Friday, March 11, 2005

Hall to the OF?

From Adam McCalvy's Brewers notes on the official site:

Position switch: Is it time to add Bill Hall to the list of Brewers backup outfielders?

Urging reporters to not "make a big deal out of this because it ain't a big deal," Yost said he spoke with Hall on Thursday morning about getting some experience in center field during Spring Training. Hall started Thursday's game at shortstop, his natural position.

"Right now, we've got David [Krynzel] and we've got Brady [Clark], but we'd like to put Billy in the outfield this spring," Yost said. "It gives us another option."

Why Hall?

"Billy is so athletic," Yost said. "Out of everybody that we've got on the infield, he is by far the guy that you can do that with. He is athletic enough to play center field, or to play left field."

Hall said he had only played three games in center field in his whole life -- at Triple-A Indianapolis under then-manager Cecil Cooper. On Thursday, Hall shagged fly balls in center field during batting practice, and Yost said Hall may play center field in a "B" game next week.

"It's something you have build up your arm to," Hall said. "Whatever is going to get me more ABs [at-bats], I'm definitely up for."

I will state right now that I firmly oppose any plan that is devised to give Billy Hall more playing time. I will refuse to bend on this belief. The man has really done nothing in a Brewers uniform, aside from two magical nights last April. Sentimentality is an important part of the game for a lot of fans, but how does Bill Hall's 2004 line of: .238/.276/.374 help the Brewers win ball games? It doesn't. Hall's MLB OBP has yet to break the magical .300 mark, and his defense has been nothing special, either. However, despite all of this, some Brewers fans tend to think that Hall should play every day at SS to give Hardy more time to learn at AAA. Really, it's Hall that could use more seasoning in AAA, being that his career minor league OBP was a sparkling .309.

Now, there is one potential upside resulting from moving Hall to the OF. That would be that it would give the Brewers an opportunity to send Dave Krynzel to Nashville to work on his plate discipline and offensive game in general. Also, it may be a bit of an indicator that Doug Melvin has soured a bit on Magruder-type guys and would maybe try to make a deal to acquire a legitimate back-up CF like Marlon Byrd or Willie Harris.

I will give Hall a little break: he's only 25. But, he has really shown that he is nothing more than a utility IF with a little pop.

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