So he's fast. We get it, Coop. So do the pitchers and catchers by now. But lately all he's been doing when he's not getting thrown out is causing an occasional balk. Our bench could do that, too, if they tried. But with a team struggling to score runs, the last thing you want to be doing is taking chances on the base paths--even if it is with your fastestrunner. Bourn has had 50+ chances to produce, but has yet to prove his worth
So, why else should Bourn not play? How about for the simple fact that there is at least one better option on the Astros' bench, namely Darin Erstad.
Perhaps the most telling statistic as far as what a hitter contributes to the team when he's in the game is the "Runs Created" statistic. If you want to know more about it, Google it or do a Wikipedia search for it. I'm not going to detail it. All you need know is, the higher the number, the better. Anyway, so let's take a look at some comparisons between MB's stats and our Center Field bench's stats, shall we?
(All stats as of prior to June 4's game)
Runs Created / Game:
BOURN = 3.1
ERSTAD = 5.7
CRUZ, JR. = 2.1
Runs Contributed* to / Game:
BOURN = 0.6
CF BENCH** = 1.33
Team Runs Scored / Game:
With BOURN: 4.38
With CF BENCH: 5.55
With BOURN: .425
With BENCH: .667
Hmm...I'm liking our bench's numbers better. Granted, they have a much smaller sample of games played than Michael Bourn (perhaps by too much!), they still aren't being given much of a chance. At what point does Cooper finally stop the madness and say, Enough is enough! ? Hopefully that point comes before it's too late. When your Big Three stop scoring/driving in runs, it's probably because there's something wrong with the rest of your lineup. You need to mix it up a little! When scoring no more than 2 runs in each of the last 6 games...hell, Phil would've been on his 5th lineup by now! Experiment, Coop! Don't just sit back and hope this same, mundane lineup will eventually start scoring runs again like they did for a month straight! That's negligent managing!
I also don't understand the logic behind starting a relatively fresh player nearly every game JUST BECAUSE HE'S YOUR FASTEST RUNNER! Yes, it's nice to have "The Wise Men" available for the late innings, but why not use your options if one guy's not working? I'd have a lot more confidence in this team with a seasoned veteran with a .285 career BA, a couple of league MVP near-misses, and 3 Gold Gloves playing CF than "the new kid". I realize what we gave up for this Bourn guy (and Geary), but you can't get everything right.
I guess what I'm trying to say is...
LET ERSTAD PLAY!!!!! (please?)
**Erstad + Cruz, Jr.
Numbers used as of start of June 4 day:
Bourn = 50 games started in Center Field
Erstad & Cruz, Jr. = 9 games started in Center Field
Team = 59 games played, 31 wins
Agree? Beg to differ? Comment.
Source: Runs Created Stats - baseball-reference.com