There are very few pitchers in baseball who look forward to facing young Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton. The 22-year-old outfielder is hitting .292 this season with 22 homers and 66 RBI. Whenever an opponent gets the opportunity to pitch around him, they almost always cash in. This leads to some tricky lineup decisions for Ozzie Guillen, who has recently been criticized for not giving Stanton enough protection.
“I need the (expletive) FBI to protect that guy because anyone on this (expletive) team, he can’t,” Guillen said earlier this week according to the Sun Sentinel. “No one. I need the DEA, the FBI and a swat team to protect him.”
Stanton was intentionally walked twice on Sunday against the Rockies while hitting in front of Donnie Murphy. He was 5-for-12 with three home runs and five RBI in the first three games of the series when hitting in front of Donovan Solano and rookie Rob Brantly. Guillen’s argument is that Murphy is a better hitter than Solano and Brantly, which proves that the so-called “protection” has nothing to do with the outcome.
“Why you not protecting Stanton?” Guillen said. “Wait a minute. Did you see him hit three home runs…and you don’t know who was behind him? Now (Sunday) he walked twice and I think Murphy is a little bit better than Solano and the kid. That’s why people think they know about baseball and they’re full of (expletive). They make a (expletive) excuse to second guess the manager.”
While the person a player is hitting in front of certainly affects the pitches he sees in some way, Ozzie’s point is that it is more situational than anything. If runners are on second and third there’s a good chance Stanton is getting walked regardless of who is on deck. While he may only know how to explain himself in typically graceful Ozzie fashion, I tend to agree with Guillen that people are overreacting.
Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE