Carlos Quentin, an old pal from my broadcasting days back at Stanford, has finally made it to the big leagues with the Diamondbacks this past week. I say finally, because despite the fact that he has long had nothing left to prove in the minors, he has been trapped behind the outfield logjam of “experienced veterans” Shawn Green, Eric Byrnes, and Luis Gonzalez, despite the fact that, frankly, he is probably already better than all of them at this stage in their careers.

Take a moment and check out Quentin’s career numbers in the minor leagues and college. As you can see, his lowest OPS at any level of the minors or college was .912 way back when he was only a sophomore at Stanford. In fact, Quentin’s numbers in the minors were considered to be so good, that Snakes manager Bob Melvin had to despell a rumor that Luis Gonzalez was going to be permanently benched when Quentin was called up.

Sure enough, Quentin has gotten off to a booming start, sluggin 3 homeruns in his first 6 games and compiling a 1.478 OPS.  And yet, the D-Backs are only fitting Quentin into the lineup every other day.  To be sure, Quentin is not going to maintain these numbers for a whole season, but surely he should be in the lineup every day, given the alternatives–a Shawn Green who is a pale, pale shadow of his once 40-homer self, an always entertaining but inadequate Eric Byrns, and a tired old Luis “could he possibly have hit 57 homers that year?” Gonzalez, who’s once prodigous power has almost completely evaporated now that he has gone off the juice.

No Responses to “Snakes need to find more PT for Quentin”

  1. Not to take anything away from everyon’es favorite hefty hero, but there are two more factors at play:

    #1- Every time he comes up (or even into the on deck circle) when the game is on the line, the game HAS to change for pitchers. His “clutch” performances are noted by late relievers who rely on intimidating mound presences, steely nerves and more confidence than any other players on the team. Papi’s walk-offs are gaining exponential momentum in a way, because pitchers absolutely fear him, and when this happens, they are unable to bare down and pitch “their game”. (Timid pitchers always get torched.) This reminds me of Barry Bonds in 2001 in this respect. Yeah, the guy is scorching, and when a hitter gets locked in like this, pitchers try too hard while getting away frm the things that make them successful. I think it matters.

    #2- Papi should be tested for the performance enhancing substance, “PMS”- Papi’s Mango Salsa. Its clearly giving him an edge.

  2. I’m one of those stat-heads who don’t believe in the existence of “clutch-hitting”. Actually, let me rephrase that. I believe in clutch hits. You see them a lot. I don’t believe in any innate ability to produce them. David Ortiz is a top three hitter in the bigs. But I’m with Jeb’s first point on this one. Pitchers want nothing to do with Ortiz in close and late situations. The idea of his clutchness has grown to titanic proportions and it enters into the pitchers’ collective psyche. But with Manny Ramirez behind him, they feel compelled to throw strikes, and they make mistakes. Ortiz is good enough to capitalize on them. I know it makes Ortiz sound human to say this, which may be blasphemous in Red Sox Nation, but he IS human. He does appear to have the ability to focus under pressure, but I don’t think that he becomes Superman in certain situations. The pitchers, on the whole, deflate. Fausto Carmona is still a rookie. It was actually his first save opp of his entire career. And he was facing David Ortiz. The ingredients were there for the walkoff. Ortiz took advantage.

  3. Sarah Green says:

    Clearly, any single walkoff situation can be rationalized. But taken as a whole, David’s entire body of clutch work is very impressive. As Nick noted, aside from having planet Krypton as his birthplace, Ortiz has guys batting in front of him who get on base and Manny behind him.

    Yeah, most teams usually bring in a lefty to face Ortiz. Yeah, most teams usually try to put some sort of shift on him. But it doesn’t seem to matter.

    And yeah, when Papi *doesn’t* come through in the clutch, Joe and Jerry don’t scream into their microphones, “And David Ortiz FAILS to come through! Again!”

    But all the same, David in the middle of a very special season here. And if it looks like a clutch hitter and it smells like a clutch hitter, I say it’s a clutch hitter. What else would you call someone who racks up clutch hit after clutch hit?

  4. Sarah Green says:

    Here’s an interesting update from’s “Extra Bases”:

    August 01, 2006
    Papi really does do it every time
    By Gordon Edes, Globe Staff
    It’s not an illusion that David Ortiz comes through in walkoff situations every time.

    According to Sox historian Allan Wood, webmaster of the Joy of Sox, Ortiz has come to the plate 19 times in potential walkoff situations since the end of the 2004 regular season (postseasons included) and reached base 16 times. He is 11-for-14 (.786), with 7 HR and 20 RBI.

    In 2005 and 2006, he is 8-for-9, with 5 HR and 15 RBI!


  5. The thing about Papi is this, pitchers pitch to him knowing Manny at any moment can do just as much damage if not more. But IMO Manny lacks the heart to do it. If you flip their spots in the lineup (which looking at batting averages you should be able to do) you probably get worse results. I’d walk Papi to pitch to Manny any time.

  6. Also, let’s face it, Papi at first makes any grounder into a possible DP.

    Not to knock his base-stealing abilities!

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