Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Torii Hunter's Move To Right

In an interesting move, the Angels promoted one of their top prospects in Peter Bourjos yesterday and dropped him straight into center field. The move didn't give Torii Hunter the night off though. It moved him to right field, permanently. Torii Hunter was, for some time, considered the best center fielder in baseball. Those days, however, are far behind him.

According to UZR, Hunter hasn't been on the above average side of the line since 2006. Of course, that hasn't stopped him from winning 9 Gold Gloves in a row and I doubt this move to right field will prevent him from winning another one this season. The voters aren't exactly big fans of change when it comes to Gold Gloves.

Hunter, gracious as always, said the decision was ultimately his to move to right to make room for the speedy prospect...
"You know, center field is my home. That's what I love," Hunter said. "Anytime after 12 years, you do something different, you're sad a little bit.

"This is my decision. This isn't their decision."


"I didn't sleep for three, four days. I prayed about it, thought about it," Hunter said. "I think we need to do something different.

"I could say I want to go for that 10th Gold Glove. ... But sometimes you've got to slap pride in the face and all that individual stuff – the Gold Glove stuff – you can let that go. All I care about is winning. ... If this makes the team better, I'm going to do it."
Torii Hunter is what's great about baseball. He's a class act and a good ambassador for the sport. The move should immensely improve the Angels' outfield defense. Bourjos has the chance to be a very good center fielder and Hunter's move to right limits the amount of time Juan Rivera has to play the field. Although Bobby Abreu isn't exactly great shakes either in the outfield. Hopefully, Hunter's pitch to Carl Crawford in the offseason will go well.

Bourjos might be able to provide a little spark in the lineup too. He had 13 home runs and 27 steals with a .314/.364/.498 line at Triple A.

I still think the Angels can catch the Rangers. Yeah, my delusion knows no bounds.

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