Philadelphia Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. really thought he found his ball club a bargain when he signed Delmon Young to a one-year, $650,000 deal in January. Young, after all, drove in 74 runs with the Detroit Tigers in 2012 when he hit behind a pair of guys who get on base all day in Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. Never mind that Young is an entirely inadequate fielder and walked just 3.3% of the time in 608 plate appearances last season. It’s all about the production, as Amaro stated back in January:
“I don’t care about walks. I care about production. To be frank with you, I’ve said this all along. All of the sabermatricians and all of the people who think they know exactly what makes a good club . . . to me, it’s more about run production and being able to score runs and drive in runs.”
Delmon Young made his first rehab start in High-A with Clearwater on Sunday and it didn’t go so well. The former first overall draft selection of the Tampa Bay Rays went 1-for-4 with a strikeout, but it was his defensive play that has Amaro and the Phillies concerned, via Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Obviously we want his bat, but if he can’t play defense he can’t play in the National League,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “He’s going to have to be adequate out there. Until today he hadn’t screwed up any balls, but today he did. … He’s got to play adequate defense out there for us in right.”
Imagine that, Delmon Young’s viability in the National League coming into question. Just wait until Delmon Young fails to drive in runs for an offense that’s 27th overall in drawing walks. Delmon Young at a $6 million discount compared to his 2012 salary might be a decent fit for some teams, preferably one that plays in the league with a designated hitter. Delmon Young being asked to play right field every day and magically duplicate past RBI totals is nothing but troublesome.
We could cite any of the defensive metrics, such as UZR and DRS, or: we could rely on our eyeballs. I’m more inclined to look at it this way:
Adding Delmon Young to the lineup is going to be like a guy just staring calmly at you while he slices off his ear with a straight razor
— RAD GOGGLES DOG (@Phylan) April 22, 2013
Yup. Delmon Young on the Phillies ain’t gonna work.