Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
I am not giving up on Alonso. Yes, he was atrocious for the first half. Yes, he was injured in the second. But he ought to be given another chance. I believe he made some kind of adjustment in the only two weeks he played in between trips to the DL. In those two weeks, the Miami graduate his .421/.477/.737/1.214. Now, basing my faith in him by what he did in a two-week stretch is ridiculous. But he had a decent 2012 and was on pace for an equally decent 2013 until he was hit in the wrist by a pitch, which ended his season. That injury was not his fault. He does not have a case of the Carlos Quentins. Alonso won’t hit for the power that he hit for in the minor leagues while still with Cincinnati. But he can still get on base and be productive.
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Tommy Medica is really streaky. For two weeks, he’s one of the best players in baseball. But he also had a month where he got on base 4 times in 51 plate appearances. It seems as though that slump was a fluke, though. Medica is streaky, but not that streaky. On August 9, he was hit twice by Pirates’ pitching with one hitting the back of his head. He was never the same. Before that game, which is probably a more accurate measure of his season, Medica hit .275/.322/.473/.795. If that were a full season, it would have been better than Alonso has had in his career. While Medica is not as good as Alonso defensively, let’s be honest it’s 1B and neither are Jason Giambi.
Dickerson played in only 41 minor league games in 2014 after suffering an injury that could have ended his career. He hit a fabulous .317/.368/.503/.871 in mostly AA. Dickerson has split time between 1B and RF in the minors. He is above average at 1B defensively, but with only 41 games played last season, he will really have to impress during Spring Training to have a chance. He will likely start 2014 in AA or AAA.
Jake Goebbert probably will start out in AAA. With little power and a low batting average, his ability to draw walks isn’t enough. He hit .218/.313/.317/.630. Despite starting out strong, pitchers may have caught up with Goebbert as he struggled more and more as the season went on.
Ultimately, Quentin should be a DH. But, if for some reason A.J. Preller doesn’t trade him away, FriarsOnBase’s Billy Brost argues that he could go over to 1B.
Bud Black should: As much as I would like to defend Alonso, Medica should get more playing time over at 1B. Alonso should be given some playing time, maybe by throwing Medica out into a corner outfield spot periodically. Alonso needs another chance to prove himself.