It’s about this time of year that I latch onto a player with the might of Lennie from Of Mice and Men. This year is no different. Though I guess it is a bit different as I think there is more of a fanbase for one Yermin Mercedes.
Many of you out there in White Sox Twitterverse have been telling me that Andrew Vaughn is going to be the opening day DH. This is puzzling, because you’ve also been telling me how cheap the organization is. So why would they give up that extra year of control with Vaughn? Assuming the team is at full strength coming out of Spring Training, it would seem that they have some DH options already on the roster and could mix and match for a month. I think they may just do that.
And if they do that, Yasmani Grandal would likely be one of those DH options. Playing a tough right hander, Yas is the DH, Zack Collins is the catcher (don’t pretend Lucroy makes the team). Later in the game, lefty reliever comes in and Collins is coming up… Yeah, we don’t want to watch that. This is prime Yermin time. And if he’s sitting in the 26th spot, why the heck not? In the “smash a lefty starter” lineup, Yermin at DH is more obvious than Carlos Beltran’s fake hairline.
If you believe the numbers Collins has put up in the minors, you should believe what Yermin has done. He’s been solid. PECOTA thinks, in limited PAs, he’ll be pretty solid too (not so much ZiPS but don’t look over there).
And in this case, PECOTA actually has some past performance to look at. That’s because Yermin has been playing some form of pro baseball for about a decade. Yermin’s overall slash line below MLB is .306/.366/.491. That’s not jaw dropping, but it’s also pretty damn reasonable for a team without a DH. And even more so if you look at the vomit-inducing DH performances of recent vintage.
To me, this seems like a sound gamble to take with the 26th spot on the roster. But hey, I guess there are other guys too…
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