San Francisco Giants: Why Cody Ross Should Start Instead of Jose Guillen

Bleacher ReportContributor ISeptember 5, 2010

San Francisco Giants: Why Cody Ross Should Start Instead of Jose Guillen

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    SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 31: Cody Ross #13 of the San Francisco Giants is tagged out by Miguel Olivo #21 the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park on August 31, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    A few weeks ago, the Giants acquired Jose Guillen in order to give them an extra bat to push them into the playoffs. About a week later, the Giants were awarded Cody Ross off waivers.

    Since then, Jose Guillen has been the starting right fielder, with Cody Ross getting occasional playing time. This is a poor decision for several reasons...

National League Experience

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    HOUSTON - APRIL 20:  Right fielder Cody Ross #12 of the Florida Marlins makes a catch on a fly ball of the bat of J.R. Towles of the Houston Astros in the fourth inning at Minute Maid Park on April 20, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Im
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Over the past five seasons, Cody Ross has played 590 games in the National League, getting to know the National League pitchers very well. Jose Guillen, in contrast, has played just 85 games in the National League during that span.

    Brian Sabean is a man who values experience, which explains why he's filled his team with Rowand, Renteria, Burrell, Huff, and of course, Jose Guillen. But in terms of league experience, Cody Ross is clearly more qualified, having gotten to know the National League (parks, pitchers, and other subtle nuances) very well.

    Not to mention that Guillen didn't play well his last time in the National League: In 2006 with the Washington Nationals, he batted just .216 in 69 games. 

Energy

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    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 13:  Outfielder Cody Ross #12 of the Florida Marlins is congratulated after scoring a run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on June 13, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Positive energy can go a long way: This has been shown by the Giants who have performed well with the positive energy brought by Huff, Torres, and Burrell.

    Cody Ross was deemed a great clubhouse guy in Florida, bringing with him a lot of energy and positive support. Jose Guillen, on the other hand, is notorious around the majors for being a clubhouse poison, which ultimately culminated in his being designated for assignment by the Kansas City Royals this year.

    Additionally, Cody Ross is five years younger than Jose Guillen. 

Splits

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    MIAMI - APRIL 11:  Right fielder Cody Ross #12 of the Florida Marlins and catcher A.J. Ellis #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers follow Ross' hit at Sun Life Stadium on April 11, 2010 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
    Doug Benc/Getty Images

    Cody Ross has shown more versatility in 2010 in terms of his ability to hit and right-handed and left-handed pitching.

    Jose Guillen has batted just .217 this year against left-handed pitchers with only one home run, as opposed to .275 against right-handed pitchers with 16 home runs. Cody Ross, however, has shown the ability to hit both lefties and righties: He's batted .283 this year with six home runs against lefties and .260 with five home runs against righties. 

Power

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    WASHINGTON - APRIL 19:  Cody Ross #12 of the Florida Marlins rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on April 19, 2009 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    Although Jose Guillen has hit more home runs this year than Cody Ross, Cody Ross probably has more power.

    Over the past three seasons, Jose Guillen has averaged a slugging percentage of .410 per season. Cody Ross, on the other hand, have averaged a slugging percentage of .452 per season over the past three seasons.

    During his short time with the Giants this year, Guillen's power has been nearly non-existent, as he's had an ISO of .077, equivalent power to Michael Bourn and Scott Podsednik.

Speed

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    JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  Second baseman Skip Schumaker #55 of the St. Louis Cardinals takes the throw as Cody Ross #12 of the Florida Marlins steals second base during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium on February 25, 2009 in Jupiter, Florid
    Doug Benc/Getty Images

    Cody Ross is much, much faster than Jose Guillen.

    This is an important tool, as it can keep rallies going, allow him to score from first on extra bases hits, etc.

    An example of this is the fact that Cody Ross has stolen 20 bases over the past three seasons as opposed to Jose Guillen's dismal four stolen bases. 

Defense

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    NEW YORK - MAY 31:  Cody Ross #12 of the Florida Marlins in action against the New York Mets during their game on May 31, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Jose Guillen's defense is a clear liability for the Giants. The range he covers in right is minimal, and it's clearly allowing the opposition to score more runs.

    For example, when Chad Billingsley hit a line drive to right field on Friday, Jose Guillen failed to make a catch that Cody Ross would've made easily.

    Jose Guillen posted a minus-17.6 UZR last year with the Royals, meaning his defensive skills cost them about 18 runs. There's a reason why Jose Guillen was a designated hitter in Kansas City, and Cody Ross was a center fielder in Florida.