Backtobanks wrote:I don't get the lack of respect that you guys (and Maddon) have for Almora. Suggestions of trading him or making him a platoon player are ridiculous. Almora is leading the team in hitting and was hitting 100 points higher than Schwarber last year while Maddon "searched" for a leadoff man.
Joe respects Almora plenty.
Almora is 2nd on the team in games played and 7th in plate appearances. He’s batted leadoff in 32 games.
They also do a great job of playing him to favorable matchups. He — like Javy — is going to struggle vs certain right-handed profiles despite — like Javy — making improvement in that department.
And Almora had a .291 OBP with a 3.0 BB% vs righties last year. It was a major flaw and he shouldn’t have been batting anywhere but the bottom of the order vs them. Until this year, he was a lefty masher only. Hopefully his improvements are here to stay, but his BABIP vs righties is unsustainable and he’s walking under 5% of the time vs them. He’s gonna crank fastballs and mistakes still, but needs to show more than that consistently.
But it’s also a matter of finding everyone playing time and giving players days off. Almora is a starting MLB player, but so are Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, Javy Baez, Addison Russell, and Ian Happ. I think the position player usage has been handled very well.