Monday, April 20, 2009

Painfully Slow

The baseball season is only a couple of weeks old, and one of the Giants' weaknesses is being exposed painfully often.

Bengie Molina can't run.

I know, this is not new information. Bengie is a fine catcher, a tough hitter, and one of those heart-and-soul guys you want in your clubhouse.

But on a team that's struggling to score runs, the last thing you need is a guy who has trouble scoring from second on a double. Just in the weekend series against Arizona, which saw the Giants score 4 runs in 3 games (and win 2 of 3 thanks to lights-out starting pitching by Sanchez, Lincecum, and Johnson), it seemed every time I looked up, poor Bengie was blocking the basepaths like Southern cooking clogs your arteries.

The problem is magnified because the Giants only have one catcher on the roster (everyday 3rd baseman Pablo Sandoval is the backup catcher). What this means is that manager Bruce Bochy is loath to pinch-run for Molina late in games.

What's the answer? Beats me. On a team with a ton of firepower (and more home run threats than the Giants), you might be able to ignore the Molina Roadblock. But on this team, this season, he's hard to hide.

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