Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Corey Patterson Update

Well, it looks like CP is on his way.  The only question is who goes and who stays: Lou Montanez or Nolan Reimold?

Montanez is, at very best, a 4th outfielder.  He doesn't play exceptionally good defense, he doesn't hit very well, and he's not very versatile.  Other than that, he brings lots of value.  Roster-wise, it makes the most sense to send him back to Norfolk for Patterson (who at least is capable of playing solid defense at all three outfield positions).

Reimold, though, is really struggling.  He's hitting just .205/.302/.337, and he has made several defensive miscues in the past few games.  However, he has hit safely in five out of his last six games and he remains one of the few players willing to accept a base on balls (walk rate: 11.5%; Reimold, Markakis, Scott and Wieters are the only regulars with a walk rate above 8.0%).  Assuming that he's healthy (a big assumption), Reimold needs to continue to play every day.  His track record suggests that he is a much better hitter than he's currently showing, and he will likely turn things around eventually.

Thus, the question becomes what the team plans to do with Patterson once he arrives: will he platoon in left field with Reimold?  Will he get nearly all the left field at-bats, at least in the near term?  Or is he up just to provide some more bench value than Montanez?  If Reimold won't be getting regular playing time, I'd prefer that he head back to Norfolk to work through his funk.  While he's there, I'd love for him to break out that first baseman's mitt again, too.  I'm not sure who started the meme that Reimold really is better than Pie in left, but that is clearly not true.  If he's going back to Norfolk, he might as well learn a new position while he's there.  And maybe, just maybe, when he comes back up he can replace Garrett Atkins.

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