Thursday, April 1, 2010

The question of Johnson and Blum

In Bernardo Fallas' recap of today's loss to the Tigers, he has an interesting note about how Mills plans to fill the defensive void of Lance Berkman's absence:

Mills said Geoff Blum will be the starter at first base come opening day Monday, but he is contemplating having Johnson at third base and Feliz at first for subsequent games, particularly when facing lefthanded pitchers.

Now this is interesting. Because there have been questions about Chris Johnson's glove, especially as he committed four errors in 40 chances this Spring. I understand keeping Feliz in the lineup, but wouldn't it make more sense to put Johnson at first, where that .900 Fld% would be minimized?


OremLK said...

It's likely because Feliz has 101 games of experience at first base in the majors and I don't think Johnson has played any first base as a pro. Although I think he played some in college, so maybe he'd be capable.

The Constable. said...

I understand that. Isn't 1B the least defense-oriented position? I've never played a day of professional (and barely some amateur, if you want to call it that) baseball, so I clearly don't know the demands of the position firsthand. But I also know that Carlos Delgado played 1B. So...could it be harder than 3B?

OremLK said...

Oh, no, you're absolutely right, 1B is the easiest position on the field and the one with the least positional value.

However, there are still some specific skills related to being a first baseman which aren't really involved in the other corner spot (making good stretches and picks, leading the pitcher, etc), so perhaps the management feels more comfortable putting Feliz there because he has more experience doing those things. Perhaps they are worried about costly errors because Johnson doesn't have much experience at first base.