Barring an unforeseen trade for a shortstop, for the remainder of the second half it looks like we really only have 3 realistic choices. Below is a quick overview of their YTD stats:
-Clint Barmes: .204 / .227 / .298 with 15 extra base hits in 245 ABs (9 errors)
- Jordy Mercer: 287 / .357 / .421 with 19 extra base hits in 209 ABs (7 errors)
- Chase d'Arnaud: .213 / .319 / .337 with 19 extra base hits in 202 ABs (11 errors)
Admittedly our options aren't great. Obviously the Mercer and d'Arnaud numbers are from Indy. But if Barmes continues to hit at this pace, do you consider giving Chase or Jordy am extended test run? Personally, I do.
Just going with the eye test and not relying on advanced metrics, Barmes appears to be an average defensive shortstop who does flash a great play here and there, but also flashes the occasional erratic arm. His approach at the plate appears to be just awful, waving at stuff out of the strike zone consistently and showing very little patience. His ability to consistently get 'good wood' on the ball appears to be non-existent this year as well.
Mercer looked pretty smooth and natural at the shortstop position in his VERY limited major league time there this year. His rep seems to be that of a pretty good defensive player with decent range. Last year he showed some pop in the minors, though this year that seems to have disappeared some.
d'Arnaud feels a little JHay-ish to me, in that in his time up last year, I think he became a bit of a fan favorite because of his speed and his hustle. He looked like an explosive athlete out there and he can flat out fly. Nobody ever talks about the fact that he is 23 for 23 in stolen base attempts this year. I dont know if I'm overly impressed by that because my view has been tainted by watching Tabata, Pressley, JHay and even Cutch get such poor jumps when trying to steal or not? From memory, Chase seemed to play more 3b than SS last year in the Bigs, and his glove was very inconsistent, wasn't it? Flash a great play, boot an easy one. And his 11 errors this year indicate that of the 3, it appears as if d'Arnaud may be the weakest at this stage defensively.
If it was me, I'd let Barmes have through July. If he is still showing no life at all with the bat, I'd turn to Mercer since he appears to be a better defensive player than d'Arnaud. Although admittedly watching Chase fly around the bases is something I want to see again. But I guess we'll have to wait until September call-ups for that.
Am I the only one who gets excited just thinking about the September call-ups FINALLY having meaning to actually winning games? d'Arnaud as a pinch-runner, maybe Cole as a one-inning guy throwing 100 MPH heat, Slaten and even maybe Justin Wilson as extra lefties in the pen for situational use, Clement as a power bat off the bench (if he isn't already up by then, which he should be IMO), Meek / Morris / Wood as 95 MPH arms for any extra inning games.