Jenkins vs. Sheff in 2009

As Dave noted yesterday, both Geoff Jenkins and Gary Sheffield were released by the Phillies and Tigers, respectively. The Phillies are on the books for Jenkins entire $8 mil salary while the Tigers will continue to pay $14 mil to Sheffield. Both players are available for the league minimum because of this, which makes them much more attractive assets. In fact, without this stipulation, they would be hardpressed to find employment.

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro apparently contacted Sheffield and his agent, opening up the possibility of replacing a 34-yr old lefthanded hitter who has always played solid defense and can still run the bases with a 40-yr old righty capable of nothing more than pinch-hitting.

Now reports are circulating that Sheffield has an interest in joining the Florida Marlins, perhaps to finish his career with the team on which he did the most damage. One small problem: the Marlins might actually be more interested in Jenkins given the factors detailed above. Sheffield to the Fish would definitely have that glory days type of feel but Jenkins could simply do more for a team like that.

CHONE sees Jenkins capable of a .257/.327/.438 line with Sheff at .242/.341/.415 in virtually the same number of opportunities. Neither player is going to start, or at least neither should start, but if the two appear to be this close with the bat, and Jenkins gets the clear edge in fielding and running, as well as a 6-yr advantage in terms of youth, how could he not be the more viable option? Considering that neither will start, Jenkins is more reliable as a late-inning defensive replacement as well as a pinch-runner.

At $400,000, both of these players should find homes, but do not be surprised if Jenkins garners much more attention than Sheffield and his 499 dingers. Sheffield has had by far the better career but speaking strictly about what can be added to a team in 2009, Jenkins is the far better bet.




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Eric is an accountant and statistical analyst from Philadelphia. He also covers the Phillies at Phillies Nation and can be found here on Twitter.

7 Responses to “Jenkins vs. Sheff in 2009”

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  1. Eric Cioe says:

    Minor quabble, but Sheffield is still a very good base runner.

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  2. Ewan says:

    So CHONE sees Sheffield repeating a horrendously low .237 BABIP again? When his career number is .289. I don’t know why you draw concrete conclusions off of a projection system, without factoring in the incredibly poor luck that he suffered, and also the fact that because he was battling an injury, he wasn’t able to get his hands as high as where he usually has them last year, which affected his plate coverage. This spring he has said he can get his hands back up there, and so should be able to cover the whole of the plate better. I bet CHONE doesn’t take this kind of info into account, and I’m not bashing him for it, but the fact that your basing your entire conclusion off some random guys projections baffles me.

    He may suck in the OF, so what? In LF he can’t do that much harm. Stick him in a platoon with Ross & Hermida. Ross sucks vs RHP and Sheff has done pretty well in his career vs RHP, so plug him in LF and shift Hermida to RF on the days when they’re facing a tough RHP, and when they’re up against tough LHP stick Sheff in for Hermida. Brett Caroll and Alfredo Amezaga aren’t exactly gonna set the world on fire

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    • Eric Seidman says:

      Ewan,

      You’re failing to realize that projection systems forecast BABIP as well, and have Sheff at .250, up from .237. The problem is that the last three years, AKA, his true talent level right now, is vastly different than his talent level 5-8 years ago. The last three years, his BABIP has gone from .302 to .266 to .237. Sheffield claiming a renewed ability to “get his hands up there” is akin to others claiming they are in the best shape of their lives.

      Sheffield may still have a bit of value but not as a full-time starter.

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  3. Chad says:

    I also don’t think that CHONE projections can be classified as “done by some random guy.” CHONE is pretty well regarded.

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  4. Chuck says:

    Charlie must have really liked professional hitter Matt Stairs over Jenkins. They need another outfielder, badly. Werth and Vic will miss about 45 games. Who will fill the void? Bruntlet? Mayberry? Someone not on the roster?

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  5. ted says:

    A month or so ago the Devs were one of the teams I didn’t wanna see today I’d love to see them in the first round as a Ranger fan. Alas the Rangers will likely face the Caps or even the Bruins. Montoya gets a shutout eh? Somewhere Senile Sather is puffing a cigar and saying see my first round picks(besides Staal and Arnott) don’t all suck the last 15-16 years. Oh well Montoya is a Hockey God compared to Hugh Jessiman. I suspect next start Montoya gets lit up(like he has since he turned pro)

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  6. brian recca says:

    They should sign Barry Bonds to a one year deal. Hell he could play the majority of the games in left field over Ibanez. Collusion anyone?

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