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MODEST PROPOSAL
April 04, 2011
Ben Zobrist was one of the game's best stories in 2009, making the All-Star team, earning MVP consideration and reaching career highs in, well, everything. He also played seven positions, and he signed a four-year, $18 million contract on the strength of that performance. In '10, however, he was a disappointment, slipping to .238/.346/.353 with just 10 home runs. After using him primarily in rightfield and at second base last year and starting him 144 times, the Rays should pull back on Zobrist's playing time now that they have options at all the positions where he might play. Sean Rodriguez and Reid Brignac may well be the best defensive middle infield in the AL and should play every day; Matt Joyce, when healthy, is a much needed lefthanded power source in right. Free-agent pickups Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez will eat at bats in leftfield and at DH. Turning Zobrist back into a supersub, starting four times a week at up to six positions, will reduce the team's reliance on his bat while providing Joe Maddon a valuable tool for keeping his somewhat fragile roster healthy.
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April 04, 2011

Modest Proposal

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Ben Zobrist was one of the game's best stories in 2009, making the All-Star team, earning MVP consideration and reaching career highs in, well, everything. He also played seven positions, and he signed a four-year, $18 million contract on the strength of that performance. In '10, however, he was a disappointment, slipping to .238/.346/.353 with just 10 home runs. After using him primarily in rightfield and at second base last year and starting him 144 times, the Rays should pull back on Zobrist's playing time now that they have options at all the positions where he might play. Sean Rodriguez and Reid Brignac may well be the best defensive middle infield in the AL and should play every day; Matt Joyce, when healthy, is a much needed lefthanded power source in right. Free-agent pickups Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez will eat at bats in leftfield and at DH. Turning Zobrist back into a supersub, starting four times a week at up to six positions, will reduce the team's reliance on his bat while providing Joe Maddon a valuable tool for keeping his somewhat fragile roster healthy.

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