay, so that’s kind of cheap. Let’s try position player. It’s John Olerud! At .269/.352/.437. How about easiest? Shawn Wooten and Wade Miller head that up, then David Wells, David McCarty, Bronson Arroyo, Tim Wakefield, and … Mark Bellhorn. Out of any position player currently on the roster, Bellhorn has had the easiest pitchers on the mound.
And yet.
This.
So the answer to your question, Mike, is yes. Yes, if he chooses to focus on position. If he can’t get anything for pitchers, or does and then turns his eyes to offense, second base will be an issue. Not only do we have Mark Bellhorn manning second, our utility guy is Ramon Vazquez. And not to knock Ramon, for he’s a capable utility guy, but … if Bellhorn goes down, Vazquez starts, and that is bad. Bill Mueller could move to second as I propose, but… he’s got cranky legs. So yeah, second base is a position to upgrade.
How about David Wells! Nice game, a 1-hitter. Wells walked two and hit one batter. I took pictures as always, and here are a select few to whet your appetite.
>Manny Ramirez. Alas, he did not HR in the finale of the Reds series. It’s okay, though.
>1 hit! 2nd best pitching performance I have ever seen. (Mike Mussina 8.2 perfect IP v. the Sox remains #1, alas.)
>John Olerud at bat. Olerud and the hot Millar give the Sox devasating production from 1B.
>Future star closer Ryan Wagner. Tek on first, Nixon on third.
>A lego picture of the Red Sox.
>Nope, ER. Ball went in the wrong direction.
>Olerud debuts at first base. Today was the first day I had seen Olerud in person, pretty excited about that. He could, just maybe, make the Hall of Fame. Always gotta get pumped to see a future HOFer.
>They let us go up to the Green Monster before the game to take a picture. Here it is!
>The view from our seats
>Section 29 as the Sox win!
>Adam Dunn. And no, Bellhorn can NOT be compared to Dunn.
>It was Army Day, and thus…
>Dane Sardinha’s first AB in the majors
>Boomah!
>Griffey fouls off ANOTHER one!?
>Griffey. The last time I saw him in person was when I attended the 1999 Home Run Derby. I’m telling you, autograph haven. I got Derek Jeter, Ron Coomer, Harold Baines, Jim Thome, think that was it. Two memories I have is (1) Pedro stealing McGwire’s bat and (2) a kid jumping the field to run up to Griffey and shake his hand. He stood there in awe as Griffey shook his hand then took off and got to CF before being tackled.
> A statue of Cy Young on Northeastern University’s campus. This marks the pitcher’s mound where the former Huntington Avenue Ground were, the old home of the Red Sox, when they won the first ever World Series, 5 games to Pittsburgh’s 3. (They were down 3-1 and then won four straight to win it all … hmm…)
Psst. Last night was the first time that Keith Foulke struck out three batters in an outing and has just allowed one run in the last nine innings. Hi, Keith!
Nice to see the Reds get swept. Take that! You gonna beat us in the World Series this year, boys? I don’t think so! Next up are the Pirates. We’re gonna beat on them good because they were winning against the Yankees last night and blew it in the 9th and lost it in the 10th. The Yankees are now at .500 again – 32-32. They are tied with the Blue Jays for third. The Red Sox rest at 36-29, three back of the Orioles.