Aaron Rowand Should Be Benched By San Francisco Giants
During my time here at Bleacher Report, I've been given plenty of praise and plenty of hate in the comments section of my articles.
Now notice I did not say "fair share" of both, because honestly the majority of criticism is unwarranted.
Am I saying this simply to toot my own horn?
No. I am saying this to point out how sad it is that some baseball fans are no longer going to read my articles because they think it is wrong of me to suggest that the Giants should have their younger and more talented players get more at-bats in place of their under-performing veteran players.
These so called "fans" are the ones who truly disappoint me when they comment and suggest that I "have no baseball knowledge."
Please, I have played the game competitively from as early as age five all the way up until I was 15. Since then I have continued to play recreational as often as I can despite not having the god given talent to play at the elite high school and college levels.
But combine my youth playing days while watching over 200 professional and collegiate games a year since as long as I can remember, and you have my baseball background.
You can shrug it off and tell yourself it isn't much. But I know the game just as well as anyone who gets paid to be a part of a baseball organization.
And because of that, I am writing in an attempt to convince all of you optimists that Giants' center fielder Aaron Rowand is not worthy of a starting position in Major League Baseball with the following line thus far this season:
.231/.265/.408/.673, 5 HR, 19 RBI, 29 K, 5 BB, 18 R, 0 SB
Rowand ranks as the 105th most productive outfielder in baseball in regards to his OPS mark of .673.
Look at it this way, there are 30 teams in baseball, and each team starts three outfielders.
Therefore, in the majors there are 90 starters in the outfield. And Rowand ranks number 105?
Is this a joke?
He is currently in the middle of a five-year 60 million dollar contract and he can't even muster up an OPS amongst the top 90 best outfielders?
That is not just pathetic, that is ridiculously awful.
And while I did not have the privilege of watching Rowand during his best seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox, his current batting stance with the Giants is one of many reasons for his ineptitude at the plate.
All you have to do is watch a Giants game and focus on Rowand's batting stance. Pre-pitch he holds his bat incredibly low—too low to adequately be able to hit a baseball from that position—and while he raises his hands as the pitch is delivered, it creates unnecessary movement that doesn't allow him to adjust to certain pitches.
Combine the movement of his hands with the fact Rowand leans back heavily before the pitch comes and has too much forward momentum as the pitch arrives, and you can see why he continually fails time and time again to hit fastballs on the inner half of the plate.
Not only that, but this stance is what prevented him from being able to turn away from a Vicente Padilla fastball that broke a bone in his cheek earlier this season.
Rowand couldn't move in that situation because his stance doesn't allow him the ability to turn and duck out of the way.
You can bet that the Giants' coaching staff sees these same mechanical flaws in Rowand's approach, but for whatever reason, the "gamer" that the Giants claim Rowand to be, is stubbornly not going to change.
Therefore, when the Giants are looking to add offense anyway they can, why they continue to start Rowand in center field every single night is absolutely puzzling.
Now, in tonight's ball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, it looks like 26-year-old right-fielder Nate Schierholtz will be the one without a lineup spot instead of Rowand.
Due to the new look configuration of the Giants lineup with top minor league prospect Buster Posey being called up, there will have to be a current everyday starter summoned to the bench. And knowing how the Giants operate, it will be Schierholtz riding the pine.
Unfortunately, if that is the case, it will be yet another idiotic move by a franchise that doesn't understand how to build a winner.
Schierholtz has proven to be an absolute stud defender in right field (already has four assists on the season in only 29 starts) and an above average hitter for a team staved for offense.
On the season, Schierholtz has the following offensive line:
.291/.366/.409/.775, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 13 K, 10 BB, 18 R, 4 SB.
As the numbers show, Schierholtz is clearly producing at a better clip than Rowand is and yet Schierholtz, not Rowand will be the one sitting?
Talk about a slap in the face to your fan base.
By benching Schierholtz and not Rowand, the Giants organization is continuing to make the statement that they will start the athlete with the bigger contract instead of the athlete who does more to help the team win.
And that notion is why it is so difficult to be a follower of the Giants.
They continually do not put their best possible team on the field.
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