POTD J.J. Hardy - the Good

Q.  What's with shticking-up another NL Central retread?

A.  The NL Central is providing a target-rich environment for Capt Jack's triple guns.  Also, on the M's offseason treasure map, the 6 is where X marks the spot. 

Also, this interesting sea route provides a three-step, back-where-we-started-hopefully-richer-and-wiser path around the SS-2B-SP Bermuda Triangle:  SP Danks, SS Hardy, 2B Hudson for SP Morrow, SS Wilson, 2B Lopez.

So, if you're interested, we're interested.  As you know, we live to serve.


Q.  Are you a Hardy fan?

A.  I'm not, no.

That's not the same thing as saying I don't think he's a reasonable solution at shortstop.  There's nothing unreasonable about casting your lot with J.J.   Gotta love the init's, too, my own name being Jeffrey Joseph.  So if he's got anything in common with me, he'll be all right.


Q.  I hear that Hardy plays a mean pin-ball out there at short.

A.  One of the great things about bringing Hardy in for (say) $5M is that you're getting a pinball wizard at short, and even if he has a supple wrist with a stick in his hand, he's adding value.

Hardy's UZR bounces up and down on the gangplank, averaging out at +10 runs over an average SS. 

As Cool Papa pointed out one time, the Brew fans give Hardy an "above average" defensively per Tango's input.   Hardy's got 5 stolen bases, career. 

Pencil him as above-average, and pay the lad 10 shillings' worth of runs out there on D.


Q.  You expect him to rebound with the bat?

A.   See the next article.  But if you want to hope for upside, are thinking that a guy who "owns" a skill (25 dongs) can repeat it later ...

J.J. did post a career-low .260 BABIP last year, and who knows, maybe last year's 8% HR/FB rate will bounce back towards its previous 12-14%.  There is definitely room for hoping that he hit some fielders in 2009.


Q.  Is he a guy who swings from the caboose, like Hall?

A.  Hall's EYE was .23 for his career and .30 life.  J.J. Hardy's runs in the .50-.55 range, year after year.

.25, .30 compared to .55, that's like Jason Vargas' fastball against Brandon Morrow's.   An EYE below .33 is a catastrophe.  .55 is fine.


Q.  Is this trade likely?

A.  Well, if Jack Zduriencik thinks he can fix Bill Hall, he certainly ought to feel good about his chances with Hardy.

Jack isn't known for giving more than he has to, and we certainly hope he doesn't have to give up Brandon flippin' Morrow for a guy who has been cut by his own team.


Capt Jack had J.J. Hardy in Milwaukee, of course.  If he actually did trade for J.J. Hardy, that would be something like Pat Gillick trading for Arthur Rhodes after Rhodes' Baltimore problems after-the-fact of Gillick leaving.

Zduriencik's own opinion on Hardy probably :- ) trumps mine.  If he trades for Hardy, that's an important piece of data in itself.

Of course, Zduriencik wasn't there in 2009 when NL pitchers drove a stake through J.J.'s heart and stuffed unleavened wafers in his mouth.


Forgetting the Lopez trades for a second, and giving the Brew something for J.J. that doesn't quite feel like losing your arm to an alligator?  In isolation, I like a deal for J.J. Hardy just fine.

Part II

Part III


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