Ramon Vazquez: I Might Not Make the Team

Interesting piece on Ramon Vazquez in the P-G:

"They told me I'm not on the team right now," the Pirates' veteran utility infielder said, visibly displeased after a 3-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles Wednesday night at McKechnie Field...

An MRI ordered by the team in September showed no surgical issues. But, after continuing pain, arthroscopic surgery was performed in November by the Pirates' physician, Dr. Patrick DeMeo, to repair a small tear in the knee's cartilage.

"We needed infielders, and they told me they needed me," Vazquez said. "I wish now I could have gotten that surgery done a lot earlier, so I could play winter ball and come here a lot better prepared to make this team."

Vazquez's decision to tough it out might make him a good team player, but that doesn't mean he's a good player for this team. I'm glad the Pirates have told him he's not a lock to make this team, because he shouldn't, and yet every indication before today was that he would. I was somewhat happy when the Pirates signed Vazquez last offseason, but it looks like the nice season he had in Texas in 2008 was a career year, and looking over his career numbers now, it looks like seasons like the one he had in 2009 are closer to the norm than 2008 was. Even if we grant that the knee contributed to his struggles, he's now a 33-year-old with a .678 career OPS. His comments also make it sound like the knee is going to continue to affect him. I'm not seeing much upside here.

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