Base Wars: Episode II: 2nd Base Hopefuls

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By The Soxman

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The success of the 2008 Chicago White Sox is going to hinge on quickly finding answers to a number of tough questions: ranging from the pitching rotation to numerous position battles.  Today, we take a look at the deepest position battle, second base.
 
The Contestants:
 
Danny Richar, .230, 6 HR, 15 RBI, 1 SB (187 Abs)
If there is any such thing as an incumbent at this position, it would be Richar who was essentially handed the starting job after Tadahito Iguchi was traded to the Phillies in late summer.  Richar made some spectacular defensive plays, showed good range, and showed some offensive pop, despite a sub-par batting average and a HORRIBE on-base percentage (.289).  Still, if given 500 Abs, he could produce 15 HRs and 50 RBI hitting in the number nine spot. Unfortunately, he has already fallen out of favor this spring after having visa issues and reporting late.
 
Juan Uribe, .234, 20 HR, 68 RBI, 1 SB (513 ABs)
With a career on-base percentage of .294, and a shortstop for most of his MLB career, Uribe signed a $5 million dollar contract early in the fall only to be “rewarded” by losing his starting shortstop job after the Sox added Orlando Cabrera in a trade with the Angels.  He’s said to have shown up at camp in better shape and with a positive attitude.  If he can win the starting job and adjust to second, his cannon arm could assist in turning a number of double plays.
 
Alexei Ramirez, .335, 20 HR (Cuba)
The total wild card of this race as he is a Cuban star without one MLB at bat.  Rarely does a Cuban exile position player make the jump immediately to the Major Leagues, but he appears to have Ozzie in his corner early.  Ozzie has been impressed by how he charges every ground ball hard and tries to finish every play.  How his power, batting average and speed will translate to the majors is anyone’s guess.
 
Pablo Ozuna, .244, 0 HR, 3 SB (78 ABs)
Ozuna has a career OBP of .323, and in 2006 had a career year with a .328 BA.  He has never had more then 200 Abs in any of his seven major league seasons.  Best suited as the utility player and “must start” vs. C.C. Sabathia, as he has owned him throughout his career.
 
“The Low Down”
Soxman believes that Uribe, an experienced veteran, will be given every chance to win the starting second base job if he is not traded to the Baltimore Orioles by opening day.  Otherwise, this battle truly is anyone’s to win.
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Comments

  1. Paul (Sports Ace) THX for coming out and supporting the American League of Justice on Friday. Second base should be an interesting battle for the Sox, much like your mad “battling” skillz on the dance floor. You and Sarah Spain should be dance partners on “You Think You Can Dance.” Much Respect- SM

  2. Well, I have downloaded “Crank That,” Soul Ja Boy on YouTube enough times that I think I’ve mastered the steps by now =). Thanks!
    I’m sure she has much better footwork than I do…
    Morgan’s is a fun place, that whole University Village area near UIC seems really cool. I bet it rocks in the summer. Our White Sox version of Wrigleyville!

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