Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Helton, Youkilis and Lowell

The trade talks involving Boston and Colorado are resurfacing slowly but surely, like that nagging headache that just won't go away even after your sixth Advil. Perhaps it is because the Rockies are actually in town, perhaps it's because the Sox have spluttered a little offensively lately, but there's no doubt about it, people who talk about this kind of thing are talking about it again.

Whatever about the various pros and cons to Helton coming to Boston and Mike Lowell and others going to Colorado, I want to bring up a related topic that no one seems ready to talk about. In almost all the trade suggestions. particularly the one involving the Rockies, it is assumed Kevin Youkilis would move back to third and Helton or whoever (Mark Teixeira is another example) came in would move to first.

Here's the thing, Youkilis is clearly a superb first baseman, with great hands and superior range around the first base bag. Most people would agree, he is an average third baseman. Whatever it is about the position, Youkilis clearly is in charge at first base. He has frequently been lauded for his play at first base, and has saved the team many runs with his excellent glove work. Whilst he sometimes looked a little 'clunky' at third, it is very obvious he has found a defensive home at the first base bag.

Mike Lowell and Kevin Youkilis

It is just another aspect to any trade the Sox feel like making involving Lowell. Moving Youkilis back to third would potentially mean a downgrade defensively at first and third base.

Personally I am completely against trading Mike Lowell. He is a class act, a superb bat and a hall of fame third baseman. Even with a couple of weird hops and unusual errors this season he is still the all time leading third baseman in terms of fielding percentage. First and third base simply aren't an issue right now. The Sox should be more worried about other positions or the bullpen.

Helton seems like a nice guy, but frankly I hope he goes 0 for Fenway this week, while Lowell continues to do what he has been doing, smacking in runs and driving the Red Sox forward.

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Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

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