Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sell High, Juan Pierre

It's in the title, but we'll elaborate just a bit.

Today is June 16, just over 2 weeks away from Manny Ramirez's return to the Dodgers lineup. Juan Pierre will likely still see a fair amount of playing time, but unless you want to check the Dodgers lineup card at 6:50pm Pacific time every single night to see if Juan is in there, now is the time to unload. Pierre has been electric at the top of the Dodgers order this year, which, in addition to helping the Dodgers win a solid share of close games, has also helped Pierre's confidence snowball and his critics to remain relatively quiet. Pierre leads Dodgers regulars with a .343 batting average, and has more extra base hits this year (14) than he had all of last season (13), despite playing in half as many total games. He has also stolen 16 out of 20 bags, and based on a few replays, "blue" might have taken a few away. A conspiracy against Juan Pierre, you say? No, but umpiring is hit-or-miss, and for whatever reason, Pierre gets a large quantity of misses.

The main point of all this is that there is likely a team in your league that desperately needs stolen bases (and runs), and might take on Pierre, either because they think he'll still play 3-4 times a week, or because they don't play close attention to the ManRam situation. My advice: put in the time. Propose some trades, try to score an undervalued pitcher or infielder. Get SOME value for Pierre now, before he drops off the radar, and you have to drop him off your team. His left arm is still a limp noodle in the outfield, and teams continue to take extra bases against that flimsy little thing, but the power arms of Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier in center and left, respectively, have counterbalanced Pierre's childlike tosses (to a certain extent). Bottom line is that he's not likely to play anywhere besides left, and a handful of games in center, so the playing time can't possibly be THAT large.

Many of you are already aware of this little spot, but with the NBA and NHL Playoffs coming to a close, your attention might have waned. Get back in the game, like I'm trying to do, package Pierre with your 5th starter, and try to score a #3 or #4, or something of the like, and ride that clever play to victory.

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