Kolten Wong: Odd Man Out?

Recently it was announced that when Jhonny Peralta gets back, he’ll play third base, Matt Carpenter (who is perhaps my favorite player on the team) will shift to second base, and Aledmys Diaz will stay at shortstop.

Where does that leave Kolten Wong? And before you say utility role, isn’t that what we acquired Jedd Gyorko for? We have a deep bench as is. In fact, with Peralta coming back, the bench will be *too* crowded. We’ll have four infield guys  in Wong, Gyorko, Greg Garcia and Ruben Tejada.

(Edit: Tejada’s gone. My bad.)

Wong, our 25 year old second baseman, had a good year last year, hitting .262 with 11 homers and 15 stolen bases along with decent defense at second. He’s struggled this year but he’s still young and has yet to enter his prime.

Peralta, on the other hand, is 34. He admittedly did have a good year last year, hitting .271 with 17 homers and 71 RBI’s and making the All-Star team. Still, he’s past his prime at 34, isn’t very mobile (he stole 1 base last year) and relies on positioning and good hands for his defense rather than athleticism.

So we have two guys, one entering a decline phase (and don’t throw David Ortiz at me. He’s the exception, not the rule.) and one close to entering his prime.

Logic would dictate the younger player would get the most time of the two. After all, he can’t continue to develop if he doesn’t play.

Mike Matheny, however, doesn’t do logic.

Peralta, when he comes back, *will* play. Knowing Mike, he’ll play quite a bit. Wong will be limited to a bench role, or worse, be demoted to AAA to get some actual playing time.

Mike even said it once: “my job isn’t to develop players, that’s what they do at Memphis.” So Wong will either rot on the bench or head back to AAA, or even get traded. Way to show love for the possible future of the team Mike.

Plus there’s the whole “we signed Peralta for a lot of money, he’s gotta play!” thing. Big contracts don’t always guarantee performance. Just ask the Giants about Barry Zito, or the Padres about James Shields. Peralta *may* pick up where he left off last year, but it’s not a sure thing. He’ll be in the lineup regardless. Love ya Matheny…

Quick Hits:

1) The Dodgers Found a New Way To Try To Get Some Favorable Calls

2) Here is a creepy first pitch for you.

3) Bumgarner In The Home Run Derby? Only If We Can Get Colon Too!

 

As always, thanks for reading.

 

  • DFinMOzarks

    Wong isn’t hitting and despite his athleticism and range, his fielding is poor this year. How can Moz send Garcia down when he’s hitting well over 400 and seems to be a clutch hitter? They paid big money for Gyorko and he’s delivering some key hits with 6 HR’s already in limited play. These are the two guys that will be backing up Carp at 2nd and filling in part time at SS and 3rd for Diaz and Peralta when they need a break. You can badmouth Mikey for burning out the regulars. He did that last year with Peralta and Carpenter and to a lesser extent to Wong and Yadi. He’s definitely burning out Yadi this year. But sending Wong down to Memphis will be the decision of Moz and it will be the right move.

    Let Wong get his head straightened out and regain some confidence at the plate and hopefully refine his defense. His range is terrific but his stone hands on easy plays are killing our starting pitchers. Guys like Wacha and Garcia and the rest are seldom getting beyond 5 or 6 innings because they are well over 100 pitches by then. Sometimes it’s their fault but too often they are making up for botched plays on defense. I hope they don’t trade Wong – his potential is too great. He seems like the kind of young player who would take a demotion to AAA well and use the opportunity to improve. If and when that happens, he would be available to replace Garcia ….if he ever slows down with his great offense. Having all this depth (aside from the rotation) has to be a real luxury for Mikey and Moz. Personally, I’m enjoying all this great offense. These guys are seldom out of a game entirely. Makes for some exciting BB.

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