Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Can Joaquin Arias' defense be trusted?
By Richard Durrett
The interesting case of Joaquin Arias continues. For years, he's been seen as a player with incredible potential and ability, despite some shoulder issues. The club has done everything it could to stay patient with Arias. The timing of his injury this season (back muscle) allowed the club to avoid putting him through waivers.
But manager Ron Washington's comments indicate he was clearly frustrated with Arias after Monday's 6-4 loss in which Arias was involved in two key plays. Lee took the high road, but he called Tampa Bay's 4-run eighth inning "weird" and looked disappointed in the dugout late in the game.
Arias is supposed to provide speed on the bases off the bench for this team and someone who can play multiple positions. But can this team trust Arias' defense? After last night, you have to wonder if Washington does.
It's possible we see very little of Arias from here on out. Even with Micheal Young's pinched neck, the club could put Jorge Cantu at third base, Andres Blanco at second base and play Brandon Boggs in the outfield (with Nelson Cruz on the DL) and avoid having Arias in the field. It's just tough for me to see Washington playing Arias late in meaningful games down the stretch.
Is that too harsh? Was Monday just a bad eighth inning -- he misjudged a shallow fly ball as he wandered all over the place trying to get to it and he tried to start an unrealistic double play rather than get the sure out -- and he should get another shot? What would you do with Arias?