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The future of first

Ok, two straight years of the Youk late season meltdown has to make everyone question some things. Why is this happening? Will it continue to happen? Should we factor this in for the future plans?

You've seen the stats so I don't need to repeat them. The fact is that Youk has wilted in the late summer heat both of his full seasons with the Sox. I do not think it's a factor of not being in shape. I don't believe for a second that Youk does not work his ass off in the off season to be in the best shape he can. I think his un-Kapler profile is just the way god made him and he'll look that way if he hits the donuts or if he works out 380 days a year (he gets comp. days for being extra badass).

My opinion is that this is simply a shortcoming of the player. I think he's a marginal talent whose understanding of the game and hard work are the reasons he has made it this far. This is not a bad thing, but it is a reality. 162 games is grueling, especially when you play as hard as he does. You look at his lack of bat speed and his lack of power, and to me it says that he's someone playing above his talent. And I love him for it!

Since I am going with the idea that this is just part of who Youk is as a player, I think the team needs to factor this in. My proposal: make Youk a super platoon/sub player. Give a chance perhaps to Chris Carter or Brandon Moss to start perhaps half the games next year at first base. That player can also serve as a back-up corner outfielder (and dump Hinske). Meanwhile, Youk can start an additional 20-30 games at 3rd. This will perhaps add longevity to an aging Lowell. So, end result: Youk is starting about 110 games between first and third, Moss/Carter is starting about 100 games at first and outfield, and Lowell starts maybe 130 games. This also factors in that Moss (and maybe Carter) has more power than Youk.

Anyway, it's a working theory. This would also perhaps put us in a better situation should Youk or Lowell get injured.


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