Let’s face it, the Giants are in desperate need for a decent shortstop.
While we all like Brandon Crawford‘s defensive plays, his bat just isnt ready for the big leagues. I can see him acting as a late inning defensive replacement, rather than a full time starter.
Orlando Cabrera. Well, we all don’t really prefer him to play at all. His defensive ability appears to be vanishing, and his offense is worse than Crawford’s. Let’s hope he is done a Giant.
With the free agent market for shortstops a little sparse, or rather a stretch to sign a good player.
Jose Reyes, oh man I really want him. We would all love to have a speedy, offensive and defensive-minded player with All-Star caliber in a perfect world. Yes, in a perfect world. I’m afraid with the new management cutting ties with Bill Neukom, the front office won’t splurge in the off-season.
That also leaves off the list, Jimmy Rollins, an aging, deteriorating veteran with a high price tag. Another aging veteran Jack Wilson, as well as Craig Counsell, will not provide what the Giants need.
That’s why I’ve come to reason that Jeff Keppinger can temporarily fill that gap next season. Freddy Sanchez will return healthy for Opening Day 2012. What do we do with him?
He is still in the teams control, as he is still arbitration eligable. and he has played there before.
In Jeff Keppinger‘s seven-season career, he has played a total of 178 games in the shortstop position. In those games, he has posted a .983 fielding %, just .005% lower than his second base fielding %.
So now we know that he can fill in defensively, but can he also contribute offensively?
This season he has had an OPS of .708, that’s his third lowest OPS in his career. Keppinger has been Mr. Clutch for the Giants since he has been acquired.
He could fit as a league off guy, but he naturally should fit in the #2 slot. He slaps singles and doubles, and he moves runners. That’s the kind of guy the Giants need.
I’m not saying Keppinger would be a long term solution. Not at all, but if the team wants to fill the whole, and save money, Keppinger is their man.
I say we wait one more year to buy that fancy shortstop we have been dreaming of, who ever that is.