Monday, March 2, 2009

The Horrifying Truth

For some of you, Spring Training is a sign that baseball is just around the corner, and that Spring (the season) is in the air. For me, it's a sign that Spring is still a good two months away (fucking Chicago weather), and an indicator of every possible thing that could go wrong. Seriously, if I were a Cubs fan, I would be panicking about how the Cubs were going to cope with Bradley and Harden missing significant time.

Instead, I find myself poring over Dayan Viciedo's numbers and tearing my hair out. How could I be so worried when the kid is hitting? See, Viciedo has a couple of interesting traits that some Sox fans may find all too familiar...and all too scary.

First of all, Viciedo is Cuban. This is not so much troubling because every other person over 100 lbs looks like Dr. Foreman on House, but because we don't know how old Viciedo really IS. The Sox paid a lot of money because he's "young", but the guy is making boatloads more than currently-on-the-roster Alexei Ramirez because of his youth potential. If Viciedo turns out to be, say, 24 (and I wouldn't be all that surprised), that turns into a lot of money down the shitter. Kinda like Juan Uribe, who was supposed to only get better with age, but actually just sorta crapped out after his first season out of Colorado.

Second, Viciedo is overweight. He has been overweight, he is overweight, and he will be overweight. Weight doesn't scare me because of injury - it scares me because of the big swing that comes with it. Giant "screw contact I'm going to swing like Grimce chasing a bumblebee" swings are the sort of thing that kills rallies and results in ugly strikeouts. Likewise, the extra weight kills the speed that was once standout when younger, but now looks like poor baserunning...kinda like Juan Uribe.

Even more interesting is that Viciedo is coming from an advantageous situation where he dominated (AAAA Cuban basebal like Uribe came from Colorado's launchpad) has a cannon arm (like Uribe), does jazz hands after a HR (like Uribe), fields unconventionally (Uribe), got overpaid for proving little (Uribe), will be pushed into a utility role (Uribe), and doesn't have a spot on the team this year (Ur- you get the point). Frankly, that's a whole lot of carry over and coincidence...just enough to get me worried.

I'm not saying that Viciedo will turn into a horribly disappointing fat tub of shit that infests our infield...but I'm not ruling out the possibility either. Keep your fingers crossed.

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