Friday, October 20, 2006

Keep Teahen at Third

With the offseason in full bloom for most teams, baseball writers and fans are doing what we do best--we talk about the next season. On the Royals website recently, Dick Kaegel addressed the possibility of Mark Teahen switching to the outfield next season. Kaegel says that Teahen is "likely to be tried in the outfield during Spring Training to see if he'd adapt to a corner outfield spot..."

Given that Teahen missed so many games this season (either due to injury or his brief stint in Omaha), he didn't have enough chances at third base for to be ranked for his fielding percentage among third baseman, but if he did, he wouldn't have been toward the top. He committed 14 errors and had a .958 fielding percentage. Assuming his percentage would have stayed the say, he would have been ninth in the AL behind Melvin Mora, and miles ahead of A-Rod (who had a pitiful .937 fielding percentage). He would have been 13th in MLB if his percentage had remained the same, but such analysis is probably not fair since many other third baseman would have figured into the mix as well if they'd had enough chances.

So, Teahen is hardly a gold glove candidate at third base, but he did improve his fielding percentage from .947 to .958 from his first year to his second and his work with Buddy Bell seems to be paying off regarding his footwork--which was close to atrocious when he first came up. He's a natural at making the bare-handed throw. And he seems settled in to me. I only see him getting better, both on the field and at the plate. So, I'm not crazy about moving him to the outfield as he enters his third season. I'd much prefer to see Gordon taking fly balls this spring.

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