Spring Training Stats Don't Matter: Example B, Jon Weber

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Spring Training Stats Don't Matter: Example B, Jon Weber
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When it comes to spring training and statistics I am a non-believer. I am obsessed with watching the games, but it is more to get a feel for the players involved and it hardly ever matters to me who won, who lost, or if the players do really well or really poorly. Sure, part of me cringes a little bit if someone has a horrible day, but in the end I realize it is spring and this doesn’t really count (this lead was stolen from example A ).

It seems that when it comes to 32-year-old outfielder Jon Weber and his .588 spring training batting average people have forgotten the uselessness of spring stats. Our former writer Lenny Neslin seems to have fallen in love with Weber, It Is High is wishing there was a spot for him on the roster, and there are plenty of fans falling in line right behind them.

Joe Girardi even said it would be “very possible” that Weber would make the roster out of spring training if he were a righty. So much for having a manager who understands sample sizes (not to mention Weber usually plays late in games against scrubs).

My message to them: Wake Up!

Weber is 32-years old, an age when real major leaguers will start to drop off a little bit even if slightly. I’m expected to believe that at this age Weber has finally gotten hit act together. This is of course after bouncing around the league from Cincinnati to Oakland to Los Angeles, then to Arizona, Texas, and Tampa Bay. Yes, after all those stops the Bronx is going to be the place where he makes a name for himself?

The real story with Jon Weber is that he was signed to fill the role Shelley Duncan and John Rodriguez filled last year: an outfielder for triple-A Scranton. And the two of them had a combined 15 at bats in the big leagues last year which is about what you should expect, at best, out of Weber this year. Even if there is a run of injuries.

Weber might not even get that far. Players like Colin Curtis and David Winfree probably have at least as good a chance as being the first outfielder called up. After all, those two actually have a pretty good chance at being in the organization next year.

We should also not forget that Weber’s best numbers during his career came pre-2005. Right before he was suspended for 15 games for using PEDs.

This rant was not meant to be an anti-Weber rant. Sorry Weber fans if it comes out that way. I’m sure the people of Scranton will really like him in fact. It’s just that hitting .588 in spring training means nothing and I wish people would stop forgetting that.

What do you think? Am I being unreasonable?

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