Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Leone out: proves he's not a "Gamer"

Justin Leone is out for the rest of the season with a couple of broken bones in his left hand. Listen to Bob Melvins reaction reported in the Times:
It's really too bad," Mariners manager Bob Melvin said. "After his first three weeks, teams have had a chance to scout him. And he was in the stage of adjusting, a time when you can really tell about a young player.
"When you play the game, you get an opportunity, and this was his big chance, and now this happens. It takes the edge off this game."

Does that sound to anyone else like Melvin is just about ready to write Justin off? The way I'm reading between the lines is: "The success he had to this point was probably just a result of being new in the league, and we were about to find out what he's really like. This was his chance to prove himself, but now he got himself injured, and he's gonna be really rusty now. Too bad for him." That may be to pessimistic of an interpretation, but nothing I've read has Melvin commending any aspect of what Leone has done so far in the big leagues.

Sure, Leone hasn't been the next Scott Rolen, but his low batting average is somewhat misleading. Though he hit only .216 in his brief stint in The Show, he also hit 6 home runs, and showed enough power to bump his OPS to .739, right between Edgar Martinez and Bret Boone. Melvin is right about needing to see Leone more to really see what he can do in the big leagues, though his minor league stats aren't completely irrellevant, as Bill Bavasi would have us believe.

What's unfortunate is that third base will probabaly be manned by a combination of Bloomquist, Speizio, and Ramon Santiago, none of whom are long-term or short-term solutions.

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