It’s time to start losing (the vets)
It’s really getting about that time; if these veterans who are going to stick around as lumps and just chump up this offense then they’re going to have to stop getting preferential treatment. By that I mean, as veterans, they do come first in getting a fair shake out on the diamond, and whether you like it or not that’s what’s happening here.
A manager cannot just walk into a clubhouse and start slashing and burning, that’s the easiest way to kill morale and turn the team against you. You may not like it but it’s simple diplomacy and management of a clubhouse. I know you hear it more than you want to, but managing a club is more than just putting together a lineup and picking the right guys to pitch out of the pen.
Unfortunately for manager Brad Ausmus it’s looking like that “fair shake” time is running out for veterans like Zack Cozart and Justin Bour. I don’t mean their time is running out as in “it has begun”, I mean it in the sense that they are at the very tail end of their time. If they can’t put it up, and I hate to say it, in a must win series, then they have no business being full-time starters.
I know that no one wants to hear the phrase “must-win” yet, but unfortunately that’s what it’s come to. This is a divisional battle against a tough division opponent and you never want to drop those series whether they’re early season or late season, it all has the same impact. Maybe just a little more for the Angels given their need to really turn the burners on, especially against divisional foes
At this point there is no real argument for giving those veterans them time over prospects who are more than ready to contribute to the MLB club. Matt Thaiss has proven he can hit not just big league pitching, but hit in situational matters as well.
As a lefty first baseman he makes the perfect platoon fit for Albert Pujols, who is surprisingly, and sadly, one of the more productive hitters on this team. On the other hand we have Taylor Ward ready to take over for Cozart or at least split time with him as he has continually failed the Angels with hit bat over and over again.
Even if you aren’t sold on Ward you can still offer the argument that Jose Rojas, one of the young stars in Spring Training, has shown a similar competency to Thaiss. They can both put up competitive at-bats against big league pitchers and they’re both reliable hitters to have in situational matters.
There are plenty who would argue that it’s still a tinge too early to bring them up and that’s an understandable position, but at the same time if guys like Bour and Cozart struggle to pick up any semblance of improvement over this Mariners series then there’s really no reason they should continue to be de-facto starters.