Fred Lewis, We Hardly Knew Ye
With Merkin Valdez being designated for assignment today, there are other roster decisions to be made. Most significantly, what to do with Fred Lewis. His pro’s include hitting for the cycle on Mother’s Day. He was a plate discipline god among plate discipline commoners. He was an everyday player for a good part of last year and for 2008. Then something peculiar happened: he forgot how to hit a baseball.
After a stellar April and a pretty good May, Lewis stopped taking walks, kept on striking out, and was subsequently put in the doghouse by manager Bruce Bochy. Having had enough of the called strike 3’s and bad routes in left field, Bochy had seen enough. With John Bowker and Nate Schierholtz ready to step in, Lewis was made obsolete, and was sentenced to pinch hit once every couple weeks.
With Mark DeRosa penciled in to start in left field, Brian Sabean has stated that right field will be a battle between the aforementioned Schierholtz/Bowker combination. Conveniently left out of the discussion for the wide open outfield spot is our dear Frederick Deshaun Lewis, officially making him the odd man out.
This then brings up the question of what exactly to do with him. Lewis is out of minor league options, so that leaves the front office with the choice to either trade him or cut him loose. If you’ll recall the Winter Meetings, Andrew Baggarly tried to gauge the trade value of the young Giants outfielders:
Asked an exec from another club to assess the trade value of the Giants’ three pre-arbitration lefty-hitting outfielders:
Keeping this mind, it looks likely that the front office will likely choose to DFA Lewis. Odds are he’ll catch on with another team looking for a fourth outfielder. This could be a product of simply not having a place for Lewis. Or it could be a the second case this offseason of a player who Bruce Bochy doesn’t like getting the heave-ho. Either way, you’ll be missed Freddy. Even if technically you haven’t been cut…yet.