Deadline Comes and Goes

added 7/31/2007 by Scott Barzilla

The yoohoo lounge tour took another stop for the trading deadline. In the span of a couple of days, the Astros managed to trade two very important parts of their 2005 pennant winning team. The result? Ty Wigginton. If you feel a bit underwhelmed I wouldn't blame you one bit.

Of course, I have nothing against Ty Wigginton. The worst thing any fan can do is hold his contempt for management against the incoming player. By all accounts, Wigginton is a good guy that works hard and plays the game right. He can play a number of positions and is under club control for two years beyond 2007. The Astros brass say he is the new third baseman and his first two games are clear indications that he will swing the bat.

So, what can we expect out of Wigginton? The past seems to indicate that we will get someone that will hit between .260 and .280 with around 20 home runs. Wigginton will swing the bat as he has never drawn as many walks as Ensberg in any season. One analyst called the move to Wigginton more of a "tantrum" than anything else. Wigginton is consistent even if he is mediocre. Ensberg could be brilliant with both the bat and the glove, but the consistency was always elusive.

Naturally, people will ultimately compare the two players from now on. Unless the Astros change their tact and choose to move Lamb to third and Wigginton to second, both players can't help but be compared. As everyone knows, I love to delve into the numbers, so let's delve.

                  Games    PA    AVG   OBP   SLG   HR   SO   BB
Morgan Ensberg     673    2435  .266  .367  .475  105  395  319
Ty Wigginton       624    2384  .267  .326  .448   81  427  173

Now, think about the common complaints about Ensberg. His batting average is too low. Well, you're not going to like Wigginton that much. Well, um, he strikes out too often. Well, you're definitely not going to like Wigginton that much. He's too timid. Okay, fine you'll like Wigginton just fine there. Granted, the career numbers don't show what they've done this year, but small sample sizes create bad decisions.

Obviously, the Astros know what they want and they hated watching Morgan Ensberg watch strike three go by as many times as he did. Fine, there are times when all of us screamed at our television. So, the Astros went about trying to mold Ensberg into the player they thought he should be rather than the player he really was. Hopefully he's gone to an organization that will appreciate the player he really is.

As for Wigginton, I don't mean to be too rough on the guy. Truth be told, Wigginton is really quite valuable. He's cheap and he can play a number of positions. Still, if you know that third base will be manned by someone that is mediocre and cheap then you can spend more money on other positions to man them with good players. You can't man every position with an all-star unless you are the Yankees. Good luck Ty and good luck Morgan. We wish you the best. Hopefully, someone in the Astros organization will learn from what has happened to Morgan Ensberg.