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May 18, 2006

Theo Epstein Genius Watch, 2006 Edition

With Nomar Garciaparra currently reigning as the NL Player of the Week, this seems like a good time to check in on the Theo Epstein Genius Watch.

Today's featured position: Shortstop.

Let's review:
Summer 2004 -- Traded franchise shortstop and former Rookie of the Year Nomar Garciaparra.
Winter 2004 -- Let Gold Glove winner / World Series champion Orlando Cabrera walk.
Winter 2005 -- Traded Gold Glove & Silver Slugger winner Edgar Renteria. Traded "shortstop of the future" Hanley Ramirez. Signed Alex Gonzalez.

Hmm. That's 4 shortstops gone, and Alex Gonzalez currently filling the position. Wondering how everyone's doing this year?

Garciaparra -- Currently batting .337 with 5HR and 25 RBI in just 23 games, riding an 11-game hit streak and current NL Player of the Week. OK, he's playing first base, not shortstop, but he's the only regular 1B in the NL without an error yet.

Cabrera -- Batting .275 and currently on pace for over 100 runs, almost 100 RBI, and almost 30 steals.

Renteria -- Batting .333 (leading NL for shortstops) and set a new Atlanta Braves team record for longest hitting streak to start a season (24 games).

Ramirez -- Living up to the hype, contending for Rookie of the Year honors, batting leadoff for the Marlins, hitting .331 and on pace for 40 steals and 140 runs.

Gonzalez -- Batting .206 and slugging .290 (just 7 extra-base hits). On pace for just 50 RBI and 35 runs. (Admittedly, great fielding with only 1 error so far this year, but is that going to make up for over 100 fewer runs produced?)

So, in the last season and a half, Theo has managed to get rid of four shortstops all leaps and bounds better than the one he ended up with. Genius?!?

Posted by JoshHornik at May 18, 2006 11:57 PM

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