Friday, March 20, 2009

Konerko and Betemit

Yeah, it's been a while. Cry about it it. The tournament is on, give us a break.
But back to baseball for a few minutes.

We need to take a moment to look at how well Konerko and Betemit have been doing so far this spring. Look at the numbers so far...

Konerko - .396 AVG, 4 HR, 3 2B, .431 OBP
Betemit - .324 AVG, 4 HR, 1 2B, .390 OBP

I'll start by talking about Konerko. The White Sox need Paul Konerko to be good this year if they want to have any success. Last year Konerko was kind of down, yeah he had his hot spurts but as a whole not the best year of his career. But every once in a while he has a year that he just rakes. Watching him this spring has made me think that this may be the year (at least I hope). Konerko needs to prove why he still belongs not only on this team but in this league. He has been seeing all of the guys out there that have been finding a hard time getting a job and he has to be thinking to himself, 'I need to do well to keep my job.'

I don't think his impact can be overlooked. A healthy and hitting Paul Konerko makes the Sox lineup an extremely tough one to face. Quentin, Dye, Thome, Konerko with the compliments of Pierzynski and Ramirez makes there 6 good hitters possibly in a row in that lineup. Throw a few role players including some speed and some fundamentals and theres no lapse in the lineup. A Sox lineup with a struggling Konerko just is not as strong as one in which he's going through rough patches.

On to Wilson Betemit. If this blog existed at the time when he was acquired by the Sox I would be able to point to my thoughts on him at the time in writing, but it didn't so you will have to trust me. When I heard Betemit was part of the deal I felt that he could be the best part of that trade. I like Marquez for the future, but I thought then, and I know now, that Betemit is going to impact the 2009 White Sox. Having a good switch hitting utility guy on the bench is key to a winning ballclub. He can play 3rd, 1st, and even a little SS (a very little, he does struggle there, but it's possible and he's done it in the past).

Betemit gives the Sox a lot of flexibility which is something they need. Konerko needs a day off in the field he can DH and Betemit plays 1st, Fields needs a day off Wilson plays 3rd that day, and he's actually a good enough hitter to DH in certain situations (like against some lefties). He basically gives the Sox a 10th everyday player, and I think if he's used properly you will see him a lot and not really notice that regular starters are missing on those days.

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