The Bonifacio situation


Juan C. Rodriguez ask the question, that has been on so many lips of late: Can the Florida Marlins win with Emilio Bonifacio?

Since I don't have a TypeKey or TypePad account, I will respond to the question here: No, they can't. At least not in the present state.  

Oh sure, the Marlins can flounder around .500 for the rest of the season using Bonifacio the way they are now, but that is about it.  While it is possible something magical will happen to Bonifacio and he will turn into a decent hitter and be an okay fielder but I wouldn't count on it. 

I'm going to take Mr. Rodriguez's post a little out of order, I'm hoping he is okay with that.

...I thought manager Fredi Gonzalez had a telling quote about him afterthe game: " Boni, even through all the stuff he's been going through, at the beginning of the year and hitting .900 and people expecting him to hit .970, he comes every day to work and he's getting better. He's got a nice little hitting streak going. He's hitting a little over .300 from the right side...He's doing fine. He's one of those guys you characterize as a winner because he'll find something to do during the course of a game to help you win a ballgame."

It is a telling quote, no doubt, Bonifacio isn't going anywhere soon.

But it also shows one of the problems, in that, he has a nice little hitting streak from mainly the right-side of the plate but eventually the Marlins are going to face right-handed pitchers again and he is going to have to turn around and bat left. If you look at his splits, they are:

Batting Left: .227/.288/.274

Batting Right: .306/.326/.376

Batting Overall: .250/.298/.303

When he is batting from the right-side of the plate, he isn't fabulous, but he isn't awful.  However, from the left-side of the plate he is simply pathetic.  Sadly for Bonifacio and for the Marlins he will face more right-handed pitchers than lefties over the course of the season.

I guess that wouldn't be so horrible if he didn't lead the team in plate appearances.  The Marlins are sending their worst hitter to the plate more than anyone else on the team.  This is not how you score runs.  Normally, I'm a believer in the batting order is overrated, but this assumes that overall, the hitters are at least of major league quality.  But sending your hitter who is last on the team in OBP and SLG to the plate the most is only hurting the club.

Not to mention he is a defensive liability at third.  I won't go into all the defensive stats since I don't have time at the moment.  But trust me, they aren't good.

...but this notion that the only reason Bonifacio is still here is so the Marlins can justify the trade that sent Scott Olsen and Josh Willingham to the Nationals is absurd. If that was the case, why isn't Cameron Maybin here to justify the Miguel Cabrera trade? Come on.

I like JCR, but I must disagree with some of this.  I have no idea at this point whether the team sticking with Bonifacio is trade justification, but to proffer the theory is not absurd.  The Marlins have a history of doing such and sticking with a player long beyond it becomes obvious they are aren't getting the job done.  Recent examples: Jorge Julio and Armando Benitez.  Also the analogy to Cameron Maybin is not a good one since Andrew Miller and Burke Badenhop are up with the team and they were also a part of the Cabrera trade.

Mr. Rodriguez concludes with the following:

I know Bonifacio's fan base has dwindled to next to nothing since his flashy first week, but if I were a Marlin fan I'd get used to him being in lineup in some capacity. It doesn't look like he's going anywhere.

 Wait a minute, you're not a Marlins fan?  On second thought, his job to report about the Marlins, our job is to be fans.  I completely agree that Bonifacio isn't going anywhere soon, but could the team at least move him down to near the bottom of the order so that some of the more prolific hitters show up to the plate more often than he does?  It would be appreciated.

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