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Does Michael Young Fit in Philly?

There have been some heavy rumors the Phillies are interested in acquiring the disgruntled Michael Young from the Texas Rangers. Young will not fit in the Phillies system and it would not be worth it for the Phillies to trade for the 33-year old infielder, who is in the middle of a five-year, $80 million contract.

PROS

Right-handed bat: With the absense of Jayson Werth, the Phils are looking to not only replace his production but replace his role in the line up as a right-handed hitter. Young would add the balance to the line up they missed when losing Werth. It was the same argument I made about Vladimir Guerrero, who was a much better hitter than Young.

Infield depth: Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco all have one thing in common: they were all injured in 2010 and are at the point in their careers where injury can reoccur. Utley is the scariest of the three, having missed significant time in each of the last three seasons, playing hurt twice in the World Series and denying it.

Last season, Rollins had a calf injury that caused him to miss over half the season. And at 33, those types of injuries can nag a ball player for the rest of his career. Polanco also had elbow tendinitis last season, an injury that took a lot off that swing.

What Young can add is depth. If one of those three are to get hurt – a scary likelihood – Young would be a very capable enough player to fill right in.

CONS

No place in field: Young is a starter, plain and simple. And unfortunately for him, the Phillies already have the second base, short stop and third base spots filled by every day players. Young would not fit on this team simply for a lack of places to play.

He’s not an outfielder either and I don’t see the Phillies wanting to move one of their infielders, who all play Gold Glove defense (despite Utley never winning one).

The Phillies also have Wilson Valdez, who proved last season that he was a more than capable utility player. Even if Young wouldn’t be an every-day starter, he would have to compete with Valdez, a better fielder, for the fourth spot.

Little success out of Texas: I was looking at some of Young’s numbers in the parks he would be playing in if he were a Phillies. 36 games would be spent in Citi Field (NYM), Sun Life Stadium (FLA), Turner Field (ATL) and Nationals Park (WAS) and another 81 will be played at Citizens Bank Park.

Here are his career numbers at those respective parks:

  • Turner: .222 (2-for-9)
  • Shea (never played in Citi): .083 (1-for-12), RBI
  • Sun Life: .302 (13-for-43), 5 RBI
  • National Park: .188 (3-for-16), 2 RBI
  • Citizens Bank Park: .273 (3-for-11), HR, RBI

To be fair, those are small sample sizes for Young, but at 33 it’s not worth trading away Ben Francisco or Joe Blanton, who are cheaper players that can give the Phillies as much production, if not more at their respective positions.

Also look at his career stats. For making $16 million a season, I don’t think it would be wise to take on a 33-year-old who
has never hit more than 24 home runs and hit over 100 RBIs once (103 in 2006).

So for a player who puts up solid and consistent numbers, he isn’t going to add much to the Phillies unless they know that he is going to play a significant amount of games. And is something that no one can simply predict.

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One response to “Does Michael Young Fit in Philly?

  1. Best Phillies Blogs February 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Michael Young just doesn’t make a ton of sense. The added payroll, even if Texas pays a portion, is just to much to overcome. It would be different if a starting infielder was injured and wouldn’t be ready until the AS break.

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