Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
April 25, 2007
BASEBALL: Happy Endy

You know, I'm not the biggest fan of the Endy Chavez type of ballplayer, the guy who doesn't hit for much power, doesn't draw many walks, doesn't consistently hit .300, and is a good but not great glove man and base thief. Players like that don't make good regulars, and managers often seem tempted to give them too much playing time.

That said, it's almost impossible to dislike Chavez himself, and a guy like this can be a very valuable fourth outfielder, with his ability to cover all three outfield positions defensively and play small ball in the late innings of close games. Last night we saw the classic example of that - I have been watching baseball all my life and can't ever remember seeing a guy get a walk-off RBI by bunting with two outs.

I was thinking this morning that the Mets have actually had a fair number of Chavez-like fourth outfielders in recent years - Mookie (from 1985 onward), Darryl Boston, Joe Orsulak, Timo Perez, Darryl Hamilton. Ryan McConnell is thinking along similar lines, asking if Endy is the best role player in Mets history.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:30 AM | Baseball 2007 | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

What I like most about Endy is his smarts. My understanding is that he was a guy who tried to pull everything until the World Baseball Classic, when somebody spoke to him about using his speed more and trying to go to the opposite field. He obviously worked hard on that and it has paid off for him and the Mets, and seems to be a real change in ability level.

He always hustles and I don't think I've seen him make a bad throw yet. That bunt was one of the most heads-up plays I've seen in a long time.

The legend of Endy grows.

Posted by: mikeski at April 25, 2007 10:32 AM

We liked that Benny Agbayani, too.

Posted by: spongeworthy at April 25, 2007 11:00 AM

Endy is definitely a spectacular fourth OF. I think he could be a decent regular, but only if he was playing between two Manny Ramirez types and needed to cover 3/4 of the outfield.

Posted by: Jerry at April 25, 2007 11:45 AM

What about Game 1 of the 2003 ALDS between Boston and Oakland, where Ramon Hernandez won the game with a bunt single in the 12th? (I understand that Crank probably didn't see the end - neither did I - as the game ended at 3 AM or thereabouts on the East coast.)

Posted by: Dr. Manhattan at April 25, 2007 12:28 PM

You are correct.

That was a great series, although I don't think I saw the end of Game One.

Posted by: The Crank at April 25, 2007 12:35 PM

When he was with the Phillies we called him "Inning Endy" Chavez. Glad you guys have him and not not us.

Don't good backups need the same skills as regulars, if to a lesser degree? It's nice that Chavez is a good OF (maybe-I was never impressed with his outfield play) and can bunt and steal, but he can't hit. The Phillies are discovering Michael Bourn is the same type of player.

With 12 and 13 man pitching staffs chewing up roster spots, bench guys need to be versatile. There's a tendency not to want to use young players in the role, but young guys with defensive skills and decent bats could be, if you will, the John Havliceks of baseball.

Posted by: John Salmon at April 27, 2007 10:14 AM
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