Friday, June 5, 2009

What to do about #2

It looks like Bill Hall might be at the end of a very long leash. After hitting .304 in May, he is 10 for his last 78, good for a .128 average. He has not had an extra-base hit since May 14 and walked only six times since April. His OPS in May? .424. Awful, just awful.

How bad is Bill Hall? He offered David Ortiz hitting advice and was shot down.

How bad is Bill Hall? He's considering modeling his swing after Charles Barkley's golf swing, I mean, can't be any worse can it?

How bad is Bill Hall? He struckout on three straight pitchouts.

How bad is Bill Hall? His next at-bat he's going to go batless, that way he can't strikeout swinging.

How bad is Bill Hall? He managed to hit into a double-play with nobody on base.

How bad is Bill Hall? Yesterday he went hitless in batting practice.

Okay, that's enough of that. The Brewers are in a tough spot with Hall, his defense is outstanding but his bat is anemic. He's under contract through next season with a club option for 2011.

What he can do:
He should be able to hit left-handed pitching. In 731 career at-bats he's hit southpaws to the tune of a .280 average, right now he can't hit anything. His defense is excellent and he can play all three outfield spots and three infield spots well.

What he can't do:
Play every day. He can't hit right-handed pitching. Yes, in his career he is a .245 hitter against righties, but he's gotten significantly worse every season. As you can see to the right, his batting average against right-handers has dropped over .100 points since 2005. That's just not going to cut for an every day player in the big show.

So what are the Brewers options? $7 Million is a lot to pay for a utility player who can only hit lefties and be a defensive replacement. But that's what he is and that's his contract. Here are the Crew's choices...

1. Trade - His value is very low right now, so any return on a trade would be very low. The Brewers would probably have to pick up a big chunk of Hall's salary for this year and next if they wanted to get anything decent for him as well. Whatever they did get back would likely be a low-level player who is a few years away.

2. Designate - Another option would be to designate Hall for assignment. Ideally they could push him through to Triple-A and let him figure his swing out somewhere he isn't hurting the big club. You wouldn't know it by looking at him but Hall's confidence has to be shot.

3. Release - Maybe it's time to cut ties entirely, eat the contract and say what's done is done. This is a very unlikely option since he has another year on his deal, if this was a contract year it would probably be considered but with an extra year it's doubtful this is the move they'd make.

4. Keep - Sorry Brewer nation, but this is the most likely scenario. Keeping Hall would mean he stays with the team but as a bench player and Mat Gamel stepping in as the every day third baseman, ideally.

Hall is the longest tenured member of the team and he has had some huge moments for the Crew. I'm not of the thought process that he will never again be a productive player in Major League Baseball, but I do think he will never be a productive player for the Brewers again.

Unless the Crew can swing a player like Mark DeRosa via trade it's very unlikely that Hall is going anywhere. It's hard to get booed when your on the home team at Miller Park, but Hall might want to keep a set of ear plugs with his home whites.


Stacey said...

Here's the thing though, No one can be THAT bad forever...

AverageDude said...

Yes, HE can.

AverageDude said...

Yes, HE can.